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Fun with haggis! Plus: Where to buy Scottish food in the Dallas Metroplex

Many people are put off by haggis, the traditional ethnic food that many Scots consider to be the national dish of Scotland. You should not be: haggis is surprisingly tasty.  And since it's National Soul Food Month, what better way is there to start than with the Scottish soul food extraordinaire:  haggis.

Authentic Scottish haggis served with tatties and neeps. Try some at the Texas Scottish Festival.
Authentic Scottish haggis served with tatties and neeps. Try some at the Texas Scottish Festival.Creative Commons/Edinburgh Blog

What is haggis? Haggis is a well cleaned and emptied sheep stomach stuffed with oatmeal, onion, spices and various sheep bits-- what butchers and high end gourmet chefs refer to as "specialty meats." Think of haggis as type of sausage, which it is. Haggis is simmered in stock, and the delicious mixture is scooped out of its casing when serving.

Traditional accompaniments to haggis are "neeps and tatties"-- boiled and mashed rutabaga or swede (yellow turnips) and mashed potatoes. Every time I have had it, it was served with a tasty whisky sauce instead of gravy, although whisky sauce is optional and haggis can be served with a variety of side dishes.

These days, you can buy haggis premade and vacuum packed, and commercial casings are usually used in place of the traditional sheep stomach. You can even buy vegetarian haggis!

Over the centuries, haggis has been immortalized in fiction, movies, music and song. There are Scottish Haggis Hurling events, a haggis tossing entry in the Guinness Book of World Records. Celtic bands such as Enter the Haggis and Bad Haggis are proud to take their name from the humble Scottish dish.

Haggis has been immortalized in poetry, too: Robert Burns famous 1787 poem, Address to a Haggis, is read on Burns Night celebrations all over the world by homesick Scots on the great man's birthday, January 25. By the way: If you are ever invited to a Burns Night Supper, you should definitely accept.

Residents of the Dallas Metroplex do not have to wait for Robert Burns birthday to taste the glory that is haggis: The Texas Scottish Festival & Highland Games is being held this weekend, June 4 – 6, 2010. Read my Texas Scottish Festival article for more information.

Below, you will find a short and very amusing YouTube video, The Haggis Song. It is followed by another short and hilarious instructional video: Cooking with Dave: Haggis.

Buy it local! Where to buy Haggis in the Dallas Metroplex.

Not everybody has the stomach to make their own haggis. Luckily, haggis lovers can buy a variety of authentic haggis lovingly prepared and ready to cook. Caledonian Kitchen  is the premier supplier of Scottish foods in America-- and it's based right here in the Dallas Metroplex, in Lewisville, Texas. Caledonian Kitchen is also a sponsor of the Texas Scottish Festival & Highland Games being held on the UTA campus this weekend.


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Comments

  • Rachel 4 years ago

    Great article on a very misunderstood food! I saw Bad Haggis live at our own Highland Games last year in Ventura. Verrrry tasty! :)

  • Susan Slade - Pasco County Food Examiner. 4 years ago

    Never got into Haggis, but love my English food.

  • Roberta Baxter Eugene,OR. Dog Examiner 4 years ago

    Thank you for the education about Haggis.

  • CJMathis-Portland-Getaways-Examiner 4 years ago

    When we were in Scotland we had a great evening at the Robert Burns Museum and historical society - haggis at it's best, Burn's poems read the night through and the bag pipes played as well a memory to carry for our entire lives. Love the people of Scotland (home of my heritage .

  • montreal women's issues, health and mental health 4 years ago

    wow that that is what haggis is

  • Charlotte Kuchinsky, Norfolk Beauty Education Exam 4 years ago

    I'm not sure I could do haggis.

  • Emylou Lewis 4 years ago

    Never had it.

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  • John Myers 4 years ago

    Hmmm, I've never even heard of haggis before. It looks good in the picture, but I'm not sure if I'd try it...

  • Andrew Kennett 4 years ago

    We've got a Scottish pub down the road from us. May have to give it a try.

  • Langley - Charleston Dogs Examiner 4 years ago

    Interesting article. Sorry to follow the crowd but I don't think I'll be trying Haggis any time soon.

  • Vanessa 4 years ago

    I'll limit my fun with haggis to reading this article. ;)

  • Lorraine Yapps Cohen, Jewelry Examiner 4 years ago

    I've never even heard of haggis. Leave it to you, Kat, to educate us in culinary 'curiosos.'

  • Amanda C. Strosahl 4 years ago

    I've always wanted to try Haggis, even if it was just to say I did it.

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  • Profile picture of Stewarts Scottish Market
    Stewarts Scottish Market 1 year ago

    Great article that shares knowledge about Scottish food! Yes, Haggis is synonym of Scotland and Robert Burns.
    For Haggis in New York and NJ visit http://www.stewartsscottishmarket.com/Haggis_s/177.htm