Food & Drink in January

Scotland’s national dish, haggis is a type of sausage or savory pudding that combines the minced offal of a sheep, pig or cow with suet, onions, oatmeal, spices and seasoning. Once considered poor-man’s fare made from leftovers, haggis is now highly popular and features on restaurant menus across the country.

Traditionally, haggis is served as part of the world-famous Burns Supper, an annual celebration on January 25th of the life and work of Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns. A traditional Burns Supper serves haggis as the centerpiece, accompanied by peeled and mashed neeps (turnip) and tatties (potatoes) and of course, whisky.

However, haggis is an extremely versatile dish and can nowadays be found in a variety of guises. Contemporary versions served in restaurants and pubs across Scotland include ‘The Flying Scotsman’ which consists of a chicken breast stuffed with haggis or the excellent ‘Balmoral Chicken’ which is identical, but is also wrapped in bacon. It has become a staple of the traditional full Scottish breakfast, can be bought in chip shops and there’s even a vegetarian haggis readily available where carrots, leeks, oats, and lentils replace the offal. 

Haggis can readily be found in supermarkets across Scotland - look out for those by MacSweens and Simon Howie - while many local butchers also make their own versions that are well worth sampling.