If you have ever visited Scotland, you might have heard of the traditional supper of Burns Night that takes place on the 25 January every year. This dinner commemorates the life and poetry of Robert Burns, who was born on the 25 of January1759.
This celebration is mainly celebrated with a very traditional supper based on eating haggis, neeps (mashed turnips) and tatties (usually mashed potatoes). But it is the haggis the star of the dish as even Burns immortalised it in his poem Address to a Haggis.
Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great Chieftain o’ the Puddin-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang ‘s my arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o’ need,
While thro’ your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.
It is unknown where the roots of this Scottish national dish first originated but some researches claim that the first recipe goes back to 1430 when in the verse cookbook Liber Cure Cocorum appeared the «hagese» made with offal and herbs in Lancashire in the North West of England.
However, there are other sources that trace the word back to the Old Norse «hoggva» (to hack into pieces) and claim that the original recipe of this popular Scottish dish belonged to Vikings.
Haggis normally includes a sheep’s pluck (its heart, liver and lungs), minced with onions, oatmeal, suet, salt and spices. Then this is all mixed with a stock and traditionally boiled in the animal’s stomach for around one hour.
This might sound displeasing but the result is a work of outstanding culinary artistry which -of course – should be savouredartistry, which -of course – should be savoured, with a dram of the national drink: whiskey (or Irn Bru for the non- alcoholic beverages enthusiasts).
You can check the full recipe here.
A guide to haggis. BBC Good Food. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/ode-haggis. Accessed June 21, 2019.
Address to a Haggis by Robert Burns. Scottish Poetry Library. https://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poem/address-haggis/. Accessed June 21, 2019.
Britannica TEof E. Haggis. Encyclopædia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/haggis. Published December 17, 2018. Accessed June 21, 2019.
Britannica TEof E. Haggis. Encyclopædia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/haggis/media/1/251558/210310. Published December 17, 2018. Accessed June 21, 2019.
Clarke-Billings L. Scotlan
d’s national dish is an ‘imposter’ and was invented by Vikings, claims master butcher. The Telegraph. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/12070076/Scotlands-national-dish-is-an-imposter-and-was-invented-by-Vikings-claims-master-butcher.html. Published December 26, 2015. Accessed June 21, 2019.
Haggas. The Free Dictionary. https://www.thefreedictionary.com/Haggas. Accessed June 21, 2019.
Haggis originally brought to Scotland by Vikings, an award winning Scottish butcher argues. Icelandmag. https://icelandmag.is/article/haggis-originally-brought-scotland-vikings-award-winning-scottish-butcher-argues. Accessed June 21, 2019.
haggis | Definition of haggis in English by Lexico Dictionaries. Lexico Dictionaries | English. https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/haggis. Accessed June 21, 2019.
Haggis | Traditional Recipe. OAKDEN. https://oakden.co.uk/haggis-traditional-recipe/. Published January 2, 2012. Accessed June 21, 2019.
Haggis, Hail to Thee! Haggis, Hail to Thee! – Photo Gallery – LIFE. https://web.archive.org/web/20100414004246/http://www.life.com/image/first/in-gallery/39042/haggis-hail-to-thee. Accessed June 21, 2019.
LIBER CURE COCORUM. Liber Cure Cocorum: Parallel Transcription/Translation. http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/lcc/parallel.html#q120. Accessed June 21, 2019.
Lindsay J. What is haggis made from and how do you address the Scottish dish? Metro. https://metro.co.uk/2019/01/25/haggis-made-address-scottish-dish-8390309/. Published January 25, 2019. Accessed June 21, 2019.
Massive Haggis food dish with knife stuck in it. Part of Burns Night celebrations in Edinburgh, Scotland. Massive Haggis Food Dish Knife Stuck Stock Photo (Edit Now) 576837274. https://www.shutterst
Scottish Food and Drink | Traditional Scottish Food | Scotland is Now. Scotland. https://www.scotland.org/about-scotland/food-and-drink. Accessed June 21, 2019.
Written by Maria Blanca Escudero Fontan, trainee in the Direction of the Directorate B and in TermCoord. Holds a Degree in Translation and Interpretation (uVigo) and a Masters in International Studies (USC, Galicia).