Eating guga is an experience that can produce a lump in the throat, tears in the eyes. Tears of nostalgia, to those for whom it is part of a cultural identity - for others, simply a response to the urge to regurgitate.
The guga is a fishy-tasting seabird, highly prized in its own area for its unique taste. Yet to others living a mere 20 miles away, it is incredible that something so foul can even be taken into the mouth, let alone enjoyed.
The guga, however, is unique to the Isle of Lewis. When exiles meet in far-flung places, the talk soon turns to guga and memories of sharing this . . . delicacy. As the ache of nostalgia creeps in, soon they long to plunge knife and fork into this plump seabird, a 3lb baby gannet. And so it is that barrels of guga, salted down in the summer, wend their way across the world to destinations as far away as New Zealand to bring a taste of home (the sweaty, fishy, oily taste of the scuppers of a fishing smack).
Category: Food | Regionalism | Foreign Customs | Europe | Natural Resources