Although it doesn’t necessarily look like the most appetising of all dishes, haggis is a delicious Scottish delicacy that definitely deserves to be tried! Some people attribute the Haggis to ‘The Wild Haggis’, a fictional beast believed to roam around Scotland… whatever you choose to believe, it’s a meal worth trying on your tour of Scotland!
Read on to find out more about this often misunderstood dish…
OK, brace yourself – the description of what haggis actually is can put some people off; but believe us, the flavour is deliciously savoury, with a wonderful nutty texture. Traditionally, haggis contains sheep’s pluck (liver, heart and lungs) minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, salt and stock, and encased inside the animal’s stomach. Today, commercially sold haggis usually replaces the stomach for sausage casing – so it might be more helpful to think of it almost like a large, round sausage, but with more of an oaty, nutty taste and texture.
These days there are many variations on the dish, including substituting vegetables for the meaty bits, and even being served in fast food restaurants, deep-fried in batter. You
might also see a haggis burger (a patty of fried haggis served on a bun), haggis as a pizza topping, or even a haggis pakora; available in some Indian restaurants in Scotland.
Try it the traditional way first though – it’s a comforting, hearty meal, and it goes down a treat with a good Scotch!
Robert Burns, popularly known as Rabbie Burns, is regarded as Scotland’s national poet. A pioneer of Romanticism in the second half of the 18th century, his poems of political and civil commentary were written in both the Scots language and English, and became a source of inspiration to the founders of the liberal and socialist movements.
His most famous works include “Auld Lang Syne”, which is sung at Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve), and “Scots Wha Hae”, an unofficial national anthem.
Burns is considered a cultural icon in Scotland (in 2009 he was voted the greatest Scot in a public vote), and his life and poetry are celebrated in Scotland and around the world on his birthday, 25th January, with a pipe band and traditional ‘Burns Supper’.
Considered to be the national food of Scotland thanks to Burns’ poem ‘Address to a Haggis’, the dish is served at the Burns Supper with boiled and mashed neeps and tatties (turnip and potato), and washed down with a dram of Scotch whisky.
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