Haggis, the national dish of Scotland is neither nice to look at nor kosher, but in Glasgow, Scottish Jews can partake in a kosher version of this much-celebrated dish at Scotland’s only kosher deli, Mark’s Deli.
Usually made with lamb organs that are not butchered according to kosher law, haggis is celebrated every January 25 on Burns Night, which commemorates the Scottish poet Robert Burns, who wrote the poem, Auld Lang Syne. You can also find it at fast-food eateries and grocery stores year-round.
What is haggis, exactly? It’s boiled sheep heart, liver and tongue, that’s minced, combined with beef fat, onions and toasted oats. The mixture is then stuffed inside of the sheep’s stomach and boiled. It’s sort of like a sheep-based kishke, if there ever was one. This kind of waste-not dish is one that can come only out of the truly hardscrabble lifestyle of medieval Scotland.
Keren Landmand recently explored the culture of haggis and its kosher reconfiguration in the culture, politics and food journal, Roads and Kingdoms.