The truth in the Haggis
I looked down on my plate full of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties. I was at a friend´s house in Edinburgh, who all looked at me with excitement. I started to tremble. I had gotten around eating the Scottish National dish by saying I was a vegetarian for the first and a half years of my stay in Edinburgh, Scotland, yet, once I had started to eat a little meat again, I ran out of excuses. I had to dive into the dread haggis.
Haggis consists of all parts of a sheep that could not be sold, mixed with herbs and oats, stuffed into the sheep’s stomach, and boiled for an hour (depending on the size of the Haggis). It is served with mashed turnips and potatoes – and sometimes whisky sauce.
“Once you’ve tried it you won’t get enough of it,” my flatmate said.I had my suspicions. Having just started to eat meat again after ten years of vegetarianism, did I really want to go ahead and dig in with intestines? I had tried a vegetarian version of Haggis before and it was anything but thrilling to me. Was that not enough of trying? Did I really have to eat the real thing? I took a deep breath and realized that haggis smelled like a German dish made with pork liver I had hated in my childhood. I held my nose.
I remembered a German saying, which translates as “who doesn´t try will never win”, took a deep breath and put a big spoon full in my mouth. My flatmate looked at me. “It doesn´t work if you just swallow”, he said with a smirk “you need to chew it and taste it in all its glory, otherwise you´ll never learn to love it, or anything else that is new in your life for that matter.” So I le myself go, had another bite, chewed it and tasted it, explored its texture with my tongue.
While I knew that this would never become my most favourite dish in the world, in that moment I was incredibly happy, because I knew he was right. Another German proverb says: “Love goes through the tummy”. You can only grow with an open heart.