The Full Scottish

The Full Scottish:  Our first
night in Oban was delightful.  Once we got our (carry-on) luggage in our room,
we roamed the streets and walked the waterfront; even though it was after 9:00
p.m. it felt good to stretch, to walk, to take cleansing breaths, to take in all
the sights in this charming tourist town.  In the morning we arrived in the
dining room for breakfast, the only guests.  There was cold cereal, juice,
yogurt and toast, and the ubiquitous pot of steaming tea.  This seemed more like
the Continental breakfasts at Super 8 than the famous full breakfasts I’d read
about.  No problem.  I ate toast (they cool the toast vertically on racks, ‘cuz
they like it crunchy cold) and Curt had a large bowl of cereal.  In walks Moyra
with hot plates (heating the plates before serving food on them is common here) full of food. 
 
Hello the Full Scottish Breakfast!  An egg, two pieces of bacon (more like Canadian bacon) and two
sausages (something is different about them but we haven’t figured out what
yet), a small tomato cut in half and broiled and a mystery food.  Now we’re
talking Curt’s language.  He started chowing down!  The mystery food was black,
round, the texture of bread and the size of a rice cake.  There were
little specks of white in it.  At first glance I thought of Bilbo’s seed cakes. 
I was raised in the “Eat What Is Set Before You” school so I took a nibble.  It
had a dough flavor and a meat flavor, approximately like the combination of
pancakes fried in bacon grease.  It didn’t taste bad, just different.  I ate it
all.

 
After dinner that night on Iona, we were talking
about the mystery food.  The black color stumped me, because it had no smell or
flavor of molasses, the most common explanation for black breadish food I know. 
Our waitress was lovely and I decided to ask if she would know what it was. 
“You mean black pudding?”  Pudding?  There was nothing gelatinous about this
food. It was distinctly bready.  What’s in it?  I couldn’t identify the
flavors.
  “Yes, well, it has oats in it and blood.”  Blood?  Blood? 
(gagging reflex working overtime) Where do you buy blood for
cooking?
  “I’m from New Zealand, but those guys over there are from
Scotland. Let’s ask them.”   The young Scot grinned and confirmed her
declaration.  “It’s oats mixed with blood.”   
 
My fillet (pronounced FILL-it) of cod was knocking
on my throat.  In the interest of hygiene and personal dignity, I knew I should
cut this conversation short.  But I was intrigued.  Where
does the blood come from?
  “Oh, people don’t make Black
Pudding at home. They buy it pre-made, like the sausage.”  He went on to say
that the blood came from cows or sheep, that he loved Black Pudding –it tastes
great! –, that it probably originated from the days of poverty when people used
every edible part of the animal possible when it was slaughtered. “Now we eat it
because we like it.”  As we walked up the lane to our B & B on Iona, I
wondered how I would deal with Black Pudding the next day.  I decided it was
good missionary training to eat something gross, even when I knew how
gross it was.  I was going to be brave. Brave, as in Scotland the Brave.
Hallelujah!!  Our dear Annabelle served the same exact Full Scottish Breakfast
except there was a different mystery food in place of Black Pudding.  It was
light and square: I’m guessing a bannock cake.

It’s past midnight and we want to get to church in Edinburgh tomorrow.  I don’t have time for Iona but it was incredible.  I’m not sure I can take this much wonder: Iona on Saturday and St. Giles on Sunday.  I’ll try to check in with you on Monday.

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7 thoughts on “The Full Scottish

  1. Oh, Carol, how wonderful it all sounds.  Even black pudding!  Terry once dated a girl from the Philippines and attended a family wedding with her.  There were plates on the tables of an odd-looking, gelatinous substance. Everyone was dipping bread into it.  It was pig’s blood.  Yuk!  Did your luggage arrive yet? Enjoy, my friend, enjoy! I can’t wait to hear all about it.Blessings,Sandy

  2. Oh, you’re more brave than I am! I would not eat the black pudding – or anything I couldn’t identify, I don’t think. I hope your luggage has arrived – or will quickly. Can’t wait to hear about church in Edinburgh.
    Carrie

  3. No jet lag? And what are you doing for clothes?Yes, you and I were raised the same, GMT, all right! I don’t know if I could have eaten the whole thing, though. Wow! What did Curt say about it?This will sound silly, but even though we’re far apart all year, somehow I miss you more, knowing you’re in Scotland. I know, dumb. But there it is. Wishing you great desserts after black pudding!

  4. Right about now you are probably at St Giles so just remember we are praying for you. I have to say I would rather have meatloaf and hamburgers then , um…black pudding.

  5. Praises for your safe arrival! Isn’t it WONDERFUL!!!!!
    Watch that white mystery food, it may be white pudding, think blood pudding only with out the blood, just the lard. Have a real scone with some clotted cream and strawberry jam for me! That’s worth the price of a ticket all by it’s self! And the Chranachan, oh! Yum! And the heather honey! I may need to book a trip now! LOL
    Did you get canned (sorry, tinned) baked beans and mushrooms with your full scottish? That was really weird! And the Wheat -a- bix, it’s best used for pigeon food!
    I can’t wait to read more about your trip, I know you will enjoy Edinburgh, it’s crammed full of history and beautiful sights.

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