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Is Haggis Necessary?

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MissouriMud 10 Aug 05 - 07:10 PM
RobbieWilson 10 Aug 05 - 07:25 PM
Bob Bolton 10 Aug 05 - 07:27 PM
Leadfingers 10 Aug 05 - 07:40 PM
John MacKenzie 10 Aug 05 - 07:40 PM
Bonecruncher 10 Aug 05 - 07:56 PM
RobbieWilson 10 Aug 05 - 08:03 PM
dick greenhaus 10 Aug 05 - 08:35 PM
pdq 10 Aug 05 - 08:43 PM
MissouriMud 10 Aug 05 - 09:24 PM
GUEST,Bill the Collie 11 Aug 05 - 02:17 AM
GUEST,Boab 11 Aug 05 - 02:31 AM
GUEST,Guest, Big Tim 11 Aug 05 - 02:32 AM
MMario 11 Aug 05 - 10:31 AM
Abby Sale 11 Aug 05 - 10:42 AM
JulieF 11 Aug 05 - 11:17 AM
Emma B 11 Aug 05 - 11:33 AM
Charmion 11 Aug 05 - 11:42 AM
Midchuck 11 Aug 05 - 11:48 AM
Leadfingers 11 Aug 05 - 11:48 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Aug 05 - 12:18 PM
Ernest 11 Aug 05 - 12:38 PM
Bunnahabhain 11 Aug 05 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,Russ 11 Aug 05 - 01:21 PM
MissouriMud 11 Aug 05 - 01:31 PM
LilyFestre 11 Aug 05 - 01:59 PM
Little Robyn 11 Aug 05 - 03:53 PM
PoppaGator 11 Aug 05 - 06:27 PM
Tattie Bogle 11 Aug 05 - 06:51 PM
Little Hawk 11 Aug 05 - 06:58 PM
Ned Ludd 11 Aug 05 - 07:21 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Aug 05 - 07:28 PM
Pauline L 11 Aug 05 - 08:32 PM
Peace 11 Aug 05 - 08:37 PM
JohnInKansas 12 Aug 05 - 01:05 AM
Peace 12 Aug 05 - 01:09 AM
Peace 12 Aug 05 - 01:17 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 12 Aug 05 - 02:09 AM
MMario 12 Aug 05 - 10:25 AM
Dave Hanson 12 Aug 05 - 10:30 AM
MMario 12 Aug 05 - 10:32 AM
Uncle_DaveO 12 Aug 05 - 11:01 AM
Ringer 12 Aug 05 - 11:05 AM
Uncle_DaveO 12 Aug 05 - 11:10 AM
MMario 12 Aug 05 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,Welsh 12 Aug 05 - 01:00 PM
MMario 12 Aug 05 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,Welsh 12 Aug 05 - 01:09 PM
John MacKenzie 12 Aug 05 - 01:27 PM
gnomad 12 Aug 05 - 08:17 PM
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Subject: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: MissouriMud
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 07:10 PM

We played at a "Scottish Bar" last night - here by the banks of the Mississippi. Since our repertoire is mostly Old Timey we were struggling to come up with Scottish based tunes which are also played here (such as Soldiers Joy, Ms McLeods Reel and The Flowers of Edinburgh) - but the mostly non Scottish crowd didnt mind our predominantly mid/US based fiddle music. The food however seemed to be making an effort to be authentic - including haggis- and the seemingly Scottish proprietor seemed quite bent on us trying it. I dodged it this time around but since this is likely a somewhat regular gig at some point I will have to confront the issue. Just what is it that I am putting in my mouth and will it make my backup guitar playing more scottish sounding?   Not really a music thread I spose but ..


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 07:25 PM

Don't ask, you really don't want to know. The main ingredient is sheeps lights.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 07:27 PM

G'day MissouriMud,

Oxford Dictionary (Australian Concise, 1997):

Haggis / n. A Scottish dish consisiting of a sheep or calf's offal mixed with suet, oatmeal, etc., and boiled in a bag made from the animal's stomach or in an artificial bag.

