Haggis Hunting Season
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
"Haggis, haggis, who's got the haggis?!"
It's Open Season for all Haggis Hunters! Whether you are an old hand at trapping this wily beast or this is your first attempt, remember that you have until Burns Night, January 25th to bag your haggis. Also note that although it is legal to catch and eat most types of haggis including the Hebridean Haggis and the Lewis Haggis, the "Shaggy Lowlands Haggis" and the "Urban Striped Haggis" are protected by law. If your sympathies lie with the poor beasties or if your diet requires a meatless option, there are now vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options for a mock-haggis! Also, for Californians, a recent law was passed now making it legal to eat road-kill haggis. What's your fancy?
Wild haggis (Haggis scoticus) is a creature native to the Scottish Highlands.
According to some sources, the wild haggis's left and right legs are of different lengths, allowing it to run quickly around the steep mountains and hillsides which make up its natural habitat, but only in one direction. It is further claimed that there are two varieties of haggis, one with longer left legs (Haggis Scotti sinistrous) and the other with longer right legs (Haggis Scottii dexterous). The former variety can run clockwise around a mountain (as seen from above) while the latter can run anticlockwise. The two varieties coexist peacefully but are unable to interbreed (explanation redacted).
The notion of the wild haggis is widely believed, though not always including the idea of mismatched legs. According to an online survey commissioned by haggis manufacturers Hall's of Broxburn, released on 26 November 2003, one-third of U.S. visitors to Scotland believed the wild haggis to be a real creature.
In late-breaking news, this Scottish delicacy made of sheep’s lung, heart and liver that has been enjoyed as a national dish for hundreds of years (and which has been banned in the US for the last 45 because one of its key ingredients – sheep’s lung being prohibited) could soon be back in the US as an import.
The Scottish agriculture minister says the US government is preparing to lift a longstanding ban on Scotch lamb products by 2017, thanks to a Scottish delegation’s campaign to have the ban overturned with a compromise to leave the lung out of the recipe.
Stay tuned, and in the meantime, if you happen to catch, smuggle, breed, or synthesize one of your own with a 3D food printer, there are plenty of modern fusion recipes (lasagne, spring rolls, pakora) available to elevate the dish in expectation of the haggis hunting and eating season.
For the definitive guide on the wild haggis, click the illustration of a haggis hunt.