Gie Her A Haggis!

Jan 19, 2014 by

January 25th,  the birthday of the famous Scottish poet, Robert Burns, is known to Scots and those of Scottish heritage as Rabbie Burns Day or Burns Night.  Rab’s life and poetry is celebrated  with great fanfare at both formal and informal gatherings that have a few things in common: drinking fine Scotch whisky, reciting Burn’s poetry,  and honoring (and eating) that great chieftain o’ the puddin-race, the haggis.



Despite what you may have heard, the haggis is not a small animal that runs wild wild in the Scottish Highlands, with legs shorter on one side that enable it to run faster around the mountains.  Cute idea, but purely mischievous Scottish propaganda.  If you want to learn the “history” of this mythic beastie, however, read this article which discusses haggis scottii in detail.

Don’t be deceived by those old crofters’ tales, silly goose–everyone knows that the real national animal of Scotland is the unicorn.

Aye, am yer national animal, lass.

Aye, am yer national animal, lass.


Weel then, whit is a haggis?! Glad you asked!

Haggis is Scotland’s national dish,  a type of sausage (but called a pudding) made of the heart, liver and lungs of a sheep or lamb, mixed with oats, suet, spices and herbs, encased in the animal’s stomach lining and then simmered in water for several hours.  Yes, really.

I’ve eaten haggis and find it quite tasty, especially when I’m also having a wee dram or two of single malt whisky.  You can get microwaveable haggis, canned haggis, vegetarian haggis, even curried haggis if you so desire, but it is the mark of a true Scot to make yer own pudding.  Here’s a brief video to show you how haggis is made from blackface sheep innards, the creme de la creme of sheep organs:

I understand that the contents and appearance of haggis may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the national pudding is quite versatile.   If you don’t care to eat this savory Scottish treat, how about throwing it for distance?  Easier than tossing a caber, and a bit safer for Scottish Games rookies:


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