Our Scottish friends across the pond are well known for cranking out delicious whiskey, but are you familiar with their famous haggis? The sausage-like dish is a staple throughout the country, but many people aren’t aware of what it actually is. In fact, 33% of US tourists believe haggis is an animal, and almost one quarter thought it was possible to catch one.
To be clear, haggis is not a living, breathing creature, but it is made from a variety of animal parts. Traditionally, the dish is sheep’s “pluck” (heart, liver and lungs) minced with onion, oatmeal, suet and spices, all soaked in stock and then boiled in either a sausage casing or a sheep’s stomach.” It might not sound like the most appetizing of dinners, but haggis is an integral part of Scotland’s national Burns Night, celebrating the life of poet Robert Burns and his contributions to the country.
Many Scots living in the US tend to forgo traditional haggis with offal, including sheep’s lungs, mostly because the US has ruled these animal parts to be inedible and, therefore, they have been banned from import. But a Burns Night meal without haggis is like a Thanksgiving without turkey — it’s absolutely unthinkable!
So the next time you’re in Scotland, make it a point to try some haggis for an authentic Scottish experience.