The Unexpected Delicious Haggis. So What Is It, Exactly?

A trip to Scotland isn’t complete without tasting its signature dish.

A trip to Scotland isn’t complete without tasting its signature dish: haggis. It’s savory, perfumed with aromatic herbs accompanied by mashed vegetables and potatoes. In a country overcast with clouds and rainfalls, there’s nothing more cozy than indulging in a hearty plate of haggis. But, what is it, exactly?

If you’re hanging out with a bunch of bartenders, joking at a Scottish pub, they’ll probably say: you don’t want to know what’s inside. If you’re not a daredevil foodie, then you probably shouldn’t continue reading. For the curious connoisseur, haggis is a tasty pudding comprised of a sheep’s heart, liver and lungs.

Sounds inviting? Just remember the delectable flavors are enhanced with minced onions, oatmeal, spices, salt and stock. All these ingredients are encased in a sheep’s stomach to ensure every ounce of seasoning is marinated so the taste is richly nutty.

A dish derived from the Highlands of Scotland, haggis was created by hunters who wanted to devour and utilize every part of the sheep in the ancient times. Mentioned in poems before the 1500’s and even referred to in Homer’s The Odyssey (in book 20), haggis originated as a recipe of necessity, using the cheapest cuts of meat and the innards.

Today, there’s even vegetarian haggis for those who don’t consume meat. The recipe replaces meat with nuts, oats, barley, lentils, peas kidney beans, mushrooms, carrots…and more.

So don’t miss this iconic and enticing plate of comfort food. Even if a sheep’s heart, liver and lungs aren’t your jam.

Have you ever been to Scotland? Share with us in the comments.

Wendy Hung


As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and Russia because they were all so different! St. Bart's was pretty amazing too (wink)!

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