The taste of blood, salty, 'dark'

MaryamSeresht

Senior Member
Persian
Hi,

Do you think dark refers to taste or color? I guess it's taste, like dark coffee, or dark chocolate.

"She wanted to pluck out his eyes and kick him black-and-blue. The taste of blood, salty, dark- she could anticipate its flavor.

Many thanks.
It's part of Inheritance of Loss, a novel by Kiran Desai.
 
  • morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    It relates to the taste.
    I am not sure what taste is considered dark, but this is what I think the author meant by it - it tastes "dark".
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Dark is used here in its figurative and metaphorical sense, as in "She had a dark secret."

    Dark has such meanings and combinations of meanings as, ominous; gloomy; dismal; sullen; brooding; mysterious; evil; secret; etc.
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    Dark is used here in its figurative and metaphorical sense, as in "She had a dark secret."

    Dark has such meanings and combinations of meanings as, ominous; gloomy; dismal; sullen; brooding; mysterious; evil; secret; etc.
    With all the terminology developed by tasters for palate / tongue sensations, like "earthy" (have no friggin' idea what that is), and whole gamut of other things, I won't be surprised if they use "dark" and means something by it. :)
     

    pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Dark may mean, in this context, something like "intense-tasting" or "rich-tasting" and be an extension of phrases like "dark coffee" and "dark chocolate" where dark actually refers to the color, but is used to evoke the strong flavor of those foods.
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    For me, dark is first of all a color here, although it has the symbolic meaning Paul has mentioned. It could influence the taste, somehow, but, to me, it is a color, or rather a shade. Dark in phrases like dark chocolate and dark coffee also refers to color, rather than to the taste itself.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    'Dark' in the context of the quote means to me something primitive, sinister and almost dangerous. 'Dark' is sometimes /often used as the equivalent of 'black' in the symbolic sense of evil or bad. The 'dark arts', 'black magic', and in expressions such as to 'give someone a black look'. Dark of colour is not the primary meaning, although of course that is closely related. Only old blood is dark: fresh blood is bright red. If she's thinking of eating his freshly plucked body parts, I guess they would not appear dark but they might taste 'dark', according to my understanding of this use of the word. I really like morzh's suggestion of an 'earthy' taste. 'Mineral' tasting comes to mind and there are minerals such as iron in good blood, same as chocolate is zinc rich. The more cocao there is in chocolate, the 'darker' and 'blacker' it is, the more I might fancy a very little of it, despite my being a chocophobe. ( Please note my use of the possessive+ gerund in this instance)

    I don't know what 'dark' coffee means, if the reference is to the drink. I talk about 'black' coffee when I mean coffee without milk. Black fresh ground coffee disagrees with me so I haven't drunk it for decades. I do however like a strong coffee flavour.
    Who has truly never tasted a little fresh blood? Never, for example, accidently scratched off a scab causing blood to flow, wiped it with a finger, then licked that finger.

    Hermione
     
    Last edited:

    morzh

    Banned
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    Russian
    Last time for me was two days ago - was putting a laser optical transceiver in the system and cut my finger over the cage.
    Licked it several times.

    Well, there is nothing dark or sinister (I am neither a vampire, nor especially a vampire gourmet) about the taste; to me it's just salty. Had I be born Japanese, I'd probably tasted some "umami", but I am not that sophisticated.

    So, "dark" is probably the result of the writer's state of mind during the writing session.
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    You mean, made with human blood? No, that experience somehow missed me. :D

    Then, again, cooked animal blood in German sausages, mixed with ground meat, starches and spices, probably no longer tastes "dark". It's a sausage, c'mon, what can be so "dark" about it!
    No, I am pretty sure the author did not have sausages in mind, when she spoke of the taste of blood. That would be too mundane.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Black pudding, yes of course. I was once offered a bowl of what I thought was dessert, delicious black cherry compote. It was in fact a speciality goat stew from the Phillipines-my host's maid had travelled about 20 miles to get the goat's blood fresh from the slaughterhouse. There's a recipe for cooking hare with the blood as a sauce, but I've never seen it on a menu.

    Hermione
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    After further thought, I think dark here is related to dark powers, dark magic, vampires, for example. The character imagines the taste of revenge, the taste of blood, like a vampire might. The blood is salty and dark, like the ceremony, or revenge. There is nothing dark about the taste of blood sausage, by the way.
     
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