Monday, 10 August 2009


A Haggis

On Saturday I blogged a post Never Stop Searching For Wonderland. Shabby Girl who writes the blog A Fish's Beach Wishes asked in a comment if I could tell her and hubby about Haggis. So here it is.

This posting has an understandability warning: Many readers may not be able to understand the language. This is not restricted to friends in the United States but also those from areas of the UK outside certain regions of Scotland.

Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish made from sheep's pluck' (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally boiled in the animal's stomach for approximately three hours. Despite the rather off-putting description haggis is actually delicious and, according to Larousse Gastronomique "Although its description is not immediately appealing, haggis has an excellent nutty texture and delicious savoury flavour".

Commercial haggis is usually prepared in a casing rather than an actual stomach. Vegetarian haggis is also widely available and is generally the one I buy.

Although the haggis is generally though by Scots to be originally Scottish there is no evidence for that although it is referred to in the poem by William Dunbar entitled The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy dated around 1520:
Thy fowll front had, and he that Bartilmo flaid;
The gallowis gaipis eftir thy graceles gruntill,
As thow wald for ane haggeis, hungry gled.
The haggis was also immortalised by Robert Burns' poem Address to a Haggis in 1787 which is traditionally recited at least in part at Burns Suppers where haggis is traditionally served with "neeps and tatties" (Scots: swede, yellow turnip or rutabaga and potatoes, boiled and mashed separately) and a "dram" (i.e. a glass of Scotch whisky) as the main course.

However it is also often eaten with other accompaniments, or served with a whisky-based sauce. I use the vegetarian version to stuff mushrooms as a start to dinner.


  1. Thank you for so thoroughly filling me in!!! I was trying to decide what was so off-putting about it, and I think I've decided, it's the inclusion of the lungs in there. Since I feed the birds commercial suet, that's a little hard for me too. But living with Hubby for so many years, I've learned to try a lot of strange things. Yeah, I'd give it a go!
    I love the term neeps and tatties, too!
    Waste not, want not, right!

  2. Oh thank goodness for vegetarian haggis.

  3. I much preferred my version about chasing wild haggis through the heathery hills...

    i have to admit that to my surprise vegetarian haggis are pretty good as well!

  4. Of course they are chased around the heathery hills. They even have two legs longer than the other two so that when they are running around the hill they don't fall over...........

  5. Och gi' me a frith tayste o' thet rrreel blasta just taigeis I tried in the cùil o' Sir Ian Bolton of Sterling back in the year 1978 when I was but a young caileag.