The Scotch haggis is a national dish of Scotland. It is usually accompanied with turnips and mashed potatoes. Scotch Whisky is (customarily) drunk with it. Haggis languished uncelebrated until 1787, when poet Robert Burns penned his great ode “Address to a Haggis.” In his poem, Burns declares his love for the “great chieftain o’ the puddin’ race” and glorifies what was a poor man’s food into a dish greater than any French ragout or fricassee. Burns was already a national hero, and haggis’ profile soon soared. After Burns’ death, a group of his friends began commemorating him every year on his birthday, January 25, and so began the “Burns Supper” tradition. The suppers continue to this day, featuring Scottish food, Scotch whiskey and a grand presentation of the haggis to the assembled guests.

While Burns Suppers are haggis’ main opportunity to shine, the dish is still widely enjoyed throughout Scotland. 

Supermarkets sell packaged varieties, with the cheaper variations now placed in synthetic casings instead of stomachs. It’s served in fast food restaurants, deep-fried along with chips and Mars bars.