[Sca-cooks] haggis question

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Thu Jan 4 12:38:37 PST 2007

On Jan 4, 2007, at 3:00 PM, Kathleen A Roberts wrote:

> while fixating on early irish food research, a question
> popped to mind...
> is haggis strictly scottish, never traveling beyond the
> borders, or would it be a dish that would have been
> known/done/served around the british?  is it merely a
> generalized pudding or a country specific treasure?

There are non-Scottish references to haggis; I suppose it's  
conceivable they might be more or less coincidental. So, for example,  
we have 14th or 15th-century English recipes for Haggas d'Almayne  
(whose name suggests a German origin, which is odd, in a way).

But in addition, we have northern English and Lowland Scots haggis  
recipes that are distinctly different, but still recognizable  
variants (for example, one in which the gut is cooked and chopped  
into the pudding rather than used as a casing, or an 18th-century  
English one that calls for cream and breadcrumbs instead of oats).

> i suppose this comes from looking for things people have
> heard of and that there are recipes for as opposed to the
> dominant 'nothing written down' i keep banging into with
> the irish food.

We just don't seem to have a lot of the same type of evidence for  
Scottish and Irish foods that we have, say, for English eating habits  
in period. There's some, but probably not as much or of the same  
type. It would be tempting to assume that there's some very old Irish  
haggis equivalent (if that's where you're going with this), but apart  
from English-style white puddings, drisheen (which is sort of like  
sheep's-blood cheese), and a mock goose in modern Irish cuisine that  
calls for a hog's maw to be stuffed with potatoes, onions, and fat,  
and roasted, I'm not aware of any real evidence for one.


"S'ils n'ont pas de pain, vous fait-on dire, qu'ils  mangent de la  
brioche!" / "If there's no bread to be had, one has to say, let them  
eat cake!"
     -- attributed to an unnamed noblewoman by Jean-Jacques Rousseau,  
"Confessions", 1782

"Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy -- or go on Prozac?"
     -- Susan Sheybani, assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry  
Holt, 07/29/04

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