The national dish of Scotland is Haggis. It is an excellent, tasty dish, but have you ever wondered what is in Haggis?
What is Haggis Made From?
Haggis is made using sheep pluck (the bits nowadays often discarded; lungs, hearts, liver). The cooked minced offal is mixed with suet, oatmeal, seasoning and encased in the sheep stomach. stomach. Once stitched up, the stuffed stomach is boiled for up to three hours.
If the thought of cooking the animal parts is off-putting, there are commercial haggis available, the best known (including a vegetarian version) from Charles MacSween & Son in Edinburgh.
How to Choose and Cook a Haggis
Check out my 9 Top Tips for Buying, Preparing and Cooking Haggis
How to Serve Haggis
Once steamed and cooked through the Haggis is popular in many ways, the most popular either on a full Scottish breakfast or with hearty Tatties and Neeps (Tatties are Scottish for potatoes, and Neeps are turnips).
What to Drink with Haggis
Top of the list is Scotch whisky followed by acidic red wines and strong, dark beers.
The Haggis and Robert Burns
The Haggis was immortalised by the poet Robert Burns in his Address to the Haggis in the 18th century and celebrated in Scotland and throughout the world on Burns Night, January 25th, in memory of the Scottish poet. It is eaten with Tatties (mashed potatoes) and Neeps (turnip or swede) alongside other Scottish favourites Cock-a-Leekie (Chicken Vegetable) Soup and Cranachan, a dessert made from raspberry, toasted oatmeal and cream.
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 wordy of 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,
Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect sconner,
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!