Haggis, Scotland’s national dish, is a tasty Scottish delicacy. Though traditionally served as the centrepiece of the Burns Night Feast, it can be enjoyed all year round. There are some superb local Haggis suppliers, recipes and menus in and around Dumfries & Galloway, the heart of Robert Burns country.
Haggis, Neeps & Tatties
The ingredients of haggis, sheep’s heart, liver and lungs, minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices and stock may not sound appealing to many but don’t be put off. The sum of all the parts makes for a delicious savoury flavour with a nutty texture. It is often served with ‘Neeps & Tatties’ (mash potatoes and mashed turnips or swede) complimented with a whisky based sauce. It should be experienced by all who have an adventurous taste.
There are many great local tales, recipes, local suppliers and restaurants that have popularised Haggis where visitors to our region can enjoy this unusual dish. One such delightfully named local recipe is called ‘Haggis & Rumbledethumps’ from Craigadam Country House Hotel & Country Larder in Castle Douglas who will also be happy to relate a few fun Haggis stories and myths.
Tales of Flying Haggis
Only last year it was rumoured that a rare breed of flying haggis migrated down from the Highlands and Islands to nest and breed on the river’s banks here in the very heart of Dumfries and Galloway. Listen out for their deep drone mating call tom locate them.
Seek out haggis by the local rivers or grab one ‘table ready’ from of the many local stores, specialist suppliers or local restaurants including:
- Ballard Butchers, Castle Douglas – Current South West Scotland Champion for Scottish Haggis & Scottish Champion for Scottish Pork Sausage
- The Blackfaced Haggis, Dumfries – Haggis sausages, Partridge & Pheasant stuffed with haggis and haggis boxes, all with their own secret recipe’s and finest ingredients.
- Haggis & Puddings – Galloway Quality Meats – Haggis & Scottish Specialists
- Hall J & Sons, Family Butcher in Kirkudbright – 49 St Mary St, Kirkcudbright
- Masonic Arms, Castle Douglas – Gastro pub with menus choices such as scallops, beef medallions with haggis
Address to a Haggis by Robert Burns
To celebrate his appreciation of the Haggis, Robert Burns wrote a poem that has linked them together forever. This poem, Address to a Haggis, is always the first item on the agenda of festive Burns’ night feasts and often accompanied by a rousing bagpipes rendition, a true Scottish tradition. Enjoy the poem below!
Address to a Haggis (With the Modern Translation)
Good luck to you and your honest, plump face,
Great chieftain of the sausage race!
Above them all you take your place,
Stomach, tripe, or intestines:
Well are you worthy of a grace
As long as my arm.
The groaning trencher there you fill,
Your buttocks like a distant hill,
Your pin would help to mend a mill
In time of need,
While through your pores the dews distill
Like amber bead.
His knife see rustic Labour wipe,
And cut you up with ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like any ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm steaming, rich!
Then spoon for spoon, the stretch and strive:
Devil take the hindmost, on they drive,
Till all their well swollen bellies by-and-by
Are bent like drums;
Then old head of the table, most like to burst,
‘The grace!’ hums.
Is there that over his French ragout,
Or olio that would sicken a sow,
Or fricassee would make her vomit
With perfect disgust,
Looks down with sneering, scornful view
On such a dinner?
Poor devil! see him over his trash,
As feeble as a withered rush,
His thin legs a good whip-lash,
His fist a nut;
Through bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit.
But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his ample fist a blade,
He’ll make it whistle;
And legs, and arms, and heads will cut off
Like the heads of thistles.
You powers, who make mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill of fare,
Old Scotland wants no watery stuff,
That splashes in small wooden dishes;
But if you wish her grateful prayer,
Give her [Scotland] a Haggis!