Haggis: Did It Gag Us?
As per tradition, haggis is best plated on paper, beside a bottle of Belhaven.
We see how it is. The Glenlivet reps come by the office to offer tastings of the company's 18 to 25 year-old Scotch and what do we who don't have our own offices get? Perhaps a dram of whisky? Just a taste? A drop, even? No, we get the can of haggis.
That's right. Canned haggis. Thanks for reminding us of our place in the City of Ate.
But, hell--it's free food. So a few of us got together Saturday night to try the traditional Scottish meat product (the word "meat" is used very loosely). Traditionally, it's a preparation of sheep heart, liver and lungs minced with oatmeal, onion and seasoning, which is then boiled inside the animal's stomach. Mmm! However, this particular haggis came from The Caledonian Kitchen in Lewisville, which meant it followed FDA restrictions against lung meat. Such a shame.
Furthermore, it was made from "Highland Beef," which I assume means cow--unless that's a euphemism for sheep, or worse. Unfortunately, we didn't have the traditional "neeps and tatties" to serve with it. Nor did we have any Scotch--though we did have a sixer of Belhaven Scottish Ale to wash it down.
So how was it? After the jump, you'll find video of our tasting as well as a serving suggestion.
The overall consensus seemed to be that it wasn't as bad as we feared...but we feared it mightily. It smelled very similar to canned pet food or Vienna sausage (same thing in some people's books) and proved salty, mushy and greasy. After we finished filming, a friend suggested adding capers--a stroke of genius, as this gave it Mediterranean credibility...and made the stuff much more tolerable.
Nobody went back for seconds after the initial sample. Well, nobody human, at least. My dog loved it.
Before I threw away the empty can the next morning, I peeled the label off and saw that the paper had obscured something printed on the can: "CC&S # 37 03:18 09/02/04".
I can only hope the date refers to the manufacturing of the can itself, not the hag...
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