Haggis is the national dish of Scotland and is a bit of a legend. Here it is enjoyed all year round – especially in January as part of Burns Supper – and yet, beyond these borders, it can cause a bit of confusion.
Often, before we show how to make a traditional haggis at one of our Haggis Tasting and Making sessions, we’re asked – “Did you catch your haggis locally?”
So, we’d like to take this opportunity to clear up a few myths about the humble Scottish haggis. Here are 10 of our favourites haggis facts:
Firstly, here’s what haggis is not:
1. It is not a small four-legged shaggy-maned creature found in the Scottish Highlands or Lowlands.
2. It has not been hunted to extinction in the wild and is not, as a result, the subject of an intensive WWF-funded breeding programme at a safari park just outside Auchtermuchty.
3. And it is not only to be eaten on Burns Night. Join us for a tasting session and we’ll share lots of delicious haggis recipes with you.
So what is it?
4. Traditional haggis is a sausage filled with finest lamb, beef, oats, onions and spices. It’s a great source of iron, fibre, and carbohydrate with no artificial colours.
5. Since the 1980s, there has also been a delicious vegetarian alternative filled with a combination of healthy fresh vegetables, mushrooms, pulses, oats, onions and seeds. It is approved by the vegetarian society, is suitable for vegans too and meat lovers like it too.
6. Most shop-bought haggis is encased in a plastic skin which is removed when the haggis is baked.
7. Homemade haggis is like any sausage and uses an animal intestine to contain the ingredients – the very same materials used in salami. Not so scary when you think about it like that.
8. The plural of haggis is … haggis.
9. There is a Scottish sport called ‘haggis hurling’. This involves standing on top of the whisky barrel and throwing the haggis, often frozen solid for an added challenge
10. But the best experience by far, if you truly want to know your haggis from a shaggy tale, is to join us on a sheep farm in Scotland – not far from Stirling, Edinburgh and Glasgow – as we take the Haggis Experience to a whole new level – Read about it here.