This month I had a chance to visit Scotland with a few friends who hadn’t been to Scotland before. Therefore, it seemed only fitting that I introduced them to some Scottish foods. Now I don’t claim to be an expert about Scottish food and the two things that I introduced my friends to are probably not the best representation of Scottish food either. But since they’re pretty interesting and unique, I think they’re worth trying for anyone visiting Scotland for the first time.
As we were going to be traveling in the Highlands most of our trip, we only had a few hours in Edinburgh. That meant we didn’t get to enjoy much of its food scene, but I managed to squeeze in these two foods, which I tried when I first visited Edinburgh years ago, for my friends. One of these two foods was a dessert, while the other is a savory dish.
Without further ado, let’s get down to the first item.
1. Deep Fried Mars Bar with Ice-Cream
Doesn’t the name of this sweet just give it away? If you like chocolate, then you’ll already be familiar with Mars bars. As if the Mars bars weren’t evil enough on their own ?, in Scotland, they coat them in a batter and deep fry them! I’d never known Scotland had something like this until I chatted to an English friend about my upcoming trip then. I remember telling him I was gonna travel to Scotland soon, and he suggested I try the deep fried Mars bar. I was like, WHAAAT? Is that even a thing?
But I tried it…
The deep fried Mars bar in the picture above is from the ClamShell on the Royal Mile. With a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, it’s sold at £4.99 (you can get it for cheaper without the ice-cream). The sweet is served warm with the caramel and nougat melting. The batter is okay, nothing special but when combined with the chocolate bar it’s just really sweet. Their ice-cream is good, though – better than the Mars bar itself. ? To me, this sweet is one of those things that you just try for the sake of trying. If it hadn’t been for my friends who were visiting Scotland for the first time, I wouldn’t have eaten this again.
Note that if you want to try this, you might want to do some research in advance because it’s not something you’ll find everywhere. In fact, I only saw a few places with a sign saying they had them both times I was in Edinburgh. The ClamShell was the place I went to try this sweet the first time so I took my friends there.
Now, on to the savory dish. Apologies for the blurry pic – apparently, someone was very hungry. 😛
So Haggis was recommended to me by a Scottish guide during my first time in Scotland. When he explained what it was made of, it just didn’t sound all too pleasant to me. In case you’re wondering, it’s primarily made of sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs. If you’re a big fan of organ meats, you’ll have no problem with it. I personally eat very few types so at first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try it. Anyway, the guide went, But it’s really good. You should REALLY try it. It’s real Scottish food. Obviously he managed to convince me. In the end I was like, fine, I’ll try it.
When I first had Haggis, I bought it from a take-away shop and it came in a pile with chips, not in one piece and deep fried in a batter (again!) like the one you see in the picture above. Much to my surprise, it was actually pretty good, and it didn’t have any weird smells I was expecting. I thought to myself, wow, this is something I can definitely eat again. I highly recommend this dish. It’s worth trying. However, only one of my friends liked it! But that doesn’t mean you won’t like it, though. You just have to try and see for yourself. 🙂
For those of you planning to visit Scotland soon, I hope you find this post useful. If you actually end up trying these two Scottish foods, let me know what you think about them!
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