Ode to the Haggis:
Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak yer place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
As lang’s my airm.
As it’s Burn’s Night, I thought it be fitting to pay tribute to the guest of honor and have today’s foodie be…..
Scotland ~ A sausage made from the minced heart, liver and lungs of a sheep mixed with oatmeal, suet, minced onion, spices, herbs and seasoning, all encased in a sheep’s stomach and boiled prior to being served hot.
Nowadays more commonly stuffed in a plastic casing. Traditionally served at Burns’ night suppers with tatties (potatoes) and neeps (turnips)*see bottom and washed down with an excess of whiskey, while Burns’ Ode to the Haggis is recited with due ceremony.
I did a post on Burn’s Night last year and you can read more about it here .
Unfortunately, authentic Scottish haggis has been banned in the United States since 1971, when the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) first took a dim view of one of its key ingredients – sheep’s lung.
While millions of people around the world will enjoy a Burns Night helping tonight, those in the US who want to celebrate Scotland’s national bard in the traditional manner are compelled to improvise.
Some choose to stage offal-free Burns suppers, and for most people not raised in Scotland, the absence of the dish might be no great hardship. But for many expat Scots and Scots-Americans, the notion of Burns Supper without haggis is as unthinkable as Thanksgiving without turkey.
Meanwhile, butchers in the US have tried, and failed, to make their own versions of the pudding without using the vital ingredient: sheep. “It was a silly ban which meant a lot of people have never tasted the real thing,” said Margaret Frost, of the Scottish American Society in Ohio. “We have had to put up with the US version, which is made from beef and is bloody awful.”
So even if you’re not able to tuck into haggis tonight, enjoy your dinner and evening. After all, you can still enjoy a wee nip of whiskey!
*Chef P just got home and told me he read my blog today…and also corrected me. Neeps are turnips, not parsnips! I seem to have a brain fart when it comes to that!