Definitely seems consistent with pagan fertility rites, religious mysteries, and rituals for expiation of sin.
For instance, the association of virginity and bread comes via the Kore. Quite literally it is her marriage to Hades that ultimately results in the rebirth of spring, and the growing of grain. (Zagreus/Dionysus is the male parallel, associated with blood/wine, and the two together parallel the Jewish blessings over bread and wine, which later becomes a Christian sacrament.)
Reminds me of something you might find in Herodotus, though the only passage that comes to mind offhand is a description of a Babylonian temple to a form of Aphrodite:
The foulest Babylonian custom is that which compels every woman of the land to sit in the temple of Aphrodite and have intercourse with some stranger once in her life. Many women who are rich and proud and disdain to mingle with the rest, drive to the temple in covered carriages drawn by teams, and stand there with a great retinue of attendants. But most sit down in the sacred plot of Aphrodite, with crowns of cord on their heads; there is a great multitude of women coming and going; passages marked by line run every way through the crowd, by which the men pass and make their choice. Once a woman has taken her place there, she does not go away to her home before some stranger has cast money into her lap, and had intercourse with her outside the temple; but while he casts the money, he must say, “I invite you in the name of Mylitta” (that is the Assyrian name for Aphrodite).
Herodotus, Histories 1.199
I did find this entry on blood in bread in the entry on Thesmophoria in a old dictionary of antiquities:
They believed that the flesh of the swine so offered to Demeter would, if mixed with the seed-corn, magically add to its fertility... the custom of mixing blood with the seed-corn ... examples of the Pawnees of America, who used to mix the blood of a human victim with the seed-corn...
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890): THESMOPHO´RIA
[Note that "corn" can refer to grain in general.]
Histories were still highly unreliable during Verga's time, and there were probably a lot of texts with apocryphal material. Possibly this arose out of an oral history? Because of the conflation of Venus/Aphrodite, I'm guessing any direct source would likely be medieval.