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article imageVideo: The tale of the wild haggis

By Amanda Payne     Jan 27, 2014 in Food
Just in time for Burns Night, a video appeared of the legendary wild haggis of Scotland. Almost as famous as the Loch Ness Monster, the wee beasties are very difficult to find.
Appearing on the Visit Scotland website, the video charts the history of the creature, famed for having two short legs and two long legs to making walking across the Scottish mountains easier.
Scottish poet, Robert Burns, famously wrote a poem about the haggis and every year on Burns birthday, celebrations are held across Scotland and beyond, even as far afield as Australia, Canada and South Africa.
Oh alright then, the haggis isn't actually a real animal at all, but all foreigners visiting Scotland are regaled with tales of the mythical creature.
In fact, haggis is a traditional Scottish delicacy, a type of pudding containing the heart, liver and lungs of a sheep minced up with onions, suet and spices. Traditionally, the mixture was stuffed into the sheep's stomach and boiled for several hours before being served. Nowadays, a sausage casing is used. It is served with "neeps and tatties," or turnip and mashed potatoes to the non-Scots speakers.
Every January, on or near the anniversary of the birth of the poet Robert Burns (January 25) special Burns Suppers are held, featuring haggis as the main course. There is a strict protocol to the events.
Firstly, guests gather before being piped into the dining room by a bagpiper. The host may give a speech and then the Selkirk Grace is spoken. A first course is served, most often soup, then everyone has to stand up for the main event, the piping in off the haggis which is ceremoniously brought into the room on a silver platter while the bagpipes play a tune such as "The Star O'Robbie Burns."
The host will then recite Burn's poem, and at the line "An' cut you up wi' ready slicht" will plunge a sharp knife into the haggis cutting it from one end to the other. Many toasts are made with Scotch Whisky and a great time is had by all.
2014 is the Year of the Homecoming in Scotland and there has never been a better time to visit. Haggis, neeps and tatties are served in most restaurants and pubs, so you can try this traditional dish for yourself.
More about Scotland, robert burns, Haggis, burns supper
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