Have a heart: haggis cannot be exported to the US
Have a heart: haggis cannot be exported to the US

Scottish butcher claims national dish Haggis is ‘imposter’ and was invented by the Vikings

Joe Callaghan says Haggis should be made using Venison and ‘the real national dish is staggis’

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Sunday 27 December 2015 17:47

An award-winning butcher has claimed that Scotland’s best known national dish is not actually Scottish – and that it should be made using venison, not sheep.

Joe Callaghan, 50, of Helensburgh, Argyll, told the Daily Record he had started making haggis with venison after a friend who had conducted lengthy research on the subject convinced him of its origins. He claims the real national dish of Scotland is not haggis but “staggis”.

Mr Callaghan, who made the claim while entering his own recipe into the Golden Haggis Award at the Oban Winter Festival, said: “Scotland’s national dish is an imposter. The real national dish is staggis.

“Deer is an indigenous species in Scotland. The Vikings brought haggis to Scotland,” he said, adding that his recipe is based on the original Viking way of making the dish, and that “it should really be made with venison plucks, not sheep plucks.”

His claims will put paid to those made by historian Catherine Brown, who in 2009 caused uproar by stating haggis was not Scottish but had instead been invented by the English.

Ms Brown said she had discovered a haggis recipe inside an English book from 1615 – almost two hundred years before Robert Burns’ poem ‘To A Haggis’. She told the BBC the first reference to a haggis she could find in Scottish publications only dated back to 1747.

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