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Old 14-01-2014, 06:21 PM
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Default Just come back from Scotland....

well Edinburgh to be precise and have found out I really like:

Haggis
Cullen Skink
Cranachan


Way to go Scots - some lovely dishes there!!
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Old 14-01-2014, 06:32 PM
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Default Re: Just come back from Scotland....

Well, gee thanks.

Pity most Scots don't eat that stuff. Mostly for tourists and ex-pats. A small minority will partake of the parochial menu at Burns Night, St Andrews Night or New Year....but they don't sell well, otherwise.

Cranachan is nice, once in a while - too sweet to be a regular treat - but I don't like haggis or fish soup.
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Old 14-01-2014, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: Just come back from Scotland....

I'm like a disposal unit when it comes to food, but I've never tried haggis. In fact I've never been to Scotland-- sure I could import some, but is there a decent, genuine type/brand I should look out for?
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Old 14-01-2014, 09:52 PM
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Default Re: Just come back from Scotland....

MacSweens is the best, but Halls is also very good. This is a very good time of year to get it, as most supermarkets will stock it in advance of Burn's Night. Although Morrison's stocks both brands all year round (at least, they do here). As well as the traditional way of serving it, it's really nice mixed with some chopped fresh coriander, stuffed in a big ol' mushroom, topped with cheese and baked, or sliced (Halls works best for this) and baked as a burger. you can even make little balls, wrap them in puff pastry as mini haggis sausage rolls. It's one of my favourite foods. But then I am an ex-pat.
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Old 14-01-2014, 11:48 PM
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Default Re: Just come back from Scotland....

I was never a great one for haggis, though I have developed a taste for it now, thanks to going to a Burns night with my archery club.

As for the rest? No thanks. Not that I have anything against them, they just arent my thing at all. Especially fish. I really dont like fish much.
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Old 15-01-2014, 06:18 AM
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Default Re: Just come back from Scotland....

A chef friend of me told me a couple of years back that more haggis is sold in Londonbetween New Year and Burns Night than in Scotland for the whole of the year. I could well believe it.. It is, it is safe to say, an acquired taste. Properly seasoned, it can be quite pleasant with mashed potato and turnip, but the shop-bought stuff is extremely bland, and it takes an age to cook from scratch.

It was orininally a way to make meat which was starting to go off, go further. We've been stuck with it as our 'national dish' in Scotland for the best part of two centuries because those patriots and ex-pats determined to lionise Burns failed to realise that he was (as his letters indicate very strongly) taking the p**** when he penned his 'Address To The Haggis'
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Old 15-01-2014, 07:26 AM
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Default Re: Just come back from Scotland....

an acquired taste... could be describing me lol. I must admit I just thought I'd give it a try and it clicked with me - loved the texture and the 'pepperyness' of it
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Old 15-01-2014, 07:47 AM
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Default Re: Just come back from Scotland....

Is it that time of year already?

Some people genuinely like haggis. Yes, there is far more to Scottish cuisine than that, and yes it's a peasant dish intended to prolong the life of meat in hard times, but it's deserving of no more scorn than boudin, shish kebab or faggots. Likewise, stovies are as good a way of using leftovers as lobscouse or Lancashire hotpot.

I admit, I have committed the crime of being born in Scotland and no longer living there. Occasionally, I like to eat Scottish food. Food heritage is an important thing for emigrants. Do you feel the same about Polish food sections in supermarkets as about shops in London selling haggis in January? I use my granny and mum's recipes for dumpling, cranachan and tablet. I make my own steak pie at New Year, and *shock* even decorate my homemade puff pastry with a thistle. I like drinking Barr's Limeade and Cream Soda. My dad goes mental for Lorne sausage and bridies from the butchers in Lockerbie that he and mum have been stopping at on their way back to England for thirty years.

If someone tells me they enjoy food from Scotland, I think that's brilliant. I've introduced Mr M to a tonne of it, and there's not been a single thing yet he hasn't loved. When a friend visited from Finland, while everyone else was introducing her to English food, I introduced her to Scottish food. Yes, including haggis. Which she loved.

So Waylander, I'm really glad you enjoyed those dishes. I hope you'll eat them again, and perhaps make them at home. Cranachan in particular is very easy to make. You can even make the constituent ingredients into honey and whisky ice cream with crunchy oatmeal and raspberries, which is lush. There is a lot of terrific produce and food in Scotland. It's brilliant that, along with the rest of traditional British cuisine, its reputation is being revived around the world.

Of course, since I don't actually live in Scotland, my opinion doesn't count.
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Old 15-01-2014, 09:25 AM
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Default Re: Just come back from Scotland....

I tend to eat Haggis the traditional way, from an Italian chippy with a glass of Irn Bru in ice cubes.
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Old 15-01-2014, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: Just come back from Scotland....

Haggis is one of the foods I do miss as a veggie as no one has ever invented a good substitute version (the other being black pudding). You do get the vegetarian haggis but it only bears a passing similarity.

Random Scottish food story: I first went to Scotland at the age of 9 and we stayed in a B&B. I was having some porridge for breakfast which was very thick (and I think made with water), so I made the foolish mistake of asking for some sugar. The owner glowered over me and said in a broad Scottish accent:
"You cannae have sugar in your porridge!"
Suffice to say I never asked for sugar again in Scotland
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