Experiencing Scottish Cuisine

HaggisBlood Sasage-IMG_1470Continuing with my feeling that eating the foods the locals eat helps one experience the region, I have tried, on more than one occasion, both blood sausage and Scottish haggis.  Is there any other kind?  The haggis is traditionally made by the butcher in town who closely guards all his special ingredients and cooking methods.  What is common in all haggis is it mostly consists of a sheep’s innards, the heart, liver, lungs, esophagus and other various parts.  You are supposed to put a bowl under the esophagus while cooking to catch the drippings as it usually hangs out of the cooking pot, not completely fitting inside.  This mixture is boiled for numerous hours whilst you are soaking the cleaned and rinsed sheep’s stomach in cold water for up to ten hours.  The boiled innards are then sewn inside the stomach with some oatmeal added to absorb the liquid.  All this is then cooked for three more hours.  Don’t forget to poke a few holes in the stomach to let air out when cooking.  Traditionally it is served with neaps and tatties, or blended turnips and mashed potatoes.

The blood sausage contains four cups of pig’s blood per normal recipe size recipe.  It is generally a breakfast item, served with eggs.  Cheers!

Eating our way across the South.

Boiled CrayfishCrayfish EtouffeeExperiencing the food of a region one is visiting is a very important part of the overall travel experience for me.  When traveling, well known chain restaurants have always been off of the list.  In my opinion, if one wishes to eat the same meat and potatoes or fast food eaten when at home, stay home!   Soooo, at each town we visit in the South, we are eating that which the area is well known for, including sampling the local beers.  BBQ in Texas, hush puppies, black-eyed peas, collard and turnip greens in Vicksburg, Mississippi.  Boiled crayfish and oyster po-boy sandwich in Biloxi.  Fresh grouper and raw oysters in the Gulf of Mexico, crayfish etouffee in Breaux Bridges, Louisiana.  While my wife is less adventuresome than me, she is eating food one cannot easily get in the southwest and chain restaurants.  This etouffee pictured was more fussy than the standard, but still good.

The photos were taken with an IPhone.

New Mexico Red or Green Chile

Green Chile StewPasoleIt is said the major question in New Mexico is “… red or green?”  This is in reference to your chile preference.  There are plenty of articles discussing this question.  To avoid this critical decision, one can order their chile ‘Christmas’ which is half and half.  There are two New Mexican dishes one can order and avoid the question, green chile stew (never red) and posole which is always made with red in the restaurants.   Please note I am aware these are not fine art photographs and may have been taken after a couple beers, but I think you get the idea.  There is, in my opinion, a large difference between southern New Mexico and northern New Mexico food.   We think it is easier to find good New Mexican food in northern New Mexico like Santa Fe and Taos area.  The important concept to grasp is to eat where and what the locals eat.  Stay away from the chains when traveling and experiment with the food with an open mind.