(Photo: Tess Watson)
Contrary to the perceptions of many tourists, haggis is not a wild animal. Haggis is the heart, liver and lungs of a sheep ground up, then boiled inside the sheep's stomach. It's a delicacy from Scotland enjoyed throughout the world by all right-thinking people and even people who aren't of Scottish descent.
Pictured above is a fairly standard haggis. Let's look at some of the more unusual varieties.
1. Haggis Ice Cream. Haggis is so good that you may be tempted to save it for dessert. Now you can have both haggis and a traditional dessert at the same time. Morelli's, an ice cream shop in Harrods, a department store in London, offers haggis-flavored ice cream.
(Photo: Thinking Chocolate)
2. Haggis-Spiced Chocolate Truffles. Nadia Ellingham, the owner of Thinking Chocolate in Edinburgh, made chocolate truffles flavored with the spices usually included in haggis, such as nutmeg, black pepper and mace. Sadly, there is no actual mutton in these treats.
(Photo: The Scottish Grocer)
3. Haggis Potato Chips. Mackie's of Scotland produces potato chips (or crisps) that taste like haggis and black pepper. Yummy!
(Photo: Good Food Channel)
4. Haggis Scotch Eggs. Another famous Scottish food is Scotch Eggs. These are hard-boiled eggs rolled in broken up sausage and breadcrumbs, then deep fried. To make then super-Scottish, roll the eggs in haggis meat.
(Photo: Adam Balic)
5. Deep Fried Haggis. Anything worth cooking is worth deep frying. Stick the whole haggis in the deep fryer and serve it on French fries.
6. Haggis Pizza. You can use haggis meat as you would sausage, forming meatballs or even burger patties. I like the idea of using it as a pizza topping, as Paolo did at Incognito, an Italian bistro in New York City.
(Photo: Lunchquest Edinburgh)
7. Haggis Sushi. You can roll bits of haggis meat into sushi rolls, as the (sadly now closed) Artcafe Morita in Edinburgh did.
(Photo: Herald Scotland)
8. Haggis Cupcakes. Two years ago, Paul Ritchie, a chef at the Hilton hotel by the Edinburgh Airport, developed condensed versions of Scottish cuisine. These snacks are the size and shape of cupcakes. They contain haggis, turnips and tatties.
(Photo: The Gathering)
9. Haggis Eggs Benedict. Here's a typical serving of eggs benedict except that the chef has substituted haggis for the ham. This particular one was spotted in Beruit.
(Photo: Gung Haggis)
10. Chinese-Canadian Haggis. January 25 marks the birth of Robert Burns (1759-1796), a famous Scottish poet. Many Scotsmen around the world gather that night to hold Burns Dinners. They traditionally eat haggis and read selections of his poetry.
In 1993, Burns Day fell on Chinese New Year, so some people in Vancouver decided to celebrate the two events together. This is the origin of Gung Haggis Fat Choy, a holiday in British Columbia and the State of Washington. Pictured above are haggis and shrimp wonton dumplings, one of the fushion foods served at this festival.