I’m a busy man and a busy man needs unbusy food. Storries Home Bakery on Leith Walk in Edinburgh delivers early morning stodge. It’s unglamorous Scottish street snack food at its most unglamorous. Storries serves food that functions to fill. Food that forgets to wipe its boots, burps loudly and leaves the toilet seat up. It’s the absolute antithesis of anything I find on the streets of my regular stomping ground, Saigon. Unhealthy, artery unfriendly and exactly what I need after an Asian health kick.
The stylish shop front sign says it all. And I want it all. First up is an 80p sliced sausage roll.
Sliced sausage is a Scottish phenomenon, rarely seen south of the barbed wire, landmines and broken glass of Hadrian’s Wall. It sits snug inside a Scottish roll, which are way better than English rolls, I don’t know why, they just are. Add a wipe of butter and a messy sploge of brown sauce and you’re set. It tastes like it looks; not great, but not bad. I’ve had this stuff running in my veins since I was a nipper. I have an inbuilt disposition for crap. I am a fan.
Next stop. A 60p Black pudding roll. Spicy, slightly crunchy and earthmungussly satisfying. Like the sliced sausage, we have the butter and sauce combo. Scottish black pudding is also better than English black pudding. That’s not to say English blood is less tasty. But Scots has more guts, which is a good thing in the offal world.
Deviating from the shop front menu I hit on a 90p sausage roll on day three. Big mistake. I forget to stick it in the shop microwave for a minute and I’m left with cold cardboard and pigs innards to nibble on as the bus trundles up to Princes Street.
I make ammends with a 60p haggis roll. It’s crunchy in a "I hope that’s oats, not cow bones and a nasty dose of bovine spongiform encephalopathy I’m tucking into" kinda way. I love haggis. When you catch a good one, there’s nothing better. But even an average, lowland haggis with little fight in it, is a decent find between bread and smear-of-sauce. Next week: something else unhealthy. Great to be back in the UK. Culture. At last.