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Haggis ‘was Invented By The English’

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Haggis ‘was invented by the English’

Scotland struggles to digest historian’s claim over iconic dish

Haggis, Scotland’s most iconic dish, was an English invention that was hijacked by Scottish nationalists, a leading food historian has claimed.

Catherine Brown has discovered references to haggis in an English recipe book dated 1615, which prove that the “great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race!†was a popular delicacy south of the border at least 171 years before Robert Burns penned his poem Address to a Haggis.

According to the Scots author of Broths to Bannocks, a history of Scottish food, the earliest reference to the pudding is in The English Hus-wife, written by Gervase Markham.

Markham’s book states: “This small oatmeal mixed with the blood, and the liver, of either sheep, calfe, or swine, maketh that pudding which is called the Haggas, or Haggus, of whose goodnesse it is vain to boast, because there is hardly to be found a man that doth not affect (like) them.â€

Brown, who will discuss her findings in an STV documentary this week, said that the first mention she could find of Scottish haggis was in 1747 and that it is inevitable that the recipe was copied from English books.

“It was originally an English dish. In 1615, Gervase Markham says that it is very popular among all people in England,†she said.

Brown added: “By the middle of the 18th century another English cookery writer, Hannah Glasse, has a recipe that she calls Scotch haggis, the haggis that we know today.

“Proof that by the late 18th century haggis was no longer seen as an English dish is the mention by Tobias Smollett in his novel The Expedition of Humphry Clinker (1771), where the hero (an Englishman) says, ‘I am not yet Scotchman enough to relish their singed sheep’s head and haggis.’â€

Brown believes that nationalists may have appropriated haggis as a symbol of Scottish nationhood in the 18th century after the country lost its own monarchy and parliament following the treaty of union.

“It seems to be that there’s an identity thing there. We’d lost our monarchy, we’d lost our parliament and we gained our haggis,†she said.

“You had the whole thing going on with Sir Walter Scott, who was very pro-active in keeping the Scottish identity alive, with tartan and so on. There was a latching onto everything that was distinctive about Scotland, and Burns had identified the dish in such an evocative way.â€

Brown, who claims that the word haggis is also of English origin, believes Burns claimed the pudding as Scottish with his poem in 1786 because it was a thrifty counterbalance to the elaborate and pretentious French cuisine popular in Edinburgh at the time.

But Ian Scott, a member of the Saltire Society, said that he believed that haggis was a Scottish invention that had been introduced south of the border by a Scot.

“I can just imagine a backpacker on his way down south maybe having a picnic and leaving a bit behind, and someone saying we’ve discovered something fantastically new,†he said.

“I love haggis and every January I eat it about 11 times. These claims won’t make me feel any different. I’d tuck into it with even greater gusto if I thought that it had been invented by the English. I mean, they are bound to have invented something worthwhile.â€

James Macsween, director of Macsween’s, the award-winning Edinburgh haggis-maker, said that whatever its origin, the pudding would remain a Scottish icon.

“This is certainly a revelation to me, but haggis is now renowned as Scotland’s dish largely due to Robert Burns, who made it famous.

“That’s not to say that prior to Burns that haggis wasn’t eaten in England, but Scotland has done a better job of looking after it. I didn’t hear [of] Shakespeare writing a poem about haggis.â€

Haggis, which is made from a mixture of oatmeal, liver, heart and lungs, is similar to many other offal-based pudding popular around the world, including Norwegian lungemos and Mexican montalayo. Other food writers have variously suggested that the dish was invented by the ancient Romans and the Vikings.

Hehe. Figures, don't it.

It's like how Scotland claims to be independent and more resilient than the English, thanks to a disproportionately higher handout, per person, from the entire UK's taxes.

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Silly Season is here.

Before the consumer society, all people everywhere used up every bit of their food, in inventive (or in the case of haggis, desperate?) ways.

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Guest anorthosite
Haggis ‘was invented by the English’

Hehe. Figures, don't it.

It's like how Scotland claims to be independent and more resilient than the English, thanks to a disproportionately higher handout, per person, from the entire UK's taxes.

:lol:

That's the weakest attempt I've ever seen to back up the subsidy myth.

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Silly season indeed. So nationality of a dish is determined by where the earliest surviving written evidence is found of the recipe being written down? Can basic dishes have a nationality? I learned to make Mince and Tatties (our real national dish, even though Worcestershire Sauce is an essential ingredient) from my parents who learned from their parents ad infinitum. To my knowledge, no generation needed to write it down, we were shown.

Catherine Brown has discovered references to haggis in an English recipe book dated 1615, which prove that the “great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race!†was a popular delicacy south of the border at least 171 years before Robert Burns penned his poem Address to a Haggis.