Regard(les)s,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 07:40 PM

Cheap Haggis is as bad as cheap Sausage !! GOOD Haggis is excellent !!And dont forget the Tatties and Neeps !!


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 07:40 PM

Food of the gods, look what it did for Aly Bain.
G..


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Bonecruncher
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 07:56 PM

Why not try the haggis?
Is this a case of "I don't like it because i've never tried it"?

It's made from the liver and other offal of a sheep, mixed with oatmeal, spices and herbs. It was originally encased and cooked by boiling in the stomach of the sheep but today, like sausage skins, the skin is likely to be man-made. A look at a decent recipe book will tell you this!
Similar ingredients are used for faggots, rissoles and meatballs.

The ingredients are probably much more wholesome than your average eyelidburger from MacWhatsits.

At a Burns Night at our local Folk Club in the South of England not one person refused the haggis, traditionally served with mashed potato and mashed neeps (swede).

Colyn.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 08:03 PM

Clapshot.























That's neeps and tatties mixed in equal parts, with lots of butter and black pepper


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 08:35 PM

Think of it as Scottish liverwurst.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: pdq
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 08:43 PM

Haggis was an attempt to make something noble out of leftovers. Like lips, nipples and assholes.

We also tried that here in the US. We call the result Democrats.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: MissouriMud
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 09:24 PM

The haggis was served with neeps and tatties, so I guess it may be somewhat authentic. Liver is fine - dont know about the assholes.

I guess the broader musical issue is - whether in the face of all this authentic scottishness we should make an effort to have our music have at least a slight scottish shading (which would take a bit of work) or whether, since both the audience and the management seemed happy with our normal non Scottish music, we should just stick to what we know? I just felt a bit odd playing Ozark fiddle tunes with waiters in kilts serving haggis. I'm sure many of you have encountered much stranger situations.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: GUEST,Bill the Collie
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 02:17 AM

You won't like if you don't like spicy food.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 02:31 AM

Haggis is a friendly beast. I know---cuz I talk to one every year at the local Burns Supper. Then I eat it; it's GOOD!


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: GUEST,Guest, Big Tim
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 02:32 AM

Vegatarian haggis is delicious (MacSwein's): available in all good delis.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: MMario
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 10:31 AM

I have a number of authentic haggis recipes from the early 1600's. the common ingredient is oatmeal. two recipes have no meat, one includes mince, one liver, one has various innards. Though all the recipes call for boiling in a sheeps stomach they mention a pudding cloth can be used, or it can be baked in a pan in the oven.

Odd that the one using the innerds is the only one that seems to have survived.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 10:42 AM

liverwurst is closest, really. Liver is the primary meat ingredient. However, there is practically no "liver taste" to it. Scottish chip shops commonly serve haggis sausage among the usual other items. The English are (or were) as surprised to find it in a chip shop as they would be to find fried curry there. I found the trad haggis a nasty, mushy concoction - much like neaps.

BUT, fried haggis (same ingredients but in a sausage or a salami-size skin) was excellent and could be used in any dish you might have with sauteed meat at all. Eggs, sandwich, etc. I've said it before, but there are still people who fondly remember my spaghetti with haggis sauce. Excellent!


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: JulieF
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 11:17 AM

As has been said you've got to eat the good stuff. When I stopped eating meat I thought that this would be the one thing I really missed but the McSweeny vegitarian haggis is a treat - especially the little individual ones. Every time I go up To Edinburgh I have to bring a large number back for friends.

Julie


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Emma B
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 11:33 AM

McSweens make good haggis and it's even possible to buy "mini" one portion ones but these are in man made skins
However for a wondeful experience try the home made ones from the butchers/abbatoir at Blackwaterfoot on the Isle of Arran - we will be celebrating there next week with a tradional supper of haggis tatties and neeps ...and the essential ingredient....a good single malt (or two)


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Charmion
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 11:42 AM

You had a musical question among your musings on comestibles. I recommend that you take notes from your audience: if they're having a good time, and the management are likely to give you a steady gig, don't worry about it. I'm sure that expanding your repertoire in a Scots direction would be taken well (especially if you do it well), but from your account they like you as you are.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Midchuck
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 11:48 AM

Kris and I have been working on a song to be called "I Draw the Line at Haggis," to the melody of "Barbara Allen." It's going very slowly, so if anyone wants to consider it a song challenge, that's fine with me.

