hag·gis – noun Chiefly Scot. A traditional pudding made of the heart, liver, etc., of a sheep or calf, minced with suet and oatmeal, seasoned, and boiled in the stomach of the animal. 


S gave me a can of Haggis last weekend and has been checking with me since to see if it has been consumed. So this morning I decided that now was the time to do so. At first I was at a loss as to how the damn thing should be heated. I had to pry the wrapping off the can to get to the instructions on the reverse side. This is how it looked.



After much tribulation I managed to get the casing too off the Haggis (which was sealed with little metal clasps) and heated it in the microwave for four minutes (as specified). I then put the meat on buttered toast with cheese.


My first reaction was that I can taste the bread and I can taste the cheese but why can I not taste the Haggis. The reason being that the substance is largely tasteless. Maybe my gustatory system is not working as well as I would like it to but the fact of the matter is that it IS rather insipid.


The bit of Haggis that was gifted to me had venison liver as the primary ingredient. Although there are many recipes, it is normally made with sheep’s ‘pluck’ (heart, liver, and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally boiled in the animal’s stomach for approximately an hour. Truth be told, the only thing I could taste was the oatmeal. The instructions ask you to eat it with mashed potatoes and turnip (or neeps and tatties as the Scots say), or on toast (as I did) or mix it up with whisky and serve with a generous portion of fresh cream. I strongly doubt anything can augment a taste which does not exist in the first place.

Interestingly, Haggis is still very much a part of everyday Scottish life. So much so that Haggis Hurling is a popular sport with a World Haggis Hurling Championship which is held each year. The challenge is to hurl the haggis as far as possible for distance and accuracy from atop a platform (usually a whisky barrel). A split or burst haggis is immediately disqualified (in keeping with its ‘historical’ roots that the haggis must be fit to eat).


Currently the import of Haggis into the USA is illegal. If only it were the same with Asian countries.