Monday, December 22, 2008

The Haggis - Britain's Beloved Big Sausage

Thanks, Wikipedia.

One of Britain's most beloved dishes is the haggis, that giant sausage from Scotland.

The haggis contains sheep heart, liver and lungs minced with onion, oatmeal, turnip, spices and salt, wrapped inside a sheep stomach and mixed with stock.

It is believed that the haggis arrived in Britain with the Roman (Italian) invasion of Julius Caesar's time.

However, it is also possible that the haggis was introduced to the Scots by the English invaders.

Scottish poet Robert Burns famously created the poem Address To A Haggis. Every January 25, when the poet's birthday is celebrated in Britain, his poem is read before a haggis is served at any formal dinner in his honour.

The haggis is widely available in supermarkets in Scotland and other parts of Britain, as well as the British diaspora.

Haggis can be served in Scottish fast-food establishments deep fried in batter.

A haggis burger is a patty of fried haggis served on a bun, and a haggis bhaji is another deep fried variant, available in some Indian restaurants in Glasgow.

Higher class restaurants sometimes serve chicken breast stuffed with haggis and this dish is Chicken Balmoral.

Since the 1960s various Scottish shops and manufacturers have created vegetarian haggis for those who do not eat meat. These substitute various pulses and vegetables for the meat in the dish.

In the United States, a sausage known as scrapple closely resembles the haggis.

Sausages which closely resemble the haggis include:

The Danish and Norwegian Garnatalg, Slatur and Lungmush;

The Swedish Polsa;

The English Groats Pudding;

The Dutch Balkenbrij;

The French Boudin;

The German Stippgrutze, Knipp and Saumagen;

The Spanish Camaiot and Chireta;

The Portuguese Tripas;

The Maltese Mazzit;

The Mexican Montalayo;

The Brazilian Buchada;

The Philippine Bopis;

The Romanian Drob;

The Czechoslovakian and Hungarian Tlacenka, Veres, Hurka and Jelito;

The Bulgarian Bahur;

The Yugoslavian Svargl;

The Polish Kaszanka;

The Lithuanian Kepenine and Kraujiniai;

The Russian Kishka;

The Asheh and Ghammeh of Syria and Lebanon;

And the African-Caribbean Jug-Jug.