When people think of Scotland, they think of many things. Castles, mountains, lochs, kilts, and of course, haggis and black pudding.
Now I obviously wasn’t planning on spending 5 months in Scotland without seeing Castles, mountains, lochs and kilts, but it also became apparent that I wasn’t going to avoid haggis or black pudding.
In fact, black pudding was served to me by Murphy (my air bnb host) on my first proper day in Scotland as part of a delicious full Scottish breakfast. For those who aren’t aware, black pudding is basically a sausage made out of blood and oatmeal. Appealing, I know.
If I’m being honest, I had absolutely NO intention of trying black pudding. I mean…it’s made of blood. BLOOD. But when a rather hungover Scotsman you’ve only just met says that he’s cooked you breakfast on New Years Day, you can’t exactly refuse. Or at least I couldn’t. So, attempting to hide my reluctance as best I could, I sat down to my breakfast and after glaring at the black pudding whilst consuming pretty much everything else, I finally gave in, braced myself, and tried it.
As it turns out, black pudding is delicious. It tastes like crispy bacon fat. It may even be better than crispy bacon fat. Yummmm!
Then, on Wednesday it was time for the welcome dinner for exchange students, where they served us a traditional meal of haggis, neeps, and tatties. Again, for those who don’t know haggis is ” savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock”.
Considering my positive experience with black pudding, I was actually excited to try haggis (unlike most of the exchange students), and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s actually like an extremely delicious, spiced, peppery mince. It’s nicer than mince. I devoured the entire little plastic bowl they gave us, and I really want to have it again!! Although I think a lot of people were surprised by how good it was, I also think a lot of people couldn’t get over the fact it was made from offal…
So there you have it, my first full week in Scotland and two surprisingly delicious traditional foods sampled and enjoyed! My advice: give strange foods a go, you might be surprised. That said, I don’t think I could ever eat tripe. Or spiders…