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I just love the way that a location’s food is tied into the entire culture. There’s no better way to get a true sense of a place than to eat up! We were on a tight budget in Scotland, but we did manage to indulge in several delicious items. Of course there were the fish’n’chips!

And a traditional hog roast sandwich:

After days of walking, we refreshed ourselves with lots of fine Scottish ale. Pints and pints of it! Imperial pints, too, which are an entire 20 oz. A whole meal, right there in a glass. British/Scottish ales are drastically different from the Belgian ones we find in Amsterdam, so it was treat to try all of these.

But the most memorable thing we ate was haggis. You’ve heard of haggis, right? It’s usually the food that’s used to describe something a normal person would never eat, along the lines of monkey brain. The funny thing in Edinburgh, though, was that every restaurant offered it! It wasn’t some crazy specialty, it was actually a normal staple. It’s made with a sheep’s offal (heart, liver, lungs), minced with onions, oatmeal, spices, salt, and simmered in broth. (I had to look that up afterwards, because while we were there I refused to know!) It’s served with traditional ‘neeps and tatties,’ mashed turnips and potatoes.

The middle one is haggis, and the sides are ‘neeps and tatties.’

Jesse was brave enough to order haggis and I was brave enough to try a tiny bite. Then another. And another. And before I knew it, I was saying, “Hey, don’t eat all of it, I want another bite.”

Friends, it was good. Really tasty. Savory, perfectly seasoned with a pleasant texture, it was a delicious surprise. I could have eaten more! In fact, we did, when we went back later and ordered the haggis nachos! (Because when else in your life do you get to eat haggis nachos? Seriously.)

The things you learn traveling. What an eye-opening, tastebud-pleasing world it is!