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Haggis on the platter
Haggis made in a Scottish restaurant with turnips and potatoes ( neeps and tatties )

Haggis is a specialty from Scottish cuisine and consists of the stomach of a sheep , called paunch , which is filled with heart , liver , lungs , kidney fat from sheep, onions and oatmeal . Haggis is spicy with pepper , and the oatmeal gives it a slightly heavier consistency than sausage .

Similar dishes are Pfälzer Saumagen and Grützwurst .


Industrially manufactured haggis in a plastic skin

Although haggis is a typical Scottish dish, it is proven that animal stomachs or animal intestines filled with offal were eaten by the Romans as early as ancient times . There are comparable dishes in other countries today, for example in England hog puddings , which are prepared similarly in Wales and Ireland . In Germany , with the North Hessian Weckewerk , the Palatinate Saumagen , the Lower Saxony Calenberger Pfannenschlag , the Bremer Knipp , the Westphalian Stippgrütze or the Drob known in Romania, there are similar recipes originally intended for peasant slaughterhouse waste disposal.

Haggis and similar dishes were invented to preserve the animal's perishable offal, generally pork , for some time after slaughter . Therefore, they were chopped into small pieces, seasoned, boiled and placed in a stomach or intestine as a suitable casing.

Traditionally, haggis for rutabaga (swede) and potatoes eaten ( "neeps and tatties"). As a fast food , the dish is also served with French fries in Scottish chip shops . Haggis is now increasingly used as part of other dishes, such as Balmoral Chicken , chicken breast filled with haggis and wrapped in bacon .


Freshly made haggis

Scottish cookbook author Paul Harris writes in one of his cookbooks as an introduction to the recipe for haggis:

"The following recipe is not for the weak of constitution!"

"The following recipe is not for the faint of heart!"

It takes four to five hours to prepare a haggis.

The stomach must be carefully washed in cold water. Then you have to turn it inside out and scrape off the very last solid remains of the stomach acid and the stomach lining with a knife. In order not to injure the stomach wall , the unpolished side of the knife blade is used for this. The heart , liver and lungs are cooked in a light meat broth. Make sure that the end of the windpipe that is still hanging on the lungs is hung over the edge of the saucepan and can drain into a bowl. When the meat is done, it must be cut into small pieces. The meat pieces are seasoned with salt and pepper and nutmeg , a little mace ( mace mixed), chopped onion, the kidney fat and the oatmeal.

The mixture is poured into the stomach upside down again. It must not be completely filled as the oatmeal swells when it is cooked and needs space for it. The stomach is sewn up with kitchen thread. Then you have to pierce the stomach all around with a fork. If you do not do that, it will burst when you cook and the contents will leak. The stomach must be cooked in boiling water for at least three hours. Then you put it on a serving plate and remove the kitchen thread. The haggis is only cut open at the table. The paunch (stomach) itself is not eaten.

Burns Supper rituals

At Burns Supper , the annual commemoration on January 25th in honor of Scottish national poet Robert Burns , a reel is played with the bagpipes before serving by candlelight . Then the head of the family (or the host of the restaurant where Burns Night is celebrated) - standing in front of a Scottish flag - reads the poem "Address to a Haggis" by Robert Burns. In the middle of the third stanza (“cut ye up wi ready slight”) the boiling hot haggis is cut open with a sword or dagger, so that the innards run out and spread over the whole serving platter. The Burns Night with haggis-eating is also an important event in the Scottish men complete their communities - Tartan carry.


Take away vacuumed haggis
A fictional wild haggis species, Haggis scoticus , on display next to a prepared specimen at Glasgow's Kelvingrove Gallery.
  • In his poem Address to a Haggis , Robert Burns praised this Scottish national dish as the "Great Chieftain o 'the Puddin-race" (German for example: "Great chief of the pate tribe").
  • Since jokes and derogatory remarks are often made about this Scottish dish outside of Scotland, especially in England , the Scots reciprocate by teasing English visitors with two joke stories about an alleged haggis animal (comparable to the Bavarian Wolpertinger ) to take. There are mainly reports of two different types of haggis: the low-flying haggis and the left-driving haggis . The former flew so quickly at low altitude over the heather of the Highlands that you never get to see them. The latter have shorter legs on the left than on the right, so that they can stand better on the steep slopes of the Highlands - however, this anatomical peculiarity causes a constant left curve when moving (compare Dahu or Hanghuhn ). The haggis hunting season is short and only includes a few days at the end of January. To catch a haggis, it is best to drive it into flat land, then, because of the unevenly long legs, tip it over and you can no longer escape. The bagpipes were supposedly originally used on the haggis hunt to generate the pairing sounds and is therefore still an important part of every haggis hunt today. Various “haggis animals” are now on sale in souvenir shops.
  • The tradition of haggiser tales has found its way into Scottish folk culture and is also used for television advertising .
  • In 2009, the British historian Catherine Brown claimed that the dish first appeared in an English recipe book as early as 1615 and was therefore of English origin. The mention in the poem of the Scots Burns (see above) dates from the year 1747. This representation is, however, particularly in Scotland strongly doubted.
  • Importation into the US is prohibited because haggis contains sheep lung.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Alan Davidson : The Oxford Companion to Food. Edited by Tom Jaine. Oxford University Press, Oxford u. a., 2nd edition, 2006, ISBN 0-19-280681-5 , p. 365.
  2. Balmoral chicken . Kitchen Geekery, accessed July 24, 2015.
  3. Paul Harris: A Little Scottish Cookbook. Appletree Press, Belfast 1988, ISBN 0-86281-204-6 .
  4. ^ Haggis dispute: attack on the Scottish sanctuary. dpa article in the Frankfurter Rundschau , August 3, 2009, accessed on March 15, 2011 .
  5. ^ Scots attempt to overturn US ban on Haggis. The Telegraph , January 22, 2011, accessed March 15, 2011 .

Web links

Commons : Haggis  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Haggis  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations