File:Cutting the haggis.jpg

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English: Cutting the haggis at a Burns Supper. Traditional Scots fare is not always appreciated by visitors to Scotland.
"The Haggis is a dish not more remarkable or more disgusting to the palate, than in appearance. When I first cast my eye on it, I thought it resembled a bullock's paunch, which you often meet in the streets of London in a wheel-barrow; and, on a nearer inspection, I found it really to be the stomach of a sheep, stuffed till it was as full as a football. An incision being made in the side of it, the entrails burst forth, and presented such a display of oatmeal, and sheep's liver, and lights, with a moseta that accompanied them, that I could scarcely help thinking myself in the Grotto del Cane. As I mentioned, my politeness got the better of my delicacy, and I was prevailed on to take it; but I could go no farther: and, after a few encomiums on its being tender and savory, which I thought sufficient to show that I was not wholly destitute of Taste, I turned a hungry face towards a large tureene in the middle, which the master of the feast called Cocky-leaky; and, with the greatest appearance of luxury and glee in his countenance, extracted from a quantity of broth, in which it had been boiled with leeks, a large cock, which I dare say had been the herald of the morn for many a year. This, he exclaimed, would be exquisite, if the cook had taken care that the broth was sufficiently seasoned; and after he had tasted it, he declared that it exceeded his highest expectations. During this time, I found some of the company pay great attention; and, on the verdict being given, seemed rather impatient: but as I was a stranger, and had not blessed my appetite with a considerable degree of Haggis, my plate was filled first, and I began upon it, whilst their eyes were all fixed on me to hear me pronounce the sentence; which I did, indeed, in the words of the verdict, but with some reluctance; for it was so hard and tough, that it seemed to require the stomach of an ostrich to digest it." -- Edward Topham, Letters From Edinburgh, 1775
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Author Kim Traynor


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