If you’re a veritable gastronome and you’re visiting the UK, there are plenty of delicacies you should try. But there are also some slightly disgusting – yet very traditional foods – which you may not be so crazy about. Unless, of course, you’re also a brave spirit who’s unafraid of what ingredients may lurk within a seemingly ordinary dish.
For those who are a bit more cautious regarding the foods they’ll dare to sample, this article will provide a useful reference. With so many culinary particularities that over-rely on animal innards or glorify somewhat absurd gourmet treats, you will be wise to ask beforehand about the ingredients in any dishes you’re not familiar with. Let’s see some typical examples:
This is a dish you may have already heard of, and while the description sounds horrifying, the actual flavor and texture is actually quite interesting – according to those who dare try it after learning about the ingredients. Simply put, Haggis is a traditional sheep-based dish from Scotland; it combines the animal’s seasoned heart, lungs and liver, and has them stuffed and simmered in its stomach for good measure. A genuine feast of the organs, wouldn’t you agree?
If you were hoping this would be some kind of sweet dessert, you’re in for a surprise! Not only is black pudding decisively salty-peppered, but its main ingredient is congealed pig’s blood – mixed with cereals and lard for extra nutritional value and flavor. This delicacy from ancient times is often served sliced and fried as part of a “traditional” English breakfast, so make sure you are mindful of such before you go ahead asking for one.
For some people, the most appetizing part of a bovine is the loin steak; for others, there are some unconventional parts which are regarded as premium edibles. Such as the ox’s tongue, which is agreed by many as being the top delicacy the bovines have to offer. Usually seasoned with onion and boiled in hot water or roasted, beef tongue makes for a very simple and allegedly delicious dish.
Do you enjoy eating pork? You can’t say you’re really a fan until you’ve tried (and relished on) this particular delicacy which is most common in Ireland. As suggested by the name, these are indeed boiled pig’s feet, which are served with all kinds of side dishes or sometimes eaten plain and by hand, as a somewhat unsettling snack.
If you really are a fan of pork (down to the trotters), then you might as well try this other peculiar snack. Also known as pork cracklings, these are made by frying little pieces of pork rind until they’re all shriveled and inoffensive-looking. A real feast of fat and salt, if you feel like having one!
If you’ve read through the bizarre course selection in this article, at this point you’re probably prepared for the worse. In that case, rest assured: despite its peculiar name, this dessert is actually a harmless steamed pudding mixed with dried fruits (for the spots). It’s actually very enjoyable, and contains no ingredients that might be regarded as questionable in nature.
There’s nothing necessarily disgusting about eels, now is there? Well… that would arguably depend on the chosen preparation method; when it comes to this typical British dish, the slender fishes are cut into pieces and boiled in flavored water for a while, then allowed to cool until a jelly-bound mixture develops. Often, it’s eaten outright cold to enhance the gelatinous eelness of it.
Love in Disguise
When you see this item in a restaurant, you may assume it’s a specialty most suitable for romantic dinners. Truth of the matter is, that will depend on whether you (and your other half) are inclined to eat a baked calf heart wrapped in bacon and/or forcemeat (pureed pork meat and fatty). Charming, is it not? And delicious too, according to the experts!