Monday, June 29, 2009

Scottish Food

When people think of Scottish food (or even British, for that matter), they don't automatically think "yum."

At least, that's what I was expecting when I arrived in Bonnie Scotland a while back. But, like usual, I was wrong. While I admit the thought of Haggis didn't fill me with culinary anticipation, I was adventurous enough to try it and guess what? It tastes like chicken. Ok, it doesn't but it did remind me of a nicely spiced and savoury meatloaf. So there you go.

I first had proper haggis at the last meal my ex-boyfriend's parents had made us before we left. In the picture above, the haggis is the ground beefy looking things to the left and right of the ham and pinapple. The haggis to the right was actually vegetarian, which sounded more appetizing but seemed slightly redundant. It also didn't taste as good.

To go with our meal of haggis and ham, we started with a traditional soup called Cullen Skink. It's a delicious, creamy fish soup, reminiscent of clam chowder, but with a smokey twist. And a stupid name.

To make matters even more tasty, we got to dip Balmoral Bread (expensive but melt-in-your-mouth) into the warm dish.

Another great thing about Scottish food - and what reminded me a lot of New Zealand - was the abundance of tasty meat pies. Not only could you purchase these tasty morsels at any gas station, deli or cafe, but they came in all sorts of flavours.

Another type of meat pie is the Scotch Pie, which is prolific at any football match. I had my Scotch pie with a side of chippies (fries), a forkful of deep-fried haggis and one powerful pickled onion. The typical Scottish take-away meal.

One thing I didn't have, but have tried in Canada, is the Deep-Fried Mars Bar. Sounds like a heart attack on a plate, and let me tell you it is. Might explain why Scotland has such a high heart disease risk. But, oh, it's worth it.

Scots love a lot of sweets, the most famous of these being their beloved Shortbread biscuits, found in shops all over the world.

I was more found of the salty snacks such as these Hula Hoops crisps...

...and Pickled Onion Monster Munch...

And Branston Pickle, spread on everything, especially salty Aberdeen buns (I have a jar sitting in my fridge right now, though I prefer the "small chunk" version).

To wash all of that down, you should reach for a nice cold Tennents, the beer which is known as The Pride of Scotland. I can see where they are coming from too, although I am a sucker for most things "beer."

Last but not least, there is a most famous symbol of Scotland: Irn Bru. This soft drink is sold everywhere, has miraculous hangover-curing properties (or so it goes, since my hangovers are usually beyond cure), gives you energy galore and tastes like orangey bubble gum. It also prides itself as having 32 different and "secret" flavours in each bottle.

According to Wikipedia: "When McDonald's restaurants first opened for trading in Glasgow they did not serve Irn-Bru. This was seen as an insult by some Scots, and a campaign to correct this oversight was launched. After many of their restaurants were picketed, McDonalds relented and began to stock Irn-Bru alongside their other soft drinks."

Just goes to show that the Scots aren't just passionate about life, but about their food and drink too!

PS - I'm going to be doing a giveaway for a Forever 21 dress on my other blog - yep, I have another blog Anywhere But Here, a fashion-oriented one which is updated more than this one.

15 said they wanna go too:

Anonymous Anonymous wanderlusted...

of course! Irn bru! More popular in Scotland than coke!

the best pie shop is Mables pies.... and i willtravel there JUST to eat one for sure! 100%

1:44 AM  
Blogger Memphis Steve wanderlusted...

Holy cow, who would have thought someone talking about Scotland could make me so hungry!

3:13 PM  
Blogger Eve wanderlusted...

Yum! Looks pretty good...

I've never tried a fried Mars bar, but the deep-fried twinkie is pretty damn good.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous wanderlusted...

Deep-fried Mars bars...

I'm gonna need a moment.

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Karinaxoxo wanderlusted...

You don't have meat pies in the US/Canada??? Damn...your missing out. My dream of living in NYC has just been squashed by this info...I could not possibly live anywhere that is not with a 10 min drive to a meat pie :-)

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous wanderlusted...

I do love the veggi haggis ~ whatever it is, it's veggi heaven (hell on your stomach, though)
Made the mistake of buying large chunk Branston picles. Ugh! Hard to spread on bread w/cheese, and couldn't identify the chunks. Good though!

12:58 AM  
Blogger Wanderlusting wanderlusted...

Simon - yep, and gives you more of a kick than Coke too.

Memphis Steve - Well, they probably had some less-appetizing things I didn't want to get into...such as the ingredients of Haggis.

Eve - Deep-fried Twinkie? I hate twinkies (too dry) but if you deepfry then and they get all gooey....mmmm, might be good.

Peter - Take all the time you need

Karina - Yeah it's a major bummer. There is one pie shop but it's in the mountains (Whistler) and about a 2hour crawl away. Booo.

Ducky - Well I felt better about eating the Veggie Haggis but the meaty type was more delish.

I have the large chunk pickle in my fridge and I'm trying to eat it but really I just want the sauce and I ignore the chunks (of whatever they are). I have a smoother version at the bf's house so I may just swap him. The Branston, not the bf.

10:22 AM  
Blogger halfmanhalfbeer wanderlusted...

Wanderlust: you have just summed up very concisely why the Scots have the highest incidence of heart disease in the western world.

Meat pies from gas stations: not a natural ingredient within 100yards! How could you?!

2:24 AM  
Blogger Hanh, Life-in-Travel wanderlusted...

I've never tried Scottish or English food before. but It looks yummm...


8:55 PM  
Blogger Kristin wanderlusted...

Did you ever see So I Married an Axe Murderer? I know have Scottish Mike Myers in my brain. I think I might have to go hunt that down.

6:08 AM  
Blogger K@terina B. wanderlusted...

seems so yummy, Once more I am gonna tell you, I am so jealous of your traveler's IQ!!!

7:08 AM  
Blogger Gabbi wanderlusted...

Wonderful food post! One of my favorite things to do on holiday is to photograph what I eat :) It all sounds like a grand adventure... thank you so much for sharing.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Damsels wanderlusted...

this is agreat post .
ive always been supre afraid to try irish.british
food and the like . .maybe i willgive it a try one day provided i find the right restaurant in NYC

11:00 AM  
Blogger a.r.v.y wanderlusted...


nice blog check out mine

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous wanderlusted...


10:27 AM  

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