Haggis is a common name in Scottish households. It is the national dish of Scotland. The dish is usually considered a special and distinct meal because of its method of preparation. It is a type of pudding prepared from the mixture of a sheep’s pluck which comprises liver, lung, and heart with offal.
The pluck is mixed or minced with beef, stock, mutton suet and oatmeal, onion, thyme, cayenne pepper, and various spices. This mixture is then packed together into the casing of a sheep’s stomach or a sausage casing. Despite controversies over the dish’s look, it is exceedingly sweet and appetizing.
What does haggis taste like? The taste of Haggis is similar to that of Innard. Traditionally prepared haggis has a sweet, flavorful, peppery, and slightly nutty taste. The texture of this delicacy is mildly hard which makes chewing it crunchy and crumbly like that of a minced sausage.
It is often referred to as spiced oatmeal. The taste of haggis can be enhanced with the addition of different herbs and spices.
The cuisine is a very versatile ingredient and it will be beneficial to the body if added to our daily diet. Vegetarian haggis is also an excellent choice with the addition of herbs and spices instead of meat.
Nutritional Benefits of Haggis
This Scottish cuisine has the advantage of improving the function of the human eye, blood, skin, liver, and immune system. It contains the body’s required amount of vitamin A, vitamin B12, Biotin, iron, copper, riboflavin, carbohydrate, and protein. The vegetarian haggis is packed with low calorie, fat, and saturated fat.
Haggis is a superfood. Its major ingredient which is the heart and liver of sheep contains vitamins vitamin B6, vitamin D, and niacin that help break down food to enhance the production of energy in the body. It is also beneficial to the eye as it promotes healthy vision and reduces the risk of eye diseases.
The food also contains minerals like selenium, calcium, zinc, and copper that contribute towards building a strong immune system against chronic diseases, strengthening bones and teeth, and regulating the hormone system. These minerals are essential in having a healthy circulatory system. They promote easy transportation of blood and oxygen to various parts of the body and also help lower blood pressure.
Eating Protein-rich foods is an essential way of leading a healthy and disease-free life. Haggis is a perfect food with a sufficient supply of protein and amino acids. It helps foster the growth and repair of muscle tissues, reduces hunger level and keeps the stomach filled for a long time, boosts metabolic processes, and helps fast track the process of losing weight naturally.
The oatmeal in haggis is rich in antioxidants like avenanthramides that help prevent damage to the cells. They also have high fiber content that speeds up the rate of digestion and lowers the cholesterol level in the body. It has also been observed to help combat symptoms of eczema.
Culinary Uses of Haggis
The various ingredients mixed with the sheep’s pluck will enhance or affect its final taste. It can be eaten with nachos. Pairing nachos with haggis has a sweet taste and brings a nice sensation to your mouth. Fill the base of a corn chop with haggis, sour cream, cheese, and guacamole. The slightly tangy and salty taste of the chip is complemented by the meatiness of haggis and sour cream.
Breakfast can be cranked up with the inclusion of haggis. Improve the taste of your toasted sandwich by laying the finely sliced granary bread with Scottish cheddar and haggis. Caramelized onion marmalade can be included in the recipe to add a sweet tangy taste to a healthy filling.
Haggis can also be battered and fried. After stuffing the sausage casing with a mixture of sheep’s liver, lung, and heart with various ingredients, dip it in a batter and allow it to deep fry for about 10 minutes. It can also be eaten well with neeps and tatties. This combination is popularly known as a mashed turnip.
Vegetarians can successfully fill the cavity of sheep with cabbages and other herbs to make it suitable for their consumption. Spiced vegetarian haggis pairs well with Scottish potato cones.
Where Did Haggis Originate From? How Do You Procure It?
The dish is common in Scotland. Some people believe that the food was brought by the Romans as the need to preserve and store meat after hunting became an important question. While others believe the food was first imported and made known to other parts of the world when it was imported from Scandinavia in the 13th century by Vikings.
There are various references to the dishes with the same method used in preparing haggis in English and Scottish books from 1400. Haggis was formerly pronounced ‘hagws’ or ‘hagese’ and it was first recorded in England in 1430. There are some controversies as to if the dish is Scottish originating or not.
Haggis can be prepared traditionally or purchased pre-cooked in supermarkets and convenience stores. All you have to when you get it in this form is heat it up and serve.
To prepare haggis at home, clean the animal’s stomach and stuff it with a mixture of herbs, spice, oatmeal, and meat. Tie up the opening and wrap it in aluminum foil before placing it on the stove to boil for about 60 minutes.
Why is Haggis Banned in the United States?
The consumption and importation of dishes that can be potentially dangerous to human health are usually banned by the Government to prevent an outbreak of disease.
The importation of haggis from the UK was prohibited by the United States Government in 1971 because of the high amount of sheep’s vital organs which constitute 12-15% of the food.
Facts You Didn’t Know About Haggis
- Annually, On the 25th of January, Haggis is traditionally eaten for Robert Burn’s night.
- Food historian like Catherine Brown believes the dish can be traced back to the 17th century.