Wanderlust Wednesdays: 12.23.2020
Scotland Day 3: Edinburgh Part II
What's Haggis, precious? What's Haggis?!
Just, do yourself a favor, and don't look it up. Like, seriously, do not do that to yourself. Some things are better left unknown - just understand that it is not Vegan/Vegetarian friendly, okay?
(On a separate side note, they do make vegetarian versions, which was great since Kayla, one of the intrepid travelers along for the ride, was/is a Vegetarian).
Back to the Haggis!
Nine times out of ten when out to eat in Scotland, there is Haggis on the menu. Sometimes it's listed by itself, but more often than not, it is listed as a dish called Haggis, Neeps, and Tatties.
Haggis = Haggis (again, do not look it up)
Neeps = Turnips
Tatties = Potatoes
We'll get to that dish in a while, not to worry.
Within our first 24 hours in Scotland, we had been offered unsolicited, and conflicting, pieces of advice regarding the dish. Some said to definitely try it, it's way tastier than it sounds; others warned us to avoid it like the very plague was upon our doorstep.
We had to try it. We were in Scotland - not to try Haggis in Scotland is like not having a pint of Guinness in Dublin, or escargot in France.
And so, as we huddled in The Last Drop Pub, bolstered by pints of lukewarm beer and cider, we took a leap of faith and ordered the side of Haggis, just to try it. We ordered both the regular and the vegetarian versions, as well as an order of the ever popular Bangers and Mash, and let me tell you...
Slightly herby in flavor, with the texture closest to ground beef (think like the most basic taco meat that you can have) we felt pretty good about our risky gamble.
With our first bites a roaring success, we would continue to order Haggis, venturing into the more detailed dish of Haggis, Neeps, and Tatties, throughout the rest of the trip as we road-tripped around the Highlands. Spoiler Alert: it was delicious every place we tried it from. And while I wouldn't consider us connoisseurs by any means given our limited sample, we tried enough over the course of ten days to feel confident enough to recommend Haggis to any other travelers who asked for our opinions.
After loitering for a few hours in the pub, having been joined at an adjacent table by a mother and son duo from Australia for a chat, we headed back to the hostel to snooze for a bit. Abbie had brought her ukulele and I will forever associate this trip with soothing melodies of a rather tropical uke, strumming gently along like a river pontoon on a summer day.
Later that night we started feeling peckish - not hungry enough for a full meal, but more of a snackage situation. On a whim, we decided to head to The Elephant House, a red facaded cafe and tea house known for it's cakes and it's history of being the main location of where the Harry Potter books were first written and typed out.
Apart from the Harry Potter memorabilia and collectibles that are occasionally displayed throughout the cafe, their focus really is on the coffees, teas, and cakes that have spent the last 25 years satisfying the caffeine addictions and sweet tooth of many a witch or wizard...or muggle...
But I digress.
After finishing our coffees and desserts, we headed back to the hostel - we needed to get some sleep since our day was starting early the next morning, what with our embarking on the next phase of our road-trip.
And yes, it did involve driving on the opposite side of the road.
And sheep...lots, and lots of sheep.
Until next week, Dear Readers. Let me know if you have any questions about the places we saw or the Haggis we ate. But I urge you - do NOT look it up.