Myth: you will not eat well when traveling through Scotland. One cannot be more wrong. I’ll give you that, there’s so much “bad press” around Haggis that you might fear a little bit the Scottish national dish. Fear not, unless you’re a hardcore vegetarian, it’s really not insurmountable.
Personally, I had a blast tasting all the flavors of Scotland, from Scottish breakfasts, to seafood dinners, from craft beers to Fish & Chips, I tried to taste as much of the country as I could. No regrets!
This is where we started: baked beans and blood pudding at 9:00 am. I loved it.
Any place in Scotland will offer you the “Full Scottish Breakfast”. And full is what you will feel after starting your day on eggs, black pudding, toast, baked beans, tomato, bacon, sautéed mushroom and a sausage (a.k.a banger). It will not please the faint-hearted whom survives on half a toast until dinner. You need a serious stomach to gobble all that. But, funny enough, you get used to it very fast and easily build the habit of starting your day on a full stomach.
From time to time, I cheated a bit and went for a more American version of breakfast with eggs & bacon on a roll. But rolls over there are really no bagels, and the Full Scottish breakfast was a much tastier choice.
Needless to say… No lunch required. But, if we didn’t do the British 5’oclock tea, hunger started knocking in the afternoon and that’s when I got my second treat of the day.
Oh fluffy, delicious scones… I could write poems about thee… I liked them savory with melted cheese, with raisins or simply plain. I liked them with butter, cream or jam. Sometimes with butter AND cream AND jam.
I liked them with tea, hot chocolate or coffee. I liked them after a long hike in the rain. I liked them after a long drive in the sun. Scones are my North, my South, my East and West. They’re not specific to Scotland, but I think I almost could write a book about the ones I had there.
Scones held us until dinner…
Being so close to the water, one can only imagine the wonders that are available when it comes to seafood.
If you’re a lover of seafood and shellfish, there’s a wide variety of options to sample for all along the coast line.
From Fish & Chips, to shrimps and crawfish and all sorts of fresh salmon. I was in seafood heaven.
Now, about that Haggis…
Did I try Haggis? I did. Twice. First, as a crisps flavor, just to see if I’d like it. I did.
It really is nothing more than savoury pudding that combines meat with oatmeal, onions, salt and spices… the whole “cooked in a sheep’s stomach” thing is more a tradition preserved to scare the tourists than anything.
I finally tried the “real” thing at a breakfast buffet in Ullapool, because I couldn’t leave Scotland without tasting its national dish. I’m not a big meat person (as you might have guessed from the previous paragraph), but Haggis was ok. I don’t know if I’d have a whole dish of it, but it works well as sample size in a Full Scottish Breakfast.
Worst case scenario, if you don’t like it. You can always wash it of with a beer or a scone!