A Mythical Beast
Scotland is home to the haggis. Some humorous myths exist about the haggis, Scots are very proud of the idea of the haggis as an animal, running wild through mountains, while kilted Scotsmen chase in hot pursuit ready for the kill. Some say that the haggis has two legs shorter on one side of the body than the other to enable it to run at speed on sloped terrain.
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A Wild Haggis?
Recipe for Haggis
Unfortunately, however romantic this may be is not true. Haggis is a food born out of poverty. In days when food was very scarce, every piece of a slaughtered animal was valued for food. Haggis may simply have been an invention to make the unpalatable seem slightly more palatable.
1 pair of sheep's lungs including windpipe
1 sheep's heart
1 sheep's liver
1 pound of coarse oatmeal, pre soaked
8 oz chopped suet
4 large onions
1 sheep's stomach
Boil the meat for several hours, once cool mince. Mix with the other ingredients and stuff into the sheep's stomach. Tie with string.
Boil in a pan of water for an hour.
Serve with mashed tatties and neeps- potatoes and turnips.
Despite the ingredients the result is surprisingly pleasant and flavoursome. There are other recipes, including a vegetarian variety made from beans and mushrooms.
Although haggis is eaten all year round in Scotland, with even most schools serving it regularly on the menu, it is Burn's night when the haggis is traditionally eaten. Burns night is an annual tribute to Robert Burns Scotland's most famous folk poet.
The haggis is brought in with ceremony on a platter, while bagpipers pipe in tribute. The haggis is brought to the table and before serving the address to the haggis is spoken, a poem by Robert Burns.
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 distill
Like amber bead.
Fair is your honest happy face
Great chieftain of the pudding race
Above them all you take your place
Stomach, tripe or guts
Well are you worthy of a grace
As long as my arm
The groaning platter there you fill
Your buttocks like a distant hill
Your skewer would help to repair a mill
In time of need
While through your pores the juices emerge
Like amber beads
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