For all lovers of Scotland http://nyti.ms/1v0DPG1
We rarely encountered haggis on a menu during the week we spent in Scotland, but when we did find it---no one in our group of four ordered it.
The seafood is wonderful. That was enough for me.
Steven, thanks. We have had haggis, the tube kind, a number of times in Scotland. Its good, usually served as a dish with a full Scottish breakfast. I would like to try the traditional sheep's stomach sometime.
We also encountered it a breakfast in our hotel in Dunkeld and loved it ,it reminds us of a Jewish concoction variously known as kishka or derma ( originated in the Pale , probably ) . Lola , when you return to Scotland . give it a try , it sounds less appealing than it is . What we had was probably the tube version , driving through the highlands , we encountered butcher shops every where ( Fort Augustus , Braemar , and several others coming down through the Cairngorms from Nairn ,where it was ubiquitous
When I first clicked on this article and saw that the author was in Dingwall, I thought, "Why is he writing about Dingwall? It has a great name, but there is nothing there, but a good butcher." Then I saw the word haggis and I knew! If you want to go buy some of this haggis, I would recommend staying in Inverness or Strathpeffer!
Yum! This past August, we had haggis several places in Scotland, in several preparations. Planning for the trip, I'd read about vegetarian haggis, and never saw that on a menu (nor sought it out), but that just sounded WRONG. What would you do -- rip the lungs out of a soybean? Boil a carrot into submission?
Returning home and adding a new Himalayan kitten to the family, we named him Haggis!
I understand you can't get proper haggis in the USA, as the Dept. of Agriculture has decided that sheep's lungs are unfit for human consumption. The USDA also has problems with many European cheeses (which don't seem to give Europeans problems), although Velveeta is welcomed as a "cheese food."
Speaking of cheese, I wonder if those haggis nachos mentioned in the article are topped with Velveeta sauce, or some proper British cheese?
Usually the cheese is Cheddar, sometimes another hard cheese such as Edam. Though Mozzarella or similar will be used for a nice bit of stringyness. If in doubt anywhere in Britain the cheese will be Cheddar.
If you want a proper haggis in the US for Burn's Night, you may need an invite to the British Embassy or a British Consulate. We smuggle them into the US in the diplomatic bags. We're not too bothered about the USDA being bothered by our cheese and haggis. You cannot buy most US meat products in the EU because they are banned for not being fit for human consumption this side of the pond!
Somehow , cheese in this sort of dish , does not really seem to fit ( although , it probably tastes good ) . Since imported lung and heart won't do here in the states , I'd be willing to bet , one could make a pretty good alternative here using fried onions and chicken livers . After all , regardless of the ethnicity , poor people used what was available ,and the difference between Scottish Haggis and Jewish ( Polish - Eastern European ) Kishka , isn't very great . Since my wife ( a brilliant cook ) executes the food . I've only got to convince her to try this . If successful , I'll report back . Bon appetit , Merry Christmas , and a Happy Chanaukah to all !!
Steven, I think you are right or channelling Sir Terry Pratchett. Most of what we think of as national cuisine is what the poor people ate. Making things go further and making rubbish taste nice was what ordinary people did. As Sir Terry Pratchett says in one of his novels 'why bother with shark's fin soup when you can eat the rest of the shark?'. In the case of haggis, why eat the lights if the rest of the mutton is available.
Dear MC , I was unaware of Terry Pratchett , but your remarks piqued my curiosity . I just looked him up and will go into further detail tomorrow . I learn from friendly people who post here and am curious about what you said , Many Thanks , and a good Holiday to you , All my best Wishes, Steve
Hi Steven. Sir Terry is one of our greatest living writers, when he got knighted he got a sword made because knights should have swords! Of his works I'd recommend the Witches books and the Guards. Especially the Witches as I think I am related to half the characters!
Nollaig Chrideil (at which point my Gaelic runs out!)
I've had haggis & vegetarian haggis at World's End, high street, Edinburgh. Like them both.
The only real difference between the vegetarian and normal haggises is the vegetarians ones won't eat kilts and sporrans. Both are wild, actually both are pretty livid, mainly because they are so easy to hunt given their natural state, with one leg shorter than the other for running around the mountains.
However the wild haggises have recently been improved with a strain from India which I can also highly recommend.
Hi MC- Indian elephants have smaller ears than their African counterparts - is that true for Indian haggis, as well, compared to the Scottish breed? So, haggis vindaloo for Boxing Day? :-)
As for wild haggis, I wonder if it's like reports of anacondas in the USA - people get a "cute" baby snake as a pet, feed it with progressively larger prey until it's too big to manage, and irresponsibly release it, where it becomes a public nuisance. Hopefully any domesticated haggis don't get released back into the wild, or it could be catastrophic!
I don't know anyone who has tried to keep a haggis as a pet. Mainly they are as thick as two short planks, well, thicker and can't be trained to do anything more than be a haggis. Think of a tribble with negative IQ points and you've got a domestic haggis.
Would not recommend one as a pet.
Those though are H. haggis domesticus, not the proper H. haggis ferox, as different as dogs from wolves. H haggis domesticus can be really boring, feeding them the whisky, and it must be a 15 y o Islay. actually can make them more fun.
Folks, please refrain from drinking the scotch before you put the haggis to bed. These poor things need their nourishment and rest.
Trying to domesticate a Haggis is likely to have a similar result as some ill informed Downeasters ( Maine residents ) found out the hard way _____________ https://thenewyorkercovers.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/summer-getaway-2/