The original rhyme I was trying to fit to it was "...gag us."

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 11:48 AM

Bear in mind that trying to sing in dialect could well be a serious error , and SOME scottish songs dont really work well with a 'BBC' accent!! Some Damn Fine songs and tunes to do though !!


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 12:18 PM

Re faggots? (Bonecrusher, post above) I don't dare touch that one, using the (usual but non-pc) American definition!

My reaction to suchi is No! but I have tried haggis. Like much ethnic soul food, it is all right on occasion (rare), but not regularly. Now a good hotdog----


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Ernest
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 12:38 PM

just my 2 cents:
1) Haggis is good - try it (as the saying goes: try everything - with the exception of incest or folkdance)
2) Are the people in the place really able to distinguish between scottish and american reels? Must be a great place...
3) With a mudcat-name like yours you shouldn`t be afraid of the looks of the Haggis!
Regards
Ernest    ;o)


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 12:54 PM

Good haggis is very good, and if it's not good, well hope you can only taste the pepper.

The McSweens is the best haggis you can get in a packaged form, but as with most things, if you can find a good local butcher, then the fresh one will be better. Of course I maybe biased, as I'll be having haggis this evening.

Don't worry too much about learning Scottish tunes for it. Stick to what you know, and learn new stuff in the normal fashion, ie hearing something, not catching the musician ,and spending months looking out for it agian. Plus ,we do Scottish dances to all sorts of stuff, from tradional scottish stuff, to Gilbert and Sullivan tunes, and plenty of American tunes.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 01:21 PM

Ate haggis for the first time while in Scotland. Simply wanted to be able to say that I had tried it. Ended up liking it, much to my surprise.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: MissouriMud
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 01:31 PM

Probably most of the audience would notbe able to distinuish a scottish reel from an american one. Many would only recognize an instrumental scottish tune if it were played on bagpipe or made to sound like it. The few scottish fiddle tunes I have heard played by a Scot seemed to have a different lilt than our more straight driving rhythms, as most of our stuff has been adapted for playing square and contra dances.

Actually a good many of the tunes we play have at least some roots in Scottish/Irish/English tunes, although outside of a few obvious ones we havent done much detailed pedigree history research beyond the US to know which ones are more Scottish than say Irish. A lot came over with the Irish immgration groups who were I believe more numerous than Scottish immigrants. As such we probably unwittingly played more Irish based tunes than Scottish - but without causing a ruckus.

Most venues we play are not as ostensibly themed to a different country so I was curious as to whether we should make any adjustments.
Given the above the comments, we'll keep doing what we know best until someone tels us they dont like it.

Fortunately we do very few vocal tunes, so the issue of singing in dialect has not come up and is not likely to.   I don't think any of us would feel comfortable trying to mask our Missouri twang with a BBC accent let alone a phony scottish brogue - we is what we is (even though I'm from Connecticut originally so I dont have much accent).

As for the Mud - thats mostly on my shoes not in my stomach. Being at the convergence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers there is a lot of mud that travels a long way to get here, but I try my best not to ingest it. I'll try the haggis next time - but I may try to find out what "version" they are serving simply so I know what to expect. It appeared to be in slices so either it was fried or done like a pece of meat loaf. Not sure that you can improve the taste as you can with the relatively mild grits they serve a bit south of here by adding stuff like butter, sugar, syrup, cheese etc.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: LilyFestre
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 01:59 PM

Is Haggis Necessary?

In a word....NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Been there, tried that...never again!!!!

Did they bring the haggis out carried by 4 men on a platter and then sing to it/addressing the haggis? Saw it done in Scotland....

