I am what you could call an unfussy eater - I once even carried on eating those wormy Italian cherries, because I figured, oh well the little worms only ate cherry. The other day, though, I saw "Creamed Haggis" on a restaurant menu and thought -rather you than me.
Haggis is more than a dish- it's a right of passage. "Oh, in Scotland... have you had haggis then?" people ask automatically.
But before we go on, let's see what it actually involves, this is an original Scottish recipe:
1 sheep's stomach, cleaned and scalded, soaked overnight, turned inside out
heart and lungs of 1 lamb
450g beef or lamb trimmings, fat and lean
2 onions, chopped
1 tbsp salt & ground black pepper
1tsp ground dried coriander
water, enough to cook the haggis
stock from lung and trimmings
Well, what do you think?
Recently, the Lonely Planet Guide called haggis an extreme food together with other
revolting national dishes like worms and tarantula. (quote)
Since I 've lived here, my impression is that very few people actually enjoy haggis. It is much more about 'Are you man enough to try something that most people would find off-putting? Have you got what it takes to be one of us? Or are you the eternal tourist? A weakling, a softie who isn't up to the rough but ever so endearing ways of us here.'
A simple dish has been turned into an ideological milestone - a taboo, that you need to break in order to be accepted.
I think food should be enjoyable. If you like haggis, fine -no problem. If you don't, also fine - but don't turn it into a character judgment!
Have you tried it? Would you?