Haggis is the national dish of Scotland and there are plenty of myths and white lies told about this savory pudding. Sasanachs are often told that to catch a haggis you must go hunting in the Highlands. Of course, this is meant as a joke as a haggis is not an animal but simply a Scottish dish. Haggis is actually a tasty savory pudding that contains different offal from a sheep. In particular the liver, lungs and heart are all minced then mixed with oatmeal and spices to form a delicious boiled pudding. This dish is unique to Scotland and is the most famous dish served to celebrate Burns Night.
There are many fun facts associated with this very Scottish delicacy, and here are the best.
Many people are scared to try haggis as the ingredients sound a little rich for a lot of palettes. Americans in particular do not enjoy eating many offal parts, and the sound of kidneys and lungs is enough to make them turn their noses up at haggis. In 1984, a revelation happened in the world of haggis and the first vegetarian haggis was produced. Surprisingly it was very well received as the other non-meat ingredients of the dish were perfect for making a really good vegetarian meal.
The United States let their feelings be known about haggis when they banned the importation of the pudding in 1971. The ingredients seemed to contravene certain health and safety laws of America at the time. Although it is believed many Scottish expats continue to smuggle in their national dish when returning from visits back home. Interestingly, a survey in 2003 conducted on American visitors to Scotland revealed that over thirty percent thought that haggis was an actual animal and that the haggis was hunted down in the highlands then boiled up to make a pudding.
London’s Favorite Pudding
The two countries that most enjoy eating haggis are of course Scotland and England. And surprisingly it is London where this traditional dish of Scotland is the most popular. Many pubs and bistros in England’s capital love serving haggis due to its unique taste and easy preparation.
Haggis Ice Cream
If you are a little sensitive to try the real thing, then you can still get the Haggis sensation from other foods. In Scotland some clever entrepreneurs have produced haggis ice cream, and even haggis flavored crisps in an effort to corner the tourist trade.
A Very Scottish Secret
Unbelievably the national dish of Scotland may not have been invented by the Scots. There is evidence that haggis was first invented by the Romans, and the Scots pinched the recipe a few hundred years ago. The ancient Greeks also had a dish with very similar ingredients long before the cooks of Scotland boiled their first puddings. There is no doubt that you either love or hate haggis. This unique Scottish dish has as many fans as dissenters and there is no other food that splits opinion so much. If you really want a haggis experience, then try it with neeps & tatties, and of course a glass of Scotch Whisky.