What is haggis?

Haggis is Scotland's national dish and the crowning glory of a traditional Burns Supper, and although it's an object of Scottish culinary fascination around the world, it certainly is not a beauty queen. But take our word when we say that what haggis lacks in appearance it certainly makes it up in its taste! Intrigued yet?

  Grants Speyside haggis for sale

What is it made of?

This enduringly popular dish is a type of savoury pudding that combines meat with oatmeal, onions, salt and spices. Often served with the classic sides of bashed neeps and mashed tatties (that's Scots for turnip and potatoes), haggis is traditionally cooked in a sheep's stomach (a historic way of preserving meat), but most haggis nowadays is sold and cooked in a synthetic sausage casing. We agree that it may not win the title of the most elegant dish on the planet, but it really is undeniably delicious! Need more convincing?

As strange as haggis may sound, the end result is a culinary masterpiece. Meaty, oaty, fiery and moist, haggis makes a scrumptious meal. Largely made from oatmeal, it gives haggis its soft, crumbly texture - similar to stuffing - and earthy flavour, and, when combined with salt and spices, it has a spicy, rustic hint with a peppery kick! Now, that certainly sounds delicious, doesn't it?!

NOTHING BEATS THE CLASSIC HAGGIS, MADE THE TRADITIONAL WAY.
IT MUST BE TRIED TO BE BELIEVED!
PREPARE YOURSELF -
YOU'RE LIKELY TO BE ASKING FOR SECOND HELPINGS!

Where to buy haggis?

You can try your luck at haggis-hunting in the Scottish hills, but it's probably also worth knowing that you can buy haggis in many places around Scotland, from local butchers to independent retailers, large supermarkets and farms shops, or you can order it online.

Macsween of Edinburgh is one of the best known haggis producers in Scotland and you'll see their haggis for sale all year round; it's available to buy online and can be shipped overseas. Haggis is also produced on a smaller scale by local producers and butchers.

25 January and Burns Supper

Address Haggis Prestonfield House

Haggis is really thrown into the spotlight around Burns Night, when Scotland and the world pay tribute to one of the greatest writers of all time, Robert Burns, Scotland's National Bard. Burns was a fan of the national dish too, and in 1787 he dedicated an entire poem - Address to a Haggis - to the 'great chieftain o the puddin' race' and nowadays haggis, neeps and tatties are the focal point of every Burns Supper.

Celebrated annually on Robert Burns' birthday, 25 January, Burns Night gathers Scots around the world to pay tribute to the great poet's life and works, and to Scottish culture. There is a delicious meal, ceilidh dancing, rousing songs, poetry, drams of whisky and, of course, heaps of haggis, but most importantly - good company and loads of fun.

Not only for Burns Night

This versatile food is also used as a focal ingredient in more contemporary dishes in the restaurants and pubs across Scotland.

From traditional haggis, neeps and tatties with whisky sauce to modern dishes with a twist like haggis Scotch quail's eggs, haggis-topped nachos or the excellent Balmoral Chicken, (which is a succulent chicken breast stuffed with spicy haggis and wrapped in sizzling bacon), haggis is favoured year-round in Scotland and beyond.

Where does haggis come from?  

We're sorry to break this to you but… haggis is not a small animal indigenous to the Highlands of Scotland and, therefore, does not have legs of any length.

It is said that in days gone by hunters would mix offal, which couldn't be preserved, with cereal - creating the first haggis. The first written mention of a haggis-type sausage comes from the ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes in 423 BC when he refers to one exploding!

Though the actual origin of the word haggis remains a mystery, many people believe that it may have come from the Scots word hag which means to chop or hew. The dish has Viking connections too, with strong similarities to the Swedish word hagga and the Icelandic hoggva, both of which also mean to chop or hew. Haggis-type dishes can still be found in Scandinavia today.

ARE YOU ADVENTUROUS ENOUGH
TO FEAST UPON
SCOTLAND'S MOST FAMOUS DISH?

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