What is Haggis?
Scottish legend has it that a Haggis is a small, furry creature which has shorter legs on one side of its body than the other. It has adapted this stature so that it can stand on the hills and cliffs of the Scottish Highlands to graze without falling off. Given the rarity of sightings of wild haggis does give way to the idea that there is some truth to the story as haggis is such a popular dish in bonnie Scotland.
If you find yourself a wee bit sheepish about this fare, you may want to step out of your comfort zone and taste a proper haggis which is prepared as a type of sausage, or savory dish cooked in a casing, as most sausages are.
As described in an article in LaRousse Gastronomique; "Although its description is not immediately appealing, haggis has an excellent nutty texture and delicious savory flavor."
Haggis is made up of what is commonly referred to as the minced "sweet meats" or "pluck" (heart, liver and lungs) of a sheep. This is mixed with onion, oatmeal, suet, salt and spices then encased and simmered for about 3 hours and is traditionally served up with "neeps and tatties" (cooked turnip and potatoes) and a wee "dram" (of Scotch Whisky).
According to Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods fame, Haggis was "born of necessity, as a way to utilize the least expensive cuts of meat and the innards as well".
In Scotland and around the world, the Haggis is a celebrated dish that has been memorialized by Scotland's National Poet, Robert Burns in his famous poem Address to a Haggis penned in 1787.
During our annual Burns Supper celebrations each January, a haggis is led in by a piper and paid homage to before devoured by fans.
So, if you've got the GUTS...we've got the Haggis you've been hungry for!
The Lesser Spotted Highland Haggis
The Savory Haggis