It’s all food to me

Loren Eaton, at I Saw Lightning Fall, has a great piece today on the importance of reading widely. I concur. I don’t actually do it much, mind you, but I concur.

Speaking of what we wordsmiths like to call omnivorosity, I ate haggis for the first time in my life this past weekend, down in Elk Horn.

Sort of.

If you saw the pictures I posted last night, you may have noticed that there were wedge-shaped tents at the left side of the picture, and circular, pavilion-type tents on the right side.

The tents on the left were proper Viking tents, patterned after specimens found by archaeologists in ship burials.

The pavilions to the right were anachronistic, later medieval things which didn’t properly belong in a Viking camp. They belonged to Renaissance Faire people, whom good Viking reenactors generally look upon with disdain.

But we didn’t disdain these RF people, because they were our source of food.

Cook tent

And no, we didn’t eat them. They were cooks and bakers, and they provided meals of a (more or less) authentic nature. For instance, there were no potatoes, but we did have marinated turnips. Whole grain breads, and porridges and stews. That sort of thing.

The last day I was there, the cook (who dressed in a Scottish kilt, also anachronistic—even in Braveheart), made haggis.

I was curious, and took a fair portion.

Haggis (I’ll spare you a Wikipedia search) is a traditional Scottish treat made of organ meats from a sheep, mixed with oatmeal and stuffed in a sheep’s stomach, like a sausage.

It tasted to me like a kind of liverwurst porridge. I’ve eaten tastier things, but it wasn’t awful.

However, what we had wasn’t “proper” haggis. The cook hadn’t been able to procure any sheep parts at all, so he’d had to substitute a portion of a cow’s stomach, along with pork heart and liver.

My friend Ragnar, who’s had haggis before, said the real stuff tastes slightly different, though he liked this well enough.

So I’ll have to have a proper haggis someday, to see what it’s really like.

Or maybe not.

9 thoughts on “It’s all food to me”

  1. I’ve heard haggis can be pretty rough from the hands of some cooks. Course, you’re probably familiar with things just as bad from the Norse menu.

  2. Actually, I think I read somewhere that food historians now think that haggis originally came to Scotland with the Vikings.

    Another vile ethnic slander, I’m sure.

  3. You, sir, are a brave man. I didn’t touch haggis when I was in Edinburgh a few years ago. Nor the deep-fried pizza or Mars bars. Come to think of it, I’m not sure how I maintained adequate nutrition during that visit.

  4. I didn’t know it was mostly oatmeal. That doesn’t put a different spin on it.

    I read recently that a festival somewhere had deep-fried Oreos. I can’t remember where. I’d go to kettle corn over that anyday, and I love Oreos.

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