[Sca-cooks] Haggis Tempest

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Sat Aug 8 18:18:51 PDT 2009

We may not find this news because we've certainly cited Markham when 
talking about haggis
but this has made news all over the UK this week and even made NPR today.

"HAGGIS was invented by the English before being hijacked by Scottish 
nationalists, a food historian has claimed.
Catherine Brown has discovered references to the dish in a recipe book 
dated 1615, /The English Hus-wife/ by Gervase Markham."

It made the Op-Ed section of Thursday's New York Times:


It's titled "Keep Your Hands Off Our Haggis" and concerns
"The insult to the Scots this year is that haggis, the Scottish national 
dish, is not really Scottish, but English."

"The basis of the current claim 
<http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/aug/03/haggis-scottish-english> is 
that an English cookbook of the early 17th century contains a recipe for 
haggis. This, we are told, was well before any Scottish recipe book 
gives similar information. Well, now, this assertion is so patently 
flimsy that it hardly requires refutation. Of course there was no 
published Scottish recipe for haggis before then, for the simple reason 
that it would have been quite unnecessary for Scots to publish a recipe 
for something that everybody in Scotland knew how to make. Why state the 
obvious? It’s as simple as that."

The editorial concludes with

"Never heard of haggis? Never tasted it? Try it on your next visit to 
Scotland, or even England. It is best taken with mashed turnips, which, 
incidentally, were invented in Scotland, and with a shot of whisky. The 
whisky is to neutralize the taste of the haggis, and the turnips are 
there for health reasons. Highly recommended."

The author of this piece is Alexander McCall Smith who wrote most 
recently, of “Tea Time for the Traditionally Built.”
The Sunday Times did an article on August 2, 2009 titled "Final word: 
haggis was a cunning English plot."

See also


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