Haggis, Neeps & Tatties
When it comes to food, I’m the adventurous sort. Granted, I won’t eat a bug. Not on purpose, at any rate. Escargot may be proof positive that anything becomes palatable if you slather it with enough garlic and butter, but I still can’t go quite far enough to try a bug. But barring insects, I am willing to taste almost anything. At least once.
That’s why when we were in Scotland last month, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass without trying the region’s signature dish–“haggis.”
Haggis is a savory pudding. Now, in American English “pudding” conjures up images of Jello, sweet and soft. However, in the UK, it means something else entirely. In the case of haggis, it means a mixture of sheep’s heart, liver & lungs along with onion, oatmeal, spices, and suet stuffed into a sheep’s stomach and boiled for three hours.
Not everyone is of that opinion. In his Address to a Haggis, beloved Scottish poet Robert Burns praises the dish in this unique fashion:
Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak yer place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
As lang’s my airm.
So I pushed what haggis is and how it’s made from my mind and put a bite of it in my mouth. And… it was delicious! The flavor was nutty and mild and was perfect with the traditional side dishes–neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes).
The DH and I polished off the meal with a Clootie Dumpling, which turned out to be a rich, moist carrot-cake-like dessert. Very fragrant!
So glad I got a taste of Scotland. If you’d like one, be sure to pre-order my next Scottish novella Plaid to the Bone! No calories included.
Adam Cameron, laird of Bonniebroch, didn’t expect his bride to turn up at his castle so soon after their arranged marriage was settled. But the daughter of his former enemy is comely beyond the common, so he’s counting his blessings. Unfortunately, Adam doesn’t know the lovely Cait Grant has sworn to kill her new husband with a blood oath that will set a terrible curse in motion if she fails.
But Cait never counted on falling in love with the man her father had taught her to hate.
What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever eaten?