The Travel Channel came to town last year to eat and make haggis and participate in Celtic Classic’s Highland games, and you can see what happened at 9 Tuesday night on an episode of the new show “Edge of America.”
Star Geoff Edgers, crew in tow, joined in the annual Haggis Eating Contest at the 2012 Celtic Classic festival in Bethlehem and learned how haggis is made from chef Alex Moccia of the Braveheart Highland Pub in Hellertown. He also tossed a caber and threw a hammer aside the athletes.
Among those appearing in the episode are Donegal Square owner Neville Gardner, who brings out the haggis for the contest; Braveheart Highland Pub owner Andy Lee, who talks about Scottish traditions, Celtic Classic althletic director Steve Pulcinella and Celtic Classic Executive Director Jayne Recker.
Braveheart Pub will hold a viewing party on Tuesday night.
“Edge of America” features Edgers, an arts and entertainment reporter from Boston, traveling the country to celebrate “the weird and wonderful varieties of entertainment that have developed about regionally unique and historic activities.”
The first episodes, on Jan. 22, featured the annual Calf Fry Festival in Stillwater, Okla., where they eat the testicles of recently castrated calves, and the World Championship Pig-N-Ford Races in Oregon, where men race around a dirt track in 100-year-old Model T’s while holding onto live pigs.
The show traveled to Pennsylania for Tuesday’s half-hour episode, during which Edgers also participated in the Zombie Olympics in Pittsburgh and a Demolition Derby at Mountain Springs Arena near Hamburg.
The show came to Bethlehem at the urging of freelance producer Chris Mirigliani, a 2006 DeSales University graduate who is a fan of Celtic Classic. He was working for Magilla Entertainment, which produced the show for Travel Channel.
“Pennsylvania may be known for the Dutch, but in historic Bethlehem there’s another group of settlers who celebrate in a much bigger way,” Edgers said to introduce the segment.
The crew was at Celtic Classic for two days, said Recker, who gets a lot of air time to talk about about the popularity of the largest Celtic festival in North America.
Edgers did a respectable job in the Highland Games, but gagged his way through the haggis competition, where contestants are challenged to eat a pound of the dish in less than a minute.
Recker said she suggested the show visit Braveheart, located since 2006 on Main Street in Hellertown, to learn how haggis is made.
Haggis is a Scottish dish consisting of the minced heart, lungs, and liver of a sheep or calf mixed with suet, onions, oatmeal and seasonings, then stuffed into a casing of the animal’s stomach.
Lee is not a fan, but many are, and Braveheart serves it up about four times a year for special occassions, including its annual celebration of Scottish poet Robert Burns, held last weekend.
Moccia took Edgers step by step through the cooking process in the restaurant’s kitchen.
Lee said it’s the first time his restaurant has been on national TV.
“Any recognition is great for us and for us to be on national television is great,” he said. “Everybody’s quote was, ‘I feel like I’m in a pub in Scotland.’ ”Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times