Haggis: Scottish Dish Also in Earthworm Jim

Scottish icons, including haggis
Och, laddie!

Have a Braveheart, do you? Well, not after a plate of haggis you won’t! Eat only occasionally. And when you do, it’ll put hair on your eyebrows.

What is Haggis?

It’s a savoury dish that includes the heart, live, and lungs of a sheep boiled in it stomach. Often minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, and salt.

We became aware of this dish and its notoriety thanks to the Earthworm Jim cartoon, an American series that frequently nodded to the horrors of the dish.

All whilst Americans chowed down on those super healthy hot dogs!

Anyway, haggis is distinctly Scottish. And something of a national icon. For us, the thing has two strong points:

  1. We love the name. It’s just funny.
  2. Yeah, it’s like black pudding. Bizarre, but edible.

Whether you’ve heard of the dish or not, it’s an unusual thing. But worth your time if you’re a slavish meat eater.

It all makes us think of the horse meat calamity a few years ago in the UK. People were horrified their ready made meals had horse meat in them.

It caused a massive, national sensation.

But, you know, all those appalling chemicals and salt excess… yeah, that’s fine! No issues with that. It’s just the horses.

How Do You Make Haggis?

We had no idea at all, but the gentleman above covers that one off for us.

We’re pretty sure a lot of people wouldn’t eat the foods they love if they knew what was gong on. Burgers or otherwise.

For burgers, butchers shoot a cow in the head with a pressurised air gun. Nice, eh?

But we’d advise you don’t try and make haggis. Just order it and then it turns up.

Haggis History

Okay, so who in their right mind would create this thing? Despite the Scottish connotations, the dish is possible from Lancashire.

A verse cookbook called Liber Cure Cocorum (1430) listed it then. It went by the name of hagws of a schepe.

But the Scottish poem Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy (1520) points to the whole haggis thing as well. Better than Sir Paul McCartney’s Mull of Kintyre, eh?

However, food history writers such as Alan Davidson argue the Romans invented the dish. And it was an essential lifestyle, to make use of limited food resources.

Arguable otherwise. And Clarissa Dickson Wright in the book The Haggis: A Little History (clearly the definitive haggis book of all time) she also suggests it’s a way of making the most of meat.

Whatever, the dish now has a kind of reverential value. Say “haggis” and folks think of Scotland. Well… och, lassie!

8 comments

  1. I’ve been to many highland gatherings and Burn’s Suppers as a piper in the southeastern US, and have had my share of haggis and I love it. Too bad it’s not more common here. Thank you for the detailed article!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It reminds me of scrapple, a dish very popular in the part of Pennsylvania I’m from, and it sounds like haggis is made for the same reason: waste not want not. I grew up eating scrapple, though now since I know what it is I’m a bit more squeamish hehe. Honestly though, I kind of want to try haggis. When I first heard about it, I definitely had an ick reaction, but now? Hell it’s 2020, I’ve survived worse!

    Like

  3. Disgusting!
    My step dad was of Scottish decent. Every year on Rabbie Burns birthday, he brought a bag of that shit home.
    Easier to be punished for a month, than to have even a bite. Made liver look like spinach!

    Liked by 1 person

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