Around the world, the 25th of January is known as a day to celebrate the life and times of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns. His Address to a Haggis (an ode to Scotland’s national dish) is traditionally recited at Burns suppers before enjoying the haggis with neeps and tatties, which is why Burns and haggis are so closely linked. But what else is there to know about haggis?

We’ve done some digging and found these 10 fun facts about haggis to get you in the mood for Burns Night!

  1. The origin of the word ‘haggis’ isn’t known for sure, but it is thought to come from the Old Norse word höggva, meaning to cut or hit.
  2. Although haggis is associated with Scotland, it is thought that the Romans were the first to enjoy a similar product.
  3. “Haggis hurling” is a sport. Yes, seriously. Its roots are unknown, but is often played at Highland Games across Scotland and even around the world!
  4. You can’t buy haggis in the USA! Imports of haggis have been banned since 1971 because of the USDA’s rejection of sheep’s lung as an ingredient.
  5. Of all Burns haggis shoppers, 37.1% also involve whisky in their celebrations in some way, and 30.1% purchase Irn-Bru for the occasion! *
  6. The first commercially available Vegetarian Haggis was launched in 1984. Our own Vegetarian Haggis is now the best-selling Veggie Haggis in the UK** and Vegan Approved too!
  7. Six in every 10 haggis is sold outside of Scotland.
  8. A survey found that 1 in 10 Millennials believe that haggis is a real, wild animal! If you are one of said Millennials – spoiler alert! Maybe you should read our blog, ‘What is haggis?’… Although you’re not alone – a local haggis hunter once seemed convinced he’d find the Great Chieftain here in Dunning!
  9. Haggis is actually classed as a sausage, as far as retailers are concerned, because of its casing.
  10. Simon Howie haggis is the best-selling haggis brand in the UK**, and since more haggis is sold in the UK than any other country, we reckon that makes us the best-selling haggis brand in the world! Not to blow our own bagpipes…

Now that you’re all clued up on your haggis history, find out why you’ll only get a ‘Wowie!’ with Simon Howie haggis this Burns Night!

* UK Innovation Survey | Scotland’s Burns Report 2019

** Source: IRI till data (52wk w/e 27th April 2019)