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Little Robyn
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 03:53 PM

My young brother came to a Scots evening one night and turned his nose up at the haggis. But he loves pate so I suggested he thought about pate as he tried just a little.
Yum! He loved it. He went back for seconds, then thirds and finally cleaned up the left-overs afterwards.
We enjoyed faggots (rather like meatballs) when we were in Britain but you don't see them here in NZ.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 06:27 PM

I beg to differ ~ haggis probably is necessary if you want to become a more authentially Scottish perfomer (even just a little bit more authentic).

I know I certainly became a much better blues singer after my first exposure to grits and collard greens. ;^)

Don't be put off by lurid descriptions of what haggis is made from. Do you eat sausage of any kind? Imagine your favorite sausage, or pate, etc. ~ believe me, if anyone had described the contents to you first, you would have been reluctant to ever take your first taste; but it's good, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 06:51 PM

My English husband asked for the gravy and was told to throw some whisky over it! We never eat it otherwise now, but don't waste your best single malt on it, keep that for the never-ending toasts afterwards! Bon Carleyjorn!!
TB


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 06:58 PM

It is neither necessary nor desirable.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Ned Ludd
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 07:21 PM

Haggis was once neccesary when folk couldnt afford the meat. Just like drip sarnies in the war.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 07:28 PM

If you aren't used to haggis, don't boil or steam it; it's inclined to come out flabby and flavourless. You'll like it better baked or roasted (actually that comes to the same thing). Crispy skin, yum. If it's real gut, of course; avoid artificial "skin". Also avoid deep-fried haggis. Scotland has about the worst rate of heart disease and tooth decay in the whole of Europe. It's the home, after all, of the deep-fried Mars Bar.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Pauline L
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 08:32 PM

I play a lot of Scottish fiddle music, and I have never eaten, nor do I want to eat, haggis. I know what haggis is but, being american, I did not know what neeps were. I do know that "tatties" can be translated as "potatoes." I did some research on Google and found a very interesting recipe for haggis with bashed neeps (translation: turnips) and Champit tatties. Now would someone tell me what Champit is? A brand name? A variety of potatoes/tattties?


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 08:37 PM

I think it's mashed potatoes.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 01:05 AM

I'm afraid Haggis (as a foodstuff) is unknown in my region. At least I've never seen, heard, touched, smelled, or tasted it.

I have been told by some who claimed "celtic" connections that cooking haggis was a good thing - - - as it removed from availability those "membranous parts" of various creatures that might otherwise be available for the making of ....... bags for pipes.

I can't recall any of those who claimed knowledge of the product in my presence ever commenting on the action of eating it. Perhaps they didn't know that that is it's intended use. It seems that quite a lot of "celtic lore" that circulates here is based on less than perfect knowledge.

Having visited Japan briefly on business, where I learned that the "courtesy" expressed by Japanese businessmen in taking "foreign visitors" to exotic dining places was really to see if they could make the visitors sick so that they would have something to tell jokes about for a few months after, by comparison some of the above descriptions of Haggis sound quite tasty.

The Japanese, incidentally, failed quite miserably with my group. Although one of the younger engineers exhibited some mild "greening around the gills" I suspect it was more due to the "personal attendant" that he - being the only bachelor in the group - was offered. She was not all that pretty, and I'm sure he had no idea what use he was expected to make of her services.

They had no offerings even remotely comparable to our own "Possum on a Plank," or other delicacies I would have offered should they have reciprocated the visit.

Without a good "Tex-Mex" or "Thai" recipe for haggis, I'm afraid it has little chance of penetrating the local purveyers of fine foods in my locale; but I shall keep an eye out for some.

John


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Peace
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 01:09 AM

Careful where you put that eye. It might well end up in the haggis.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Peace
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 01:17 AM

Good site.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 02:09 AM

Should be included as one of the essentail six food groups.

Loaded with Iron, and all the B's, not to mention a goat-load of fiber.

