Happy 4th of July everyone! Just to assure you of my patriotism, I’m going to a barbecue this evening at a fellow American’s house. That’ll be cool. In order to balance out the Americanism of this evening, last night my flatmate Darren made Haggis…in the microwave. It was good actually. Especially with mashed potatoes.
I have a very open mind (and mouth) when it comes to Scottish food. I even tried black pudding, which consists of pig’s blood thickened with barley. To make this culinary crime even more unappetizing, chip shops will shape it into a long roll and deep fry it until you can’t distinguish it from the wide array of other greasy items under the heat lamps. It was this version of black pudding that I sampled. It wasn’t that bad.
The strangest thing about Scottish food is not how weird and gross-sounding it is, it’s how gleeful the Scots are about its weird grossness. People are positively over-joyed to tell me how haggis is made, and uniformly dissapointed that I already know (if you don’t know yourself I won’t spoil their fun). It’s like Scotland is having a gross-out competition with the world–and winning.
Scotland is the only country in Europe where Coca-Cola is not the most popular soft drink. Irn-Bru takes the number one spot here, despite its garish orange color and cough syrup after-taste. The home brewed (bru-ed?) alternative always sells better here. Tennant’s Scottish Lager is in every pub and Tesco’s is filled with food items labeled with the St. Andrew’s cross to show it’s local.
These are only a few examples to demonstrate that the Scottish national character is obsessed with its own uniqueness. Well, it’s the fourth of July and I’m an American, darn it! I can be unique too! So pass the burgers and break out the firecrackers America, it’s time to celebrate.