Venturing through Scotland: Tasting Haggis

One of the things I love doing while exploring different cities is tasting local foods. You can learn so much about a country and its culture through food so you can bet that I’m always at the front line to taste anything! Whilst on vacation in Edinburgh, mum and I had the pleasure of witnessing a traditional Scottish haggis ceremony. Despite being one of the strangest (and scariest to some) foods around, haggis is loved by many locals and can be found almost everywhere. Truth be told, it doesn’t taste half bad too!

What is haggis?
Haggis forms a kind of dry savory pudding made from minced up sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs, mixed together with onions, beef fat, herbs, and spices. There are tons of different haggis recipes around, all adding different consistencies and flavors. Once mixed, it is then stuffed into the sheep’s stomach and boiled. It is then scooped out of the stomach and served alongside mashed potatoes or any other dish really.

What does it taste like?
The million dollar question! Duh! So what does haggis taste like? Now that you know what it’s made off, you’re probably completely put off from eating it, right? Don’t be. We travel to learn, see and experience new things around the world so if you’re ever in Scotland, I really do recommend you try some haggis. After the traditional Scottish song, dance and slicing open of the stomach lining, we all had a taste. Haggis has a somewhat crumbly mince-like texture with a savory and nutty taste. If seasoned and cooked right, the flavor will be similar to that of the spices used, masking any unwanted smells or tastes.

How do you eat haggis?
Haggis is found almost everywhere in Scotland and can be eaten plain, served with mashed potatoes or as a side dish. It is also served on pizzas, nachos and in burgers so if you’re feeling a little less adventurous, you can mix it with some cheesy crisp chips or eat it together with your beans on toast.

Again, don’t be afraid!
To be honest, I was a tad bit afraid after finding out what haggis really is made of but the traveler in me cried out saying, “Hey Shal! When are you going to be in Scotland again? You’re getting the chance to taste haggis in Scotland! Just do it!”
So I did it and it really wasn’t that bad. Now I’ll say it to you: “Go on then! Taste that haggis and make a new travel memory you’ll never forget!”

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Hi World! I'm Shal - an environmental microbiologist, writer, teacher and artist from Durban, South Africa. I've spent the last two years traveling and teaching Chemistry and English to young kids in Asia. Life of Shal was founded as a way to share travel experiences, tips and other worldly magic with you! Join me on my journey!

3 thoughts on “Venturing through Scotland: Tasting Haggis

  1. My Grandfather was scottisch so I had no other chance than trying honestly disgusting SOUNDING dish. I was brave enough and after eating one spoon full I just couldn’t get enough of it. Just don’t think about what you’re eating and start enjoying it – well that’s what I did. It tastes delicous an everybody I know who tried it were always positivly surprised.
    Now I am vegetarian since four years, so I cannot eat it anymore but otherwise I definelty would at some occasions.
    See you, Saskia xxx

    Like

  2. That’s great advice Saskia! Don’t think about what you’re eating and just go for it! I too was positively surprised and am so glad I got the chance to try it 🙂 Much love xx

    Liked by 1 person

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