KEEP CALM & EAT HAGGIS
The one thing everyone knows about Scotland. Kind of like reindeer and Finland. I’d say most people outside Scotland aren’t particularly drawn to this dish of mutton and grains (usually oatmeal). I assume it’s because of the cooking method. Traditional haggis is cooked in a sheep’s stomach.
In Finland, we’re not that used to eating intestines.
However, across the sea in Britain, they’re considered everyday-food. I understand that it used to be waste to throw them away when butchering ones own animals for food, e.g. However, I prefer that in a modern society when I go to the meat counter, I can just take the actual meat and let someone else have the intestines 😉
GIE HER A HAGGIS
I’m unsure whether Scots eat haggis on regular days, but at least on Robert Burns’ supper, it’s a must. They get together to dress up like it’s the 19th century, recite the Address to a Haggis (below), and eat the traditionally cooked haggis.
I’m sure whiskey is involved as well.
DEACON BRODIES BY THE ROYAL MILE
I chose to taste my first haggis at Deacon Brodies tavern by the Royal Mile. Mostly, because I slept in a bed with the same name (read more here). Also, because of the appealing exterior. I’m a sucker for all things blue and green, especially with black. The location was also just around the corner from my hostel.
You will find Deacon Brodies a little over halfway by the Royal Mile, on Lawnmarket Street. You can’t miss the baby blue in the midst of all the old greenish grey stone buildings. The mood is cozy and warm, and the staff is helpful and humorous. Perfect place for your first haggis 😉
If you are a friend of beer, try the traditional Scottish lager, Innis & Gunn. It was recommended to us by our walking tour guide. I had a sip of my friend’s beer and though I strongly dislike beer, it was okay. So it might be really great for someone who can appreciate it 😉
HAGGIS, NEEPS & TATTIES
Haggis is traditionally served with mashed potatoes (Tatties) and mashed swede (Neeps). Nowadays, you can usually order a vegetarian option as well. I was told it’s alright, but not the same thing. Naturally, since it doesn’t contain any mutton, which I think is kind of the point.
These condiments did well for me. I’m a sucker for mashed potatoes, and I like the sweetness of swedes (Not actually Swedish people, btw).
Haggis itself tasted like mutton. The texture was much like dry-ish oatmeal. So basically to me it was like a mutton porridge. To me, it was actually surprisingly good.
But it was good.
So did I feel like a true Highlander after eating it?
Try to pronounce that.
I dare you.
No meal is complete without a dessert. I went all in with this meal, and took a traditional Scottish dessert.
Nowadays, Cranachan is made of whipped cream, honey, toasted oatmeal and fresh raspberries ( and sometimes whisky). All of my favorites in a one simple cup of goodness. Super easy to make at home at lightning speed if craving for something sweet. Simple and very much effective.
My friend didn’t eat, but even she couldn’t resist the temptation of the Cranachan, so we split it. It was a hearty portion of both dishes, so I was more than okay with that.
Delicious, simple and filling.
I definitely recommend you to give it a try if you like mutton.
Just pick a good place and you’re all set 😉
Have you ever tasted haggis? Did you like it?