Address to a Haggis – Recipe Suggestions for Burns Night from GoodnessDirect

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GoodnessDirect would like to offer some tips on cooking Scotland's exalted dish: the haggis.

A taste similar to a spicy, rich pate with a soft, nutty texture

Rabbie Burns declared it the "Great chieftain o' the puddin-race"; GoodnessDirect would like to offer some tips on cooking his exalted dish: the haggis.

It is not too far-fetched to believe that the British have some fairly unique tastes in food. Watching from across the Atlantic, The New York Times acknowledges that Britain has "the world's best candy" - a great complement for an average chocolate bar available from any British cornershop.1

In another edition it notes that the sea-faring nation has also pioneered the institution of marmalade on toast "around the globe".2 And, over time, the journal has fielded many articles fascinated with the British love for fish and chips.3

But to fully appreciate why the humble haggis should be celebrated by so many as something of a national dish, it needs to be understood that puddings, whether savoury or sweet, have always been a staple of British society. "Pudding is an ancient British food," The New York Times observes, "originating back in the medieval period."4 The famous Christmas pudding was originally "fruits mixed with meat and wine and... spices."

But it is the haggis which poet Rabbie Burns, declares to be the true prince among puddings.

"Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place"
('Address to a Haggis', Robert Burns)

This Scottish delicacy is celebrated for its doubtful reputation yet surprisingly gamey flavour; with a taste similar to spicy, rich pate with a soft, nutty texture.

What many will not realise, however, is that there are countless ways to serve haggis on Burns Night (25th January). It really is truly versatile.

~ Recipe ideas for haggis ~

Most people south of the border know about the traditional serving of 'neaps and tatties'. Their knowledge might even extend to the 'Flying Scotsman' (simply stuff chicken breasts with haggis, bake thee chicken wrapped in smoked bacon, and serve with a creamy alcoholic sauce). Yet there is more...

How about trying Haggis Balls in a Whisky and Mustard Sauce? Or Haggis Tartlets with Red Onion Marmalade? An adventurous chef could go continental with a Haggis Lasagne or explore the exotic by preparing Haggis Pakora. There's also a stunning piece of mean cuisine in the Haggis Torta Salgada - a kind of Haggis soufflé-style pie.

So, if Burns night ever seems boring, it could be that a more creative meal is required. Creativity is, of course, what Burns Night is all about, and a plate of haggis should always entertain.

GoodnessDirect recommends beginning the evening meal by serving kipper pâté with oatcakes, then surprise everyone with the main course: presenting a masterpiece of haggis with a difference; ending with the grand finale of a creamy cranachan dessert. The guests will want to come again.

~ Cooking haggis is simple ~

The real great secret about haggis is that it's so easy to cook. A Macsween's haggis (available from [ GoodnessDirect] with next day delivery) can be steamed in just 6 minutes in the microwave. (Their vegetarian version takes 60 seconds!)

The result will be a cook who looks good in the kitchen but without all the extra bother.

For an evening built on the eloquence of Rabbie Burns and the speed of GoodnessDirect... "owe it all..." he wrote, "to their gratis grace and goodness"

Enjoy Burns Night.

1. 'The World’s Best Candy Bars? English, of Course', Kim Severson, The New York Times, 11 July 2009.
2. Marmalade', Elizabeth Field, The New York Times
3. 'Fried and Salty, Yessir, Matey, but Truly English', William E. Schmidt, The New York Times, 9 March 1993
'It Takes a Stiff Upper Lip To Love Fish and Chips', Mrian Burros, The New York Times, 25 January 1989
'Fish and Chips: Britain's Bargain Fare', Joseph Lelyveld, The New York Times, 16 March 1986
4. 'A Dessert With a Past', Kate Colquhoun, The New York Times, 24 December 2007 is the health and well-being haven with 1000s of foods available to be delivered to homes throughout the UK. It caters for customers of traditional foods, vegans and vegetarians, organic foodies, and those on a restricted diet such as gluten or dairy free. The GoodnessDirect website features in-depth dietary information, so that customers know exactly what they are getting, and the service includes a gift-wrap option for the delivery of gifts to friends. Visit

For more information or photos contact Tschaka Roussel-Milner
0871 871 6611


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