Thursday 17 August 2017

Care For Some Haggis?

The faint-hearted and the uninitiated will not touch it with a 10-foot pole!  It’s unsightly and doesn’t look appetising, but don’t let appearances deceive you.  There’s a reason why it’s the national dish of Scotland.  By the way, it’s also very popular and delicious!  

                                                            Wikimedia Commons

Thanks to the eight-verse poem Robert Burns wrote, ‘Address to a Haggis’, he unwittingly elevated haggis from its humble origins to something iconic.  After his death in 1796 his friends organised a Burns Supper in his honour.  Now, every 25th January (his birthday) is Burns Supper Day!

What is the haggis?  Its origin is a big question mark but it is an ancient dish believed to go as far back as the 15th century.  The word haggis may have originated from the Scandinavian 'hag', meaning to hack or chop, or the Anglo-Saxon 'haecan', to hack into pieces.  It may also come from the French 'hachis', or the Icelandic 'hoggva', also meaning to hack or chop.

Whatever its origins, it’s a savoury pudding.  Yes, pudding!  The main ingredients are sheep's heart, liver, lungs, and stomach (or sausage casing); onion, oatmeal, suet, and spices.  That’s a lot of yummy stuff in it and it looks very much like minced meat!
                                                              Wikimedia Commons

So what is its nutritional value?  

High in vitamin A, vitamin B12 and copper
Substantial quantities of riboflavin, folate, selenium, chromium, pantothenic acid, niacin, protein, vitamin B6 & niacin

Great source of selenium, protein and iron 
Moderate amount of vitamin C, vitamin B12, niacin, riboflavin & phosphorus

Not healthy - low in protein & the only substantial nutrient is vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is found in all animal products

Liver and lung are high in cholesterol so haggis should be eaten in moderation. A side salad or perhaps some green beans would be a great nutritional addition to this meal.

Here’s the nutrition summary (according to brand names):

per 100g - Calories: 240kcal | Fat: 13.70g | Carbs: 15.30g | Protein: 13.60g 

per 100g - Calories: 192kcal | Fat: 8.30g | Carbs: 17.10g | Protein: 11 

per 100g - Calories: 270kcal | Fat: 17.60g | Carbs: 20.40g | Protein: 10.40g 

per 100g - Calories: 286kcal | Fat: 16.70g | Carbs: 27.20g | Protein: 6.80g     

By the way, there’s also the vegetarian version.
per 100g - Calories: 208kcal | Fat: 11.50g | Carbs: 25.90g | Protein: 5.90g     

Game to make your own haggis?  Let’s make something that the vegetarians can partake – Vegetarian Haggis!  Checkout the recipes below:

1. Vegan Haggis (Emma's Little Kitchen)

2. Janet Henderson’s Vegetarian Haggis

Bon appetit!

Shared by Azni Zainal Abidin
Guest Blogger

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