- baked potatoes are a really popular street food.
- a lot of people roll their own cigarettes (possibly just because it is substantially cheaper – the taxes on tobacco here are higher than in the US).
- people say “sorry” instead of “excuse me” when they bump into you or squeeze by you on the street or the bus or the stairs.
- “girly” drinks are
as popular asmore popular than they are in the US. i mean, we have smirnoff ice and apple pucker and all that, and they hold their own, but here they have entire other worlds of malt liquor variants, and there are quite a few drinks that involve mixing them together, and these seem to be more widely popular than they are in the states. i don’t really know why this surprises me, but i think it’s because i have this picture of hard drinking old men knocking back pints of heavy ale in dark rooms, and so it is kind of funny to me to see a lot of young people drinking bottles of fruity technicolor and dancing to gold digger. but i’m getting over it. and it’s not like the old men and beer aren’t here, too.
- egg salad is called “egg mayo” and is Everywhere, but it doesn’t have any salt in it.
- haggis is not really very gross, and is more of a genre than a specific food item. it was always described to me as something of a sausage that gushes blood when you cut it open, which sounded rather dramatic. but really, it’s just meat scraps mixed with oatmeal to make it go farther, making it rather similar to scrapple, a traditional food in pennsylvania dutch country that is basically pork scraps mixed with cornmeal mush and baked or fried. the differences (as the rather extensive wikipedia entry points out) are that haggis is made from sheep bits rather than pig bits, and that haggis is traditionally boiled in a sheep stomach, which makes for the sausage-style imagery that stuck in my mind so fiercely. most of the time, though, it’s not served in the stomach. it is taken out and prepared in a variety of ways – in a pile with
turnips and potatoesneeps and tatties, as a baked potato topping, battered and fried, or, at more high-end restaurants, as a filling for spring rolls or phyllo pastry:
there is also a fair bit of vegetarian haggis, which i laughed at a year or so back when i saw it on the menu in a pub in indianapolis, but there ya go…
and specific to scotland:
i Have noticed things that aren’t about food, but i can’t seem to remember them right now :)
this should be a recurring column anyway.