The Haggis Plot

The truth has been revealed. What opium was to the Chinese, haggis is to the Scots:

Not since Braveheart has there been such a threat to Anglo-Scottish relations. A cookery writer (and a Scottish one at that) claims that haggis was invented by the English. It was first mentioned in an English recipe book of 1615, says Catherine Brown, but no mention was made of Scottish haggis until 1747. Yet 39 years later Robert Burns hailed it as the national dish.

Presumably, it was introduced to the Scots by the English to reduce Scottish resistance by sapping the Scots’ will to live.

Disclaimer: unlike most Americans I love haggis, as well as black pudding and boudin.

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Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.


  1. Derrick says:

    I interned for a summer in Edinburgh, and developed a taste for it. I don’t like the American version, but Scottish Haggis with a good Scottish whiskey is a good meal.

  2. Recipe for haggis:

    Take one whole sheep. Insert whole sheep into sheep’s stomach. Boil it for about a week. Garnish with oatmeal. Accompany with large quantities of Scotch to obliterate all memory of the experience.

  3. rodney dill says:

    I’ll stick to lutefisk

  4. Dave Schuler says:


    If lutefisk were outlawed, only outlaws would have lutefisk.

    Michael: Gentleman, the king across the water!

    I sometimes think that Mike Meyers is right and that all Scottish food is based on a dare.

  5. John Burgess says:

    Dave: I’m absolutely with you on your three selections. My cardiologist, though, is completely against both of us. Screw him…

    I’m having to make due with German blutwurst as I can’t seem to find a decent black pudding anywhere, including online.

    American haggis is pretty poor stuff. It lacks certain ingredients (forbidden by US law) that really make a difference.

  6. Dave Schuler says:

    It lacks certain ingredients

    Well, “lights”, for one thing.

  7. Steve Hynd says:

    Just a typical Murdoch rag hit piece on the Scots, appropriating to England all we value as the English did with our oil! But we still have the deep-fried mars bar 🙂

    But seriously, it’s most likely the haggis is Norse in origin. Famous chef Clarissa Dickson Wright claimed that it “came to Scotland in a longship even before Scotland was a single nation.” Etymologist Walter William Skeat claimed that the hag— part of the word is derived from the Old Norse hoggva or the Icelandic haggw, meaning ‘to hew’ or strike with a sharp weapon, relating to the chopped-up contents of the dish.

    Then again, the English do have a fair amount to be beholden to us Scots for.

    The average English man in the home he calls his castle, slips into his national costume – a shabby raincoat – patented by Chemist Charles Rennie Macintosh from Glasgow, Scotland.

    En route to his office he strides along the lane, surfaced by John Macadam of Ayr, Scotland.

    He drives in a car fitted with tyres invented by John Boyd Dunlop, Veterinary Surgeon of Dreghorn, Scotland.

    At the office he receives the mail bearing adhesive stamps invented by John Chalmers, Bookseller and Printer of Dundee, Scotland.

    During the day he uses the telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell born in Edinburgh, Scotland. At home in the evening his daughter pedals her bicycle invented by Kirkpatrick Macmillan, Blacksmith of Thornhill, Dumfriesshire, Scotland.

    He watches the news on T.V. an invention of John Logie Baird of Helensburgh, Scotland and hears an item about the U.S. Navy founded by John Paul Jones of Kirkbean, Scotland.

    Nowhere can the man turn to escape the ingenuity of the Scots. He has by now been reminded too much of Scotland and in desperation he picks up the Bible, only to find that the first man mentioned in the good book is a Scot – King James VI – who authorised its translation. He could take to drink but the Scots make the best in the world.

    He could take a rifle and end it all but the breech-loading rifle was invented by Captain Patrick Ferguson of Pitfours, Scotland.

    If he escaped death, he could find himself on an operating table injected with Penicillin, discovered by Sir Alexander Fleming of Darvel, Scotland and given Chloroform, an anaesthetic discovered by Sir James Young Simpson, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist of Bathgate, Scotland.

    Out of the anaesthetic he would find no comfort in learning that he was as safe as the Bank of England founded by William Paterson of Dumfries. Scotland. Perhaps his only remaining hope would be to get a transfusion of guid Scottish blood which would entitle him to ask –

    Wha’s Like Us?

    Regards, Steve

  8. Dave Schuler says:

    As you might have guessed, Steve is a Scot. And I’ll admit I was thinking of him when I wrote this post. 😉

  9. Gus says:

    If the Scots can blame haggis on the Brits, can we blame American cheese on anyone? Perhaps the Canadians?

  10. Fortunately my susceptibility to gout keeps me away from organ meats. Feel free to have my ration of haggis.