Some people find the title Duck Blood Soup a bit umm, unusual. We’ve even had a review say “the title of this is a bit ‘off-putting'” but follow that up with “Don’t let that slow you down, the title makes sense after you get into this book.”

Whenever I talk to someone from a different culture, the conversation invariably turns to food. I like to think that people can set aside their differences and enjoy good, unique food. Ages ago I met someone from eastern Europe who mentioned that she used to eat duck blood soup. I’m sure my reaction was just as is yours, and the same as one of the characters in the book. A few years later I became friends with people from the Philippines and they mentioned “chocolate soup” – also a blood soup. About 10 years after that my brother and I started writing our book.

Early in the novel we’ve got a state dinner between long-time allies. We’ve also got different races with different dietary requirements. I needed a dish that all species could eat, some humans would enjoy and think of as normal, while others would find repulsive. Duck Blood Soup was just what I needed for that chapter.

Duck Blood Soup wasn’t the original name of the book, but after we wrote the chapter, we decided that the name change fit.

If you’re a foodie, you might be interested to know that I have actually eaten most (but obviously not all) of the culinary masterpieces described in Duck Blood Soup. Most were created around 10 years ago by Chef David Kinch of Manresa and the rest by Chef Christopher Kostow who at the time led the kitchen of Chez TJ and is currently at The Restaurant at Meadowood.

Fans of Food Network’s Iron Chef America may have seen David Kinch destroy Bobby Flay in Battle Cabbage in 2009. It was one of the most lopsided victories in the history of the show.

And no, I’ve never tried duck blood soup.