Haggis, neeps & tatties

Haggis…and a wee dram o’ the fruit of the barley, of course. That’s whisky, but need not be single-malt.

Most of my fellow Americans, whether they be of Scots descent or no, recoil in horror at what haggis is traditionally made of: the chopped up vital organs of sheep, oatmeal, and cooked up in a sheep’s stomach. Sounds nasty; tastes great.

What brought this to mind was the use of haggis as a prop on the last episode of Ugly Betty (hey, my wife liked it; I watched with her to ensure domestic tranquility). Betty’s dad, who is from Mexico, is a wicked good cook, and he whips up a batch of haggis in order to acculturate Betty on her forthcoming move to London.

Yes, that’s dumb. But hey, how many of Ugly Betty’s fans actually know the difference between Edinburgh, Glasgow and London? They’re all in Britain, aren’t they?

The reaction from Betty and others was, well, what you might expect from uncultured heathens who don’t appreciate the finer points of cooking in a sheep’s gut. But it also reflects a certain prissiness on the part of the writers of Ugly Betty: they can’t imagine that hip, modern Americans might actually enjoy something that so obviously hearkens back to a time when men were men, wore skirts, er, kilts, and carried claymores. And nobody worried about their cholesterol.

Ach aye, and here’s saluting the haggis.

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