Saturday 8 August 2009

Blow me like thistledown

According to some recent outbreaks of opinion, haggis is English. Who knew? Cross-border sniping has been picking up pace since Catherine Brown (historian) revealed that she had found a reference to haggis in a book called The English Hus-Wife. This book was doing the rounds in 1615, apparently, a time when the letter E was still viewed with a certain suspicion and O had yet to be invented. Ha ha, olden days folks is proper stoopid, doesn’t them?

The date, however, is only really important because it pre-dates any evidence of the dish in Scotland (as found by the same historian) by many, many years. Philosophical battle-lines have been drawn:

Englisher: I think you’ll find that we invented haggis, you pasty little Jock.
Scotcher: No, I think you’ll find that we did, you effete, mummy-fixated ponce.
Englisher: No, we did.
Scotcher: No, we did.

An edifying debate, most surely, and one that seems set to rumble until the very end of days - a tantalising glimpse of An Actual Futility. What price victory?

As we breathe, excitingly firm opinions are being angrily invented all over the place and seem set to intermittently escape from a spate of human heads. But do you think these people actually know what they’re fighting over? Quite randomly chosen, here is (part of) the recipe for haggis (as provided by the BBC):

1 sheep's stomach or ox secum, cleaned and thoroughly scalded, turned inside out and soaked overnight in cold salted water

Heart, liver and lungs of one lamb

450g/1lb beef or lamb trimmings, fat and lean

2 onions, finely chopped

225g/8oz oatmeal

Water, enough to cook the haggis

Stock from lungs and trimmings

Englisher: I think you’ll find that you invented haggis, you chippy, skirt-wearing parasite.
Scotcher: No, I think you’ll find that you did, you politically inarticulate, seethingly repressed, oil-thief.
Englisher: No, you did.
Scotcher: No, you did.
Englisher: You.
Scotcher: You.
Englisher: You.
Scotcher: You.

Get a room.

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