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Haggis

Listed under Original Gifts in Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

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It is possibly not a surprise that many foodies who aren't Scottish (and probably the odd few who are) draw the line at stuffed stomach. Perhaps they feel that there is something unnecessarily gratuitous about mixing several of an animal's least-eaten internal organs with some seasoning and putting them inside a deftly cut-out section of its digestive system. However, as many devoted fans of the dish will tell you, there is more than one way of looking at the idea.

Similar in structure to a traditional sausage, but rounder and fatter and with more to discover, the haggis has a rich range of meaty flavour nuances due to the combination of the edible offals, and a hearty texture. Suet, spices, onion and salt are mixed with the meat and its own stock, and the result is a traditional dish to be proud of.

The haggis was invented (and not discovered gambolling in the highland glens, as some unsuspecting tourists are led to believe) out of necessity, in an attempt to use all the edible parts of an animal, and not just the skeletal muscle. In a society where food is mass-produced and wasted on a huge scale, there is something quite satisfying about enjoying every part of the game and livestock that has been killed for meat. The lamb variety is the most common but beef, venison and pork are also popular.

It is most famously served on Burns Night with 'neeps and tatties', and frequently has its presence honoured with a recital of Robert Burns's poem, 'Address to a Haggis'.

This "great chieftain o' the puddin-race", as Burns himself put it, is admirably made by Macsween of Edinburgh, a Scottish family business and the recipient of a number of awards for its tasty, traditional haggis recipes.

Available online here.

Written by  larapiegeler.

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