[Sca-cooks] Haggis, Updated: Less Offal, Tastes Great

Phil Troy / G.Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Thu Jan 25 14:52:55 PST 2007

On Jan 25, 2007, at 4:02 PM, Adele de Maisieres wrote:

> That's fair enough-- it's primarily the idea that offal is yucky  
> that I
> find objectionable.  (Mmmm... haggis with plenty  of pepper...)

Honesty, I don't think this paper's food section would waste space on  
anti-offal propaganda. They've got among their readership, arguably,  
some of the most sophisticated foodies on the planet. Apart from  
mentioning the fact that some people don't care for the stuff and  
some other folks are adapting to keep the tradition alive, I really  
don't see why they'd be anything but positive, or how they're being  
anything but positive.

>>>  And there
>>> are some weird statements about the taste (like liver pate,
>>> according to
>>> one commenter) and about haggis being an acquired taste.
>> Not from the author. He's a reporter, not an evangelist. I don't see
>> this as being either part of the solution or part of the problem.
>> Rather, it acknowledges a problem, explores some possible reasons for
>> the problem, and explains what some people are doing about it.
> Yes, he's a reporter, but he's also made some conscious decisions  
> about
> exactly what to report.  I mean, presumably, if you looked for  
> them, you
> could find a bunch of commenters who think that haggis is delicious  
> and
> that the old-fashioned kind is best and report on that.

Well, there's also the editor's imperative to be considered. Again,  
he's reporting on a phenomenon: to wit, that many people, rightly or  
wrongly, either cannot or don't want to make your or my version of a  
"proper" haggis, and what they are doing _rather than_ saying that  
haggis stinks and let's not make it any more.
>> I can't get
>> sheep lungs, so I have to improvise. I find a small amount of pork
>> spleens (Italian and Chinese butchers, as well as serious French
>> butchers, sell these, sometimes calling them "milts") makes a good
>> substitute to give greater dimension than you'd get by simply
>> omitting the lungs.
> Lungs have been banned from sale here, too, although if you're in the
> know, they can sometimes be procured.

Yes, I'm sure I could get them if I tried hard enough, but what I can  
get in the local markets can be used to make an outstanding product,  
so I don't feel too bad.
>> haggis
>> _does_ have a pretty bad reputation in many parts of the world. I'm
>> glad to have made the converts I have.
> Maybe.  I've only seen a lot of negative comments from North  
> Americans.

Oh, no, the British (with certain notable exceptions) have been  
ragging on the haggis for 300 years!

>>> Now for a few remarks based on my personal experience:
>>> Good haggis, well-made with the traditional ingredients is  
>>> delicious.
>>> It tastes nothing like pate-- if anything, it's a bit like a  
>>> meatloaf
>>> with a coarse, crumbly texture.
>> I aim for a texture somewhere between a moist pilaf and a hash,  
>> myself.
> I concur-- your description is better than mine.  I like a more
> granular, pilaf-y texture myself, but that's purely a matter of taste.

Yep. It's just _so_ rich, though, you can't afford to let it get to  
that modelling-clay consistency. You'd eat two bites and fall over.  
And not in a good way ;-).


"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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