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A (if not the) Scottish national dish; although a form was popular in England (particularly in the West Country) until the 17th century, when it was known as 'hog pudding'.
Indeed, the first published mention of anything resembling a haggis was in Gervase Markham's book of 1615 'The English Hus-Wife' - this pre-dates the first recorded mention in Scotland by over 170 years. See www.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8180791.stm (http://www.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8180791.stm)
The name probably derives from the French word hachis, meaning chopped. It consists of oatmeal, suet, onions, swede, herbs and sheep/beef offal and lungs cooked in a sheep's stomach - or more often these days in plastic. It is the remnant of the type of food often eaten by German tribes of the first century AD; when nothing would be wasted. The possibility is that it was introduced by the Romans, who adapted a dish of their own to the local mutton and oats.
It is traditionally served on November 30th (St. Andrew's Day) and January 25th (Robbie Burns's birthday); with neps (turnips) and nips (Scottish whisky).
MacSween's, one of the better large-scale producers, say they strangely sell more haggis south of the border than in Scotland.
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