Blood and Guts

Scotland – such a beautiful country. Such an ugly history.

Scotland’s past is riddled with violence. From the Roman invasion in 79AD right up to 1943 when the Germans attacked Glasgow during the 2nd World War. The Scots have been fighting for and to maintain their freedom
and way of life since the beginning of history. They are a nation of warriors.

Now, it’s a peaceful country and it seems as though that violent past is long behind them….at least until you have breakfast.

Paul and I stopped for breakfast and I had a traditional Canadian breakfast: eggs , bacon, sausage, toast and…..black pudding.

Black pudding looks very much like a cow paddy that has been dried in the sun. I think there is something inherently un-appetizing about the colour black. It’s like the body has a built in defence mechanism from some more primitive age that tells me that ‘black is bad to eat’. Or maybe the instinct is borne subconsciously from memories of burnt toast and burnt cookies that urges me that black is less than enjoyable to the palate. Regardless of where it came from, perhaps I should have heeded the warning.

Now, when travelling I am a rather adventurous person and I embrace the new culture to which I am privy, so black pudding was a delightful chance to try something truly Scottish.

Paul had a tiny bite and he was done stating that it tasted like cardboard and styrofoam mixed together.

Undaunted, I grabbed my fork and dove in. Black pudding is crusty black on the outside but when you break it open its a beautiful chocolatey-brown colour with the texture of moist cake. It is however, not sweet. Its rather salty and has chunks that seemed to look and taste like rice. It’s a little chewy. That’s it really, rather dull and un-interesting. I didn’t think I was bad, but after a couple bites I was happy to be done with my first Scottish experience. 

Our waiter seemed amused that I had tried it stating that is was not a dish he was fond of. I asked him what it was made of and he broke into a large smile.

‘Oh, I don’t think you want to know what that’s made of’ , he said.

He left me staring at my plate and went to get our bill.

“Blood and haggis” he grinned as he placed the cheque on the table. He then explained that haggis is sheep’s heart, liver, lungs and stomach.

I looked up at him in horror and then back down at the remains of the cow patty on my plate, “Welcome to Scotland!” I sputtered

“It’s all we eat!” the waiter laughed as he rushed off to his next table.

So my first meal In Scotland included: Blood and Guts.

What else could I expect from a place with such a violent past?

Ya, I told you it looked bad!!!