posted Mon, 25 Sep 2006
I don’t care about all the wonderful things the Scots and their American progeny have done for the world – Andrew Carnegie and public libraries, Alexander Graham Bell and the telephone, Macadam and paved roads, James Watt and the steam engine, whiskey, bagpipes (well, I like ‘em), all the political stuff the American Scots did in the US (how many presidents and generals have been Scottish? Bunches, I know).
It’s all undone by haggis.
Surely haggis is among the nastiest of all foods known to human beings.
Perhaps if I were starving to death, it might taste good.
But I’d have to be really, really hungry.
For those who don’t know, haggis is “normally made with the following ingredients: sheep's 'pluck' (heart, liver, and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally boiled in the animal's stomach for approximately an hour.” (Wikipedia)
I had my opportunity to try haggis yesterday at the post-service dinner at Evergreen Presbyterian. SH and I went to the Kirking of the Tartans, the church service where they have bagpipes and present the tartans and talk about how great the Scots are. No Scottish Wall of Fame, though, although that would have been fun: Jackie Stewart, Rod Stewart and the Bay City Rollers.
Let me tell you. Bagpipes can be really loud inside a church. But they distracted the Presbyterians from the fact that they had a Papist in their midst. I was almost given away when I tried to stand for the Lord’s Prayer. They do things differently in the Scottish Kirk.
After church, the church ladies had prepared this massive spread – bait, I suppose, to get us non-Prezzies to make the switch. I’ll say this – Presbyterian ladies can cook. They almost had me convinced. There were about 30 dishes on the line SH and I chose. We saw a plate of what looked like sausage. SH grabbed one. I, however, being a sausage snob, decided to save myself for the broccoli-rice casserole, ambrosia and macaroni and cheese that I saw further down.
A kid asked what it was. The lady next to me said, “Some kind of sausage. Maybe blood sausage.”
“Gross!” the kid said.
“Don’t take any,” I advised. “You won’t like it. Leave it for those of us who can really appreciate it.” I paused and the woman next to me gave an “Um-hm” of agreement. I looked at the other offerings. “Don’t take any of this potato casserole, either. Your palate isn’t refined enough. And don’t touch the asparagus. Or the brownies! Don’t eat the brownies!”
The woman next to me laughed. “We’re evil!”
“You know it, sister. More for us. More for us.”
Turns out the “blood sausage” was haggis.
I took a tiny piece. How bad could it be? It looked like sausage and although not all sausage can be great like my uncle’s, maybe it can be mediocre.
Sausage can be worse than mediocre. When it’s haggis, it can be negative bad. It can be want to spit it out right away bad.
It tastes like ground-up chicken livers (which I like) that have been steeped in urine. This is nasty, nasty stuff, people. Heed my words. Do Not Eat Haggis. Not even for the bragging rights. Remember, “offal” = “awful.” Don’t say I didn’t warn you.