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PIcture of a Scottish Haggis

Scotland's Haggis

What in the World is Haggis?

So, you've heard about this thing called Haggis, and you're probably wondering what on earth it is. Well, let me enlighten you. Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish that is as quirky as it sounds. It's made from the heart, liver, and lungs of a sheep (don't worry, they're cooked), mixed with onions, oatmeal, suet, spices, and some secret Scottish magic. The mixture is then stuffed into a sheep's stomach (yes, you read that right) and boiled to perfection. Sounds appetising, doesn't it?

Why is Haggis Scotland's National Dish?

Now, you might be wondering why on earth Haggis is Scotland's national dish. Haggis symbolises the spirit and resilience of the Scottish people. It's a dish that represents their history and their traditions. Plus, it's delicious (if you can get past the whole sheep's stomach thing).

For the Scottish people, Haggis is more than just a meal; it's a symbol of national pride and heritage. It represents the resilience and resourcefulness of the Scottish people, who historically used every part of the animal to create nourishing and delicious dishes.

The Taste of Haggis

So, what does Haggis actually taste like? It's a unique flavour that is rich, savoury, and slightly gamey, with a hint of spices and the comforting taste of oats. Some say it's an acquired taste, but once you try it, you'll understand why the Scots love it so much. It's like a warm hug from the Highlands.

What to Eat with Haggis?

Now that you know all about Haggis, you're probably wondering what you should eat with it. Well, my friend, the Scots have got you covered. Traditionally, Haggis is served with ‘neeps’ and ‘tatties’, which are mashed turnips and potatoes, respectively. The combination of the rich, savoury Haggis with the creamy, buttery neeps and tatties is simply divine. It's a match made in Scottish heaven!

And if you're feeling adventurous, you can even try a "Haggis supper" – Haggis served with chips (fries) and accompanied by a generous drizzle of vinegar. It's a guilty pleasure that will leave you craving for more!

"Address to A Haggis" – A Poetic Tribute

In 1787, the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns immortalised Haggis in his poem "Address to A Haggis." This poem is recited at traditional Scottish gatherings, known as Burns Suppers, which take place on January 25th to celebrate the poet's birthday.

Picture this: a bagpiper leads a procession, carrying the Haggis on a silver platter, while everyone stands in anticipation. As the poem is recited, the Haggis is ceremoniously sliced open, and the crowd erupts in applause and cheers. Having witnessed this personally, it is a sight to behold!

Address to A Haggis - Credit The 25 January 2019

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye worthy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.
His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!
Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
'Bethankit' hums.
Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect scunner,
Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!
But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.
Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis

Why is Our Sheep Leaving Town?

Now, you may be wondering why our friendly Pet Jetsetter sheep is leaving town since hearing about Haggis. Really, it’s quite simple. Our sheep has heard about the fate of her fellow woolly friends and has decided to make a run for it. Can you blame her? I mean, who wants to end up as the star ingredient in a Haggis? It's a tough life for a sheep in Scotland, let me tell you! To rescue her (and grab a cool TShirt) click here. 

Recipe for Traditional Scottish Haggis

And now, for those brave souls who want to try making Haggis at home, here's a traditional Scottish recipe:

  1. Ingredients:
    • 1 sheep's stomach (cleaned and thoroughly washed)
    • 1 sheep's heart
    • 1 sheep's liver
    • 1 sheep's lungs
    • 1 onion (finely chopped)
    • 200g oatmeal
    • 100g suet
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  2. Instructions:
    • Boil the heart, liver, and lungs in a large pot of water until cooked through. Remove from the pot and finely chop.
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped heart, liver, and lungs with the chopped onion, oatmeal, suet, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. Mix well.
    • Stuff the mixture into the sheep's stomach, leaving room for expansion. Sew up the stomach using a needle and thread.
    • Place the stuffed stomach in a large pot of boiling water. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 hours.
    • Remove the Haggis from the pot, slice open the stomach, and serve with ‘neeps’ and ‘tatties’.

And there you have it. A crash course in all things Haggis. Now, go forth and embrace this Scottish delicacy. Just remember, if you see our sheep running for the hills, you'll know why!

TOP IMAGE: April 3, 2023


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