Anyhoo: 1615 is still 7 years after James VI inherited the English crown! ;)

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Scotland as we know it today was invented by the British.

Principally the well-known unionist Sir Walter Scott and a German king desperate to blend in with "the locals".

Its all plastic.

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Guest Skinty

Yeah but the Haggis lives up here. Go into any highland tourist shop full of Americans and you will see lots of products for sale to back up this assertion :)

haggis_recipe_2.jpg

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Guest anorthosite
Scotland as we know it today was invented by the British.

Principally the well-known unionist Sir Walter Scott and a German king desperate to blend in with "the locals".

Its all plastic.

The view of Scotland you get from "down south" maybe be determined by the BBC, but that isn't the same thing ;)

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The view of Scotland you get from "down south" maybe be determined by the BBC, but that isn't the same thing ;)

I lived in Glasgow for five years in the mid-90s.

Be grateful I'm taking the view of Scotland I saw from up close with a pinch of salt...

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol...icle3990792.ece

I'm not unaware of Trevor-Roper's axegrinding agenda (should that be Claymore-grinding) but none the less...

We can date the Scotland myth pretty much to George IV's visit and his antics in fancy dress.

352px-George_IV_in_kilt,_by_Wilkie.jpg <--- A German

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Yeah but the Haggis lives up here. Go into any highland tourist shop full of Americans and you will see lots of products for sale to back up this assertion :)

Thats a very inaccurate depiction of the Haggis. Typical of the romantic nonsense Americans trot out.

Everyone knows that Haggisi have shorter legs on one side of their bodies than the other, it makes milling around steep hillsides easier. Sadly it does lead to the occasional doomed Romeo & Juliet scenario breaking out between 'lefties' (counter-clockwise) and 'righties' (clockwise) :(

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I lived in Glasgow for five years in the mid-90s.

My condolences. Have you recovered yet?

Be grateful I'm taking the view of Scotland I saw from up close with a pinch of salt...

The Glaswegians use a bloody great big pinch of salt for everything. No wonder they're all dying of heart disease and ruining the health stats for the rest of Scotland.

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My condolences. Have you recovered yet?

The Glaswegians use a bloody great big pinch of salt for everything. No wonder they're all dying of heart disease and ruining the health stats for the rest of Scotland.

Oh its OK, I moved there from Liverpool. And now I live in West Mids via South Wales.

As you can tell, I only favour the most glamorous of locales!

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Oh its OK, I moved there from Liverpool. And now I live in West Mids via South Wales.

As you can tell, I only favour the most glamorous of locales!

Never mind, you stick in there and soon you'll be able to move to Slough.

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Never mind, you stick in there and soon you'll be able to move to Slough.

The bright lights of Slough? Me?

Be still my beating heart!

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Guest anorthosite
Be still my beating heart!

That'll be all that salt you ate in Glasgow.

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The bright lights of Slough? Me?

Be still my beating heart!

Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!

It isn't fit for humans now,

There isn't grass to graze a cow.

Swarm over, Death!

Come, bombs and blow to smithereens

Those air -conditioned, bright canteens,

Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans,

Tinned minds, tinned breath.

Mess up the mess they call a town-

A house for ninety-seven down

And once a week a half a crown

For twenty years.

And get that man with double chin

Who'll always cheat and always win,

Who washes his repulsive skin

In women's tears:

And smash his desk of polished oak

And smash his hands so used to stroke

And stop his boring dirty joke

And make him yell.

But spare the bald young clerks who add

The profits of the stinking cad;

It's not their fault that they are mad,

They've tasted Hell.

It's not their fault they do not know

The birdsong from the radio,

It's not their fault they often go

To Maidenhead

And talk of sport and makes of cars

In various bogus-Tudor bars

And daren't look up and see the stars

But belch instead.

In labour-saving homes, with care

Their wives frizz out peroxide hair

And dry it in synthetic air

And paint their nails.

Come, friendly bombs and fall on Slough

To get it ready for the plough.

The cabbages are coming now;

The earth exhales.

-John Betjeman

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Catherine Brown has discovered references to haggis in an English recipe book dated 1615, which prove that the “great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race!†was a popular delicacy south of the border at least 171 years before Robert Burns penned his poem Address to a Haggis.

Lets see. On the one hand we have a reference in a recipe book. On the other we have a poem written about it.

Clearly the haggis' claim to Scottishness is that the poem was written on the day the dish was invented and before Burns had tasted it - and so this English recipe proves otherwise.

Demonstrates piss-poor brain power. Even allowing for the stupidity of the British media. Which party will be the first to hire Catherine Brown to devise political ideas?

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