Sunday, April 6, 2008

Blondie and Brownie World Tour: Stop #1, Scotland

As some of you know, this past week was Tartan Week in New York. That gave Blondie a reason to say "if it ain't Scottish, it's crap." while Brownie was on the look out for hairy coos. There was "gateway haggis" and real haggis, odd egg and pork items, men in kilts, and due to this man, Blondie is a bonafide Giants fan...

On Friday night, Brownie, Blondie, and Lawman met up at the pre-parade party at The New York Caledonian Club specifically for Blondie to receive the entire haggis performance.

Unfortunately Brownie's camera chose during the ceremonial presentation of the haggis to run out of batteries so we have no photos of the haggis being carried in on a silver platter to the strains of pipers piping. Here's the haggis post ceremony in it's almost final resting place with next to a vase filled with heather. Next year, there will be platter pics!

After the haggis ceremony Brownie made her way to the table to load up a couple plates with Scottish goodies.

(Counter clockwise from top: ham and cheddar sandwiches,
mushy peas, Scotch pie, Bridie, Sausage Roll, Shepherd's pie)

(Left to right: Turnip mash, haggis, mashed potatoes)
Now Brownie and Lawman have been to Scotland. Lawman ate a lot of haggis. He knows his haggis. Blondie, like most Americans, has been terrified of haggis, but she went for it.

The verdict? Lawman was not down with this haggis. It was a bit too liver-rich. Tasted more like chopped live spread than a true meaty haggis.

The various pasties were ok. Not too bad. The best Bridie Brownie and Lawman have ever had came from a small bakery off the main square in Portree on the Isle of Skye and that set a very high bar for excellence in pasty-dom, Mmm. Cheddar Leek Bridie. Sigh...

class="fullpost">If the haggis wasn't spectacular at least there were plenty of Walkers shortbread cookies to go around and Brownie forced Blondie to try Irn Bru, the other National Drink of Scotland.

The verdict? Blondie loved it every melted lollipop/bubblegum/pezlicious drop. Brownie--not so much. Even the diet version was way to cloying. Sadly, she could not recapture the delight she took in the beverage as a pre-teen lass.

The real Tartan Week culinary winner were the free samples from the Haggis Cart that set up on 51st and Broadway.

1) They were free.

2) They were enrobed in puff pastry...ask Zach from Midtown lunch said, "You wrap anything in puff pastry and it’s going to be freaking good."

3) Super friendly halal cart guy who offered us extra samples and white sauce/hot sauce for our haggis. Haggis with white sauce/hot sauce from a halal cart. Only in NYC, kids!

Ok, we agree with Zach that it wasn't the most authentic haggis, but it was tasty. It had a better balance of various organ meat than the haggis from the night before and more of a chewy, oat-y texture. We'll continue our search for truly authentic haggis and we may have a good influential member of the NY Caledonian Society has promised to share the best haggis recipe ever. When we hear more, you'll know more...

For more Tartan Week photos check out: A Taste of Scotland.


Casa Costello said...

Thanks for the tour of Scotland! I can highly recommend Irn Bru as the best hangover cure ever!

talida said...

Hi Brownie! How fitting, my alma mater's mascot used to be the tartan. Nice to virtually meet you, and I'll be keeping up with your blog.