Traditional Scottish Foods.

Great Chieftain of the puddin' Race.
     Haggis is probably the most traditional of all Scottish foods - it's certainly the one most maligned in jokes! But despite it's humble origins it has evolved into a satisfying, nutritious and flavoursome delicacy, immortalised by Robert Burns (Scotland's National Bard), in his poem To a Haggis.   In fact, every 25th. of January, all over the world wherever Scots ex-patriates gather together (this means just about everywhere!), a dinner is held in honour of Burns and one of the highlights is the Haggis being lead in by a piper and addressed with this poem before being cut open and served up.
Haggis with bashed neeps and clampit tatties!      Natural Scottish thriftiness and an unwillingness to throw away anything that might be useful probably lead to the developement of the recipe for this national delicacy. Reading a description of how to make Haggis is not exactly guaranteed to make you run out and buy one however. Basically, the Pluck of a sheep (mostly the liver, heart and lungs) is boiled with Beef Fat, the fat is then skimmed off and the rest minced. Oatmeal, onion, salt, pepper, spices and gravy from the boiling are added before the mixture is put into it's casing. This casing was traditionally the sheep's stomach, but as the casing is not eaten any suitable material will do and nowadays several synthetic substitutes are used. Before serving the Haggis is boiled and then served with mashed potatoes and turnips - food fit for the Gods!
     To the traditionalist potatoes, turnips and a glass of neat single Malt Whisky are the only possible accompaniments to Haggis - but I'm more of the school of thought that says you can eat and drink anything you like with it.
     Porridge is a really simple dish consisting only of Oatmeal, Salt and Water, the Oatmeal being added to the boiling water in a steady stream while you stir briskly. When the mixture is boiling the heat is turned right down and allowed to simmer for about half an hour with a lid on the pot, a good pinch of Salt being added after about ten minutes.

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