Man could exist on Haggis (and beer) alone.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Provided to our troops in Iriaq....the scurvy, scum, of inserection may be irradicated inside of next month.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: MMario
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 10:25 AM

Robert May
the Art and Mystery of Cookery

To Make a Haggas pudding in a sheeps paunch

Take good store of parsley, savory, thyme, onions, oatmeal groats chopped together and mingled with some beef or mutton suet minced together and some cloves, mace, pepper ans salt.
fill the paunch, sow it up and boil it.
Then being boiled, serve it in a dish and cut a hole in the top of it and put in some beaten butter with two or three yolks of eggs dissolved in the butter or none.

this one may do for a fasting day, and put no suet in it, and put it in a napkin or bag .


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 10:30 AM

Great cheiftain 'o the pudding race [ Burns ]

I'm English and I love it, don't knock it till you've tried it.

eric


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: MMario
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 10:32 AM

should be easy to do either a 'Thai' or 'Tex-Mex version....


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 11:01 AM

"Is Haggis Necessary?"

No, it's not.

Neither are porterhouse steak, asparagus with hollandaise sauce, or Mom's apple pie NECESSARY. Neither are grits with red-eye gravy, nor beans, bacon and gravy, nor lutefisk NECESSARY.

Every one of those dishes is held dear to the hearts of some, and viewed with apathy or alarm by others.

I happen to view steaks, as a class, with intense ennui (if there can be such a thing). But the few times I've been exposed to haggis, I've enjoyed it. I wouldn't go WAY out of my way for it, but it was tasty and enjoyable. I certainly enjoy good examples of haggis's close relative, scrapple. (Note that I said "good examples"; I've had a lot of exposures to scrapple where it was pretty much tasteless. I'm sure the same applies to haggis.)

Just take it in stride: "Different strokes for different blokes."

Now, LUTEFISK.......

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Ringer
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 11:05 AM

Came across this quotation just this lunchtime: (from memory) "No Scot has ever tasted haggis; they have always drunk so much whisky beforehand that they would just as well be eating boiled knitting".

Richard Gordon


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 11:10 AM

Some people might snidely suggest that's why they drink so much whiskey!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: MMario
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 11:24 AM

Now - as to the original question - Is Haggis Necessary?

The Role of the Wild Haggis in the pollination of heather; in the rapid recycling of fewmets into the biosphere; and in the triggering of spawning in salmon are all studies that have undergone intense interest in recent years. There is evidence that the role of the haggis is essential in these and other ecological cycles.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: GUEST,Welsh
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 01:00 PM

just Another part of the scotch pseudo-culture, along with tartan, bagpipes and whisky.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: MMario
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 01:05 PM

I think Scotch is distilled, not cultured. Kumiss is cultured, beer and ale are cultured.

Tartan is chinese though, haven't you heard? they have discovered tartan clothes in a burial site.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: GUEST,Welsh
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 01:09 PM

Welll it's certainly not scotch.


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 01:27 PM

Ah Welsh some would say that there is more culture in a pot of yoghurt than in the whole of the Welsh nation. Not that I any more than you would dare cast such a racial slur.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Is Haggis Necessary?
From: gnomad
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 08:17 PM

I have eaten a variety of foods, including donkey, and quite likely dog too, but am still a picky sort of customer. I am unsure whether I will ever taste haggis.

At age 8 or so, on holiday on the Isle of Skye, I witnessed the preparation of a haggis (sorry vegy types but I cannot consider your alternatives as being a proper comparison) by an old lady who had a wash-tub full of the contents of a sheep, which she proceeded to scrub with a brush on the side of a burn. Her culinary efforts took place just upstream of where I went to draw drinking water from the burn. After that I went a bit further.

She handled the bits just like normal laundry, turning them inside-out, so that the current could do a good rinsing job, and giving another scrub for good measure. The smell was beyond description, and lives with me to this day.

It was not appetising, and looked pretty appalling too, only olives and lentils are khaki food in my book.

That said, I have since eaten sausages in natural skins, black pudding, and the odd burger here or there. Rationally I know I have certainly eaten worse, and bearing in mind the suggestions that appear above about thinking of pate I think I will try and give it a go next time I encounter it.


But I'm dammed if I will seek it out.


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