Today’s Taste Sensation: Haggis Crisps

Yes, haggis-flavored potato chips. I came across these in my local organic food co-op, so they are, of course, made from organic, non-GMO potatoes. I would guess that they are vegetarian, too, from the ingredients list, although Mackie’s has mentioned something about pork products (?) in news stories. So, non-GMO and non-kosher/halal. Also, not gluten-free