As the uber-Scot Sir Sean Connery once asked whilst playing an immortal Spaniard, who was actually an ancient Egyptian, in the film Highlander, ‘What is a haggis?’
Well, first here’s what it’s not.
1. It is not a small animal indigenous to the Highlands of Scotland and, therefore, does not have legs of any length.
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 – WE REPEAT, NOT – only to be eaten on Burns Night. Just take a look at these delicious haggis recipes.
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. 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.
5. Most haggis sold are encased in a plastic skin which is removed when the haggis is baked.
6. If you are planning to “Address the Haggis” he chieftain 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.
7. The plural of haggis is … haggis. Even in handy haggis catering packs
8. If you live in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Norway or Singapore then sadly you’ll have to come back to Scotland to experience the great haggis taste once again.
9. But if you live anywhere in Europe and the UK, buy haggis online from us and we will deliver haggis to your door in the UK and Europe – by the very next day if you order Monday – Thursday before 1pm.
Did we say 11 facts? Okay, how about these.
10. 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
11. At the turn of the century 33% of tourists from the US, when polled, thought a haggis was an animal living in the Scottish Highlands.* We’re sure this percentage is much less these days.
For more haggis facts and fabulous recipes, buy Jo Macsween’s Haggis Bible here..