As a tourist, eating haggis is a rightful contender on any Scottish bucket-list. Like visiting Loch Ness to spy Nessie, it has to be done – at least once!
Haggis is a savoury concoction of sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs) minced together with spices, salt, oatmeal, onion, suet and stock; that has been boiled, baked, or deep-fried encased in an animals stomach. Sure, it may not sound the prettiest – but I can vouch, it’s offal-y good (ba-dum-tss).
As Scotland’s national dish, it’s suggested to date back to the 1400s, with possible food-waste related roots. Cooking the quick-spoiling offal near the site of a hunt – by chopping it up, stuffing it in the animals stomach with whatever fillers were on hand – ensured these parts weren’t wasted in the time between taking the rest of the home kill back to base.
Traditionally, it’s served with ‘neeps’ and ‘tatties’ (parsnips and potatoes) that have been boiled and mashed, along with a dram (a glass of Scottish Whisky). We enjoyed ours in a traditional Scottish restaurant in ever-charming Edinburgh.