[Sca-cooks] haggis question

Johnna Holloway johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu
Fri Jan 5 12:03:47 PST 2007

It may not always have been a sheep's stomach.
Wikipedia mentions

It's unknown who discovered and prepared this for the first time. The 
most likely origin of the dish is from the days of the old Scottish 
cattle drovers <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattle_drovers>. When the 
men left the highlands <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Highlands> 
to drive their cattle to market <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market> in 
Edinburgh <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edinburgh> the women would 
prepare rations for them to eat during the long journey down through the 
glens <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glen>. They used the ingredients 
that were most readily available in their homes and conveniently 
packaged them in a sheep's stomach allowing for easy transportation 
during the journey.

Another theory, put forward by food historian Clarissa Dickson-Wright 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarissa_Dickson-Wright>, is that haggis 
was invented as a way of cooking quick-spoiling offal 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offal> near the site of a hunt, without 
the need to carry along an additional cooking vessel. The liver and 
kidneys could be grilled <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grill> directly 
over a fire, but this treatment was unsuitable for the stomach, 
intestines, or lungs. Chopping up the lungs and stuffing the stomach 
with them and whatever fillers might have been on hand, then boiling the 
assembly — likely in a vessel made from the animal's hide 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal%27s_hide> — was one way to make 
sure these parts did not go to waste. (Dickson-Wright 12).Dickson 
Wright, Clarissa <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarissa_Dickson_Wright> 
(1998). /The Haggis: A Little History/. Pelican Publishing Company. ISBN 

Other theories are based on Scottish slaughtering practices. When a 
Chieftan or Laird required an animal to be slaughtered for meat (whether 
sheep or cattle) the workmen were allowed to keep the offal as their share.


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