This morning for breakfast our hosts, in their hospitality, made sure we were able to try two Scottish dishes. They specially prepared two small portions for us to sample. On the plate were two rounds, like sausage patties. One a dark brownish-red: black pudding. The other a mottled light brown, looking much more like a sausage does indeed look: haggis.
I didn’t expect haggis to come pressed in a tube like Bob Evans. Why not? It is, like American breakfast sausage, ground-up animal insides, with added spices and a bit of oatmeal for filler. Of course, traditionally, it is cooked inside a cow’s stomach, which made me think we would be getting something that looked more like stuffing from inside a turkey.
And the results?
Haggis tastes like sausage. The oatmeal added a bit of texture that I did not like, but the taste, while different than Bob Evans, still reminds me of breakfast with eggs. I am not a fan of breakfast sausage, so I may be biased against haggis. Yet, it is all right. I may try it again, just to see the regional differences, but I do not foresee myself pining for it once we return home.
Black pudding, on the other hand, I have tried before. To be fair, I gave it another shot, but I still do not like it. It is a heavy food with a crumbly, meaty texture. The taste is difficult to describe, for if you have never eaten blutwurst in Germany or partaken of foods which include blood in their ingredients, then....there is nothing to which I can compare it.
I suppose I should not leave you with a bad impression of Scottish foods. Stereotypes and Hollywood do that enough as it is. If you are ever in Northeast Scotland (and are not allergic to fish or milk), try the Cullen Skink. It is a soup made with fresh Haddock. If you can see the ocean anywhere in the town, chances are, the Haddock came straight out of the water that morning. The soup is reminiscent of clam chowder, only better. I only say better because I am from Iowa, and the clam chowder, or at least the clams, would have come straight from the can. Here, though, eat the soup.