You may be inclined to assume a dish with a name as beautiful as "haggis" is a delicacy for only the most refined of palettes. Well aren't you just wrong about everything?
It is supposed that it was eaten as far back as the ninth century, but it has no known place of origin. This is likely because nobody ever wanted to admit it was their idea. So what are the theories?
When looking at the main ingredients, it is logical to assume that perhaps the original architect of haggis was merely trying to commit suicide by throwing all the leftover bits of an animal into a stew and eating it, thinking "there's no way this won't kill me somehow."
"What are these, lungs? Fuck it I'll throw those in too."
Or perhaps there was a contest centuries ago, called "betcha can't come up with a dish based on the first four things I pull out of this carcass."
As strange as it is, the fact that it exists does partly make sense, because in olden days, consumption of the less traditional parts was done to utilize as much of the animal as possible, in order to mitigate waste and spoilage. With the advent of refrigeration and preservatives however, one would assume the practice of "eating all the gross shit" would become a bit passe. And yet somehow, haggis endured.
As far as claiming the dish, Scotland eventually took one for the team, due in part to Robert Burns' poem, Address to a Haggis, which probably won the award for "most unexpected topic for a poem" at some point. It has been widely considered a Scottish staple ever since. But that's enough history. Why don't we now discuss how fucked up it is?
If the idea of chowing down on minced lungs, liver and heart doesn't make you wary I'm not sure what will. It is then mixed with oatmeal, suet, (i.e. fat) with salt and other spices to taste (yeah, that'll help) and finally it is boiled in the sheep's stomach, because it apparently didn't look enough like an alien space pod yet.
You vegetarians out there are probably thinking "What difference does it make if it's a hamburger or sheep's lungs? It all comes from inside an animal and is all equally disgusting!" To this I retort: good point, but the stomach! Ewww!
Yes, I still think it's gross. I imagine this is partly because of how it looks.
Worst waterballoon ever.
Oh I'm sorry, I meant to show you a picture of what it looked like before someone shit it out, not after. I'll just correct my search here and....oh god...
Again, haggis persists. Not only is that a good band name, but a startling truth. Nowadays it is traditionally served at Burns Suppers, parties commemorating the life and times of previously mentioned Scottish poet Robert Burns. People occasionally substitute an artificial casing in place of the sheep's stomach as well, because of course, eating minced lungs any other way is disgusting. You'll also often find it served with the erotically named "neeps and tatties" which are basically mashed potatoes and another vegetable of choosing.
Are you Americans out there wondering why you haven't seen it around? Well, for the past 21 years, haggis was deemed "unsafe for consumption" because of the mad cow scare and the whole "eating lungs" thing, and it was banned. But don't fret, according to this article it may soon be back.
Great. There goes my "Black Market Sheep Lungs" business.