Eating Adventures: Haggis

So, this post is a bit delayed from my trip from Scotland due to patiently waiting for a picture that wouldn’t come. You see, one of my traveling companions enjoyed taking shots of some of the more interesting meals that we ate overseas, but at the same time was not the best photographer. After waiting to get the picture of the haggis that I ate in Scotland, I was devastated to find that the photo was washed out, and not in focus. Oh well, with a food as bizarre as haggis, the internet is more than forthcoming with useful media.

So, haggis. Most people don’t know what it is, or simply know to fear it. Well, the description of the dish doesn’t really ease the un-adventurous sorts fears. Wikipedia describes haggis as “a dish containing sheep’s ‘pluck’ (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally simmered in the animal’s stomach for approximately three hours.” Ok, so not really appetite inspiring I know, and the image above of a traditional haggis might actually have some people running away, but please, give the weird meal a chance.

Nowadays, when you order haggis, you get something more like what you see to the right. The haggis is the hash-like substance on the left side of the plate joined by the traditional “neeps and taties” aka mashed potatoes and mashed turnips. Okay, maybe I should have tried a little harder to find a more appetizing picture, but at least this one’s realistic.

So, this more modern varient is usually prepared sans sheep stomach for boiling, instead opting for a sterile, plastic-like bag, and is really no more horrifying than sausage if you think about it. Really, I mean think, sausage is similar meat material in a casing of intestine. You’re really just talking apples and oranges here.

As usual, I digress; time to get to the point: taste. Assuming that you can get past the premise, what’s in it, and yeah its appearance, haggis is actually really tasty. I mean, it’s a lot like a combination of heavily spiced sausage and hash. A very broadly spiced mince of sorts. Still, if that doesn’t wet your whistle, that’s okay too. It really is one of the more odd foods I’ve ever seen or tried, and if you don’t want any, then that just leaves more for me. Still, try to escape your bubble, and try a bite. You might join me on this side of the fence encouraging others to take the leap into the unknown of sheep bits….Okay, not the most convincing wrap up line ever, but oh well.

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