This Blog is also available as an RSS Feed


Scotland’s Traditional Culinary Dish

Australians may claim Vegemite, and the English may swoon over Marmite, but in Scotland, the home grown food boasting a peculiar and slightly gruesome international reputation is haggis. What is haggis, you ask? Ask a witty Scot and he or she may tell you that haggis is a small four-legged Highland animal with limbs shorter on one side than the other to aid in running around hills more effectively. Read a newspaper, and the editors may tell you that the Wild Haggis Hunt is due to take place. Truth is told however, haggis is a concoction of a sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs mixed with minced onion, oatmeal, suit, spices, and stock, and traditionally boiled in the sheep’s stomach. Bon appetit!

Haggis, though maligned in culinary circles, enjoys a rich history. Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, wrote an epic verse for the dish entitled, “Address to a Haggis”. Curious subject, no doubt, but at the time Burns penned his adoring words, Scotland’s struggle for independence from England was front and center, and became a cultural rallying cry. Committed Scots serve haggis in honor of Robert Burns as part of their Burns night annual suppers.

Lest readers think that haggis is only an occasional item on the dinner table, take a trip to the local supermarket. Available year round, modern-day haggis is wrapped in artificial casings, rather than stomachs, and can be cooked in a microwave. Scottish fish and chip shops offer haggis burgers. Pizza joints have added haggis as one of the toppings. Even Indian restaurants have their own version on the menu – haggis baji. The spicy nature of haggis is often sited as the reason for the prevalence of Scottish whisky at tables, but thickened stock and a dose of whisky combined to make a sauce flavors the dear haggis as well.

Haggis is not simply for eating, however. Haggis hurling competitions are consistently celebrated. Indeed, the current world record holder managed to throw a 1.5 pound haggis over 180 feet. Jugglers get into the act as well. The annual Scottish Juggling Convention welcomes competitors able to juggle three, four, or five haggis.

Not for the faint of heart, haggis may at least be worth experimenting with when travelling to Scotland. Besides, when was the last time you ate a food that addressed your appetite and your entertainment?


Combine Flights?

New Business Users, read more and join on the Business Affiliates page.

New Individual Users, join on the Forum Users Registration page.

Latest Travel Articles

Highland Fling - by Joan Jaffe (Part One)

We were bound to have trouble in Customs with the muesli, Dick predicted, and maybe the half jar.... read more

Highland Fling - by Joan Jaffe (Part Two)

The charm of hiking in the Highlands is the other side of the difficulty: that is, the mostly tr.... read more

Lakes & Lochs of the Trossachs Region

Often referred to with the affectionate moniker of “the highlands in miniature”, the Trossac.... read more

Bathgate's History at the Bennie Museum

Visitors to Bathgate in West Lothian will find loads of interesting information on the history o.... read more

Stroll Through the Beatrix Potter Garden in Birnam

Situated in the Perthshire village of Birnam, the Beatrix Potter Garden pays tribute to the 19th.... read more

More Articles