Friday, May 15, 2009

Some things just aren't right: Food Edition.

Last summer I ventured into my neighborhood vegan grocery store and happened to find this object of curioussity:

I was not really certain whether to be disgusted by the notion of vegetarian haggis or whether to think of it as just one of those complete absurd things that vegans/vegetarians need to create. I wish I had taken a picture of the contents of the can of vegetarian haggis. But if you are curious here is the link the manufacturers website

Before I get into a long rant about dietary preferences, full disclosure time. I used to live with three vegans, and three vegetarians when I was an undergrad in college. We ate communally, all chipped in for food, but I had no political aim with the choice. It was a matter of simple economics of the time. Basically we ate vegetables and grains, that was it. No processed food because we couldn't afford them. I also used to work in the specialty food industry with some of the individuals who brought Slow Food to America. 

While the notion of haggis is extremely gross to most everyone who hears the mere mention of the word; the simple gist of it is that it is a giant sausage...a really, really big sausage.

The following recipe was taken from the Food Network Website:


  • 1 sheep stomach
  • 1 sheep liver
  • 1 sheep heart
  • 1 sheep tongue
  • 1/2 pound suet, minced
  • 3 medium onions, minced
  • 1/2 pound dry oats, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground herbs


Rinse the stomach thoroughly and soak overnight in cold salted water.
Rinse the liver, heart, and tongue. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook these parts over medium heat for 2 hours. Remove and mince. Remove any gristle or skin and discard.
In a large bowl, combine the minced liver, heart, tongue, suet, onions, and toasted oats. Season with salt, pepper, and dried herbs. Moisten with some of the cooking water so the mixture binds. Remove the stomach from the cold salted water and fill 2/3 with the mixture. Sew or tie the stomach closed. Use a turning fork to pierce the stomach several times. This will prevent the haggis from bursting.
In a large pot of boiling water, gently place the filled stomach, being careful not to splash. Cook over high heat for 3 hours.
Serve with mashed potatoes, if you serve it at all.

Maybe it is the idea of mixing a bunch of odd sheep parts into your oatmeal and sewing it into a stomach that grosses people out, but to be honest, grinding up pork belly, odds and ends, and stuffing it into intestinal casing doesn't sound much better.

The vegan option consists oats, beans, nuts, rutabaga, lentils, salt, fat preservatives, and a tin can. Basically a slurry instead of a a tin can. 

I don't know...Not certain what the point of this post was. People often complain about vegans and vegetarians eating imitation meat that "looks and feels just like the real thing." I am not certain how many people who have "converted" to a no-face-on-my-food policy really have a craving for haggis. I am pretty damned certain it isn't like bacon which seems to be the downfall of almost every vegan I know.

But Like I said, I have no idea what  the point of this post was. Sometimes we try things and fail. I think it made more sense than the pictures of the imitation fish not made of animal product that looked black and sludgly.

No comments:

Post a Comment