This Scottish delicacy is often frowned upon because of the way it looks. Since you are here, we believe you have seen this delicacy somewhere and want to know what actually goes into it or what does haggis taste like.
Not just in Scotland, but haggis is consumed in major parts of the world today. Despite its unappealing look, most people love how it tastes.
In fact, in places like Glasgow and Edinburg, you’ll even find a wide variety of haggis like haggis nachos, haggis pizza, haggis burgers, and lots more.
Without further ado, let’s jump into everything you need to know about haggis. And then, maybe you can decide on trying some the next time you see a haggis food truck.
What is Haggis?
In a nutshell, haggis is chopped sheep’s offal (liver, lungs, and heart) combined with different spices, onion, herbs, beef fat, and oatmeal, stuffed and boiled inside the sheep’s stomach.
So, if you already love eating sheep innards, haggis isn’t as gross as it looks.
Though Haggis is the national food of Scotland, it doesn’t belong to Scotland alone. Haggis was a popular meal among hunters throughout the world for thousands of years.
Since ancient days, whenever hunters shot an animal for a meal, they first ate the innards of their kill.
They would mix the innards with some herbs and spices and put it inside the washed stomach of the animal and cook it over the fire.
Today, different cultures use different animal meat to make haggis and combine them with various ingredients as per their likings.
What Does Haggis Taste Like? Does Haggis Taste Good?
If you’ve tasted innards before, you already know how Haggis would taste like. While the taste of this delicacy may vary due to the use of different herbs and spices, the texture remains crumbly and coarse, like that of a minced sausage.
Traditional haggis tastes peppery and slightly nutty because of the presence of oatmeal. Some even describe it as “spicy oatmeal.”
Haggis is popularly served alongside mashed potato, neeps (mashed turnip), beans, and not forgetting, with a glass of bourbon or whiskey.
Haggis is flavorful and nutritious as well. One of its main ingredients is the liver, which is undoubtedly rich in vitamins and folate.
While the meaty ingredients provide the benefits of iron, zinc, protein, and selenium, oatmeal contributes to the fiber content.
How to Use Haggis in Recipes?
Haggis is sold pre-cooked in most supermarkets. So, all you have to do this heat it before eating.
However, if you want to get your hands on the traditional haggis and cook it on your own, you might be happy to know that it’s quite easy.
Mince the preferred animal innards along with all the other ingredients and flavorings you want to add. Mix well. Make sure to wash the animal’s stomach before stuffing in the mixture.
Once you stuff the mixture in its stomach, tie up the openings and wrap it tightly in foil. Then, place the haggis in a large pan and fill it with cold water.
Place it on a stove and bring it to boil. Let it simmer on medium to low flame. About 60 minutes will do for 500 grams of haggis.
Let it cool once it’s cooked. Then gently unwrap the foil, cut open the stomach, and scoop out the haggis to enjoy it at your next dinner or during the Burns Night.
Modern haggis is more versatile and incorporated with a lot of new ingredients. It is fried liked crumbled pudding for breakfast or used as a stuffing in various cuisines.
Though it is nutritious, it is best recommended to have it moderately since it contains high saturated fats, which may cause adverse health issues.
Over the years, the way of cooking haggis has significantly evolved to suit individual lifestyles and tastes. If you are a vegetarian, there is haggis even for you – the vegan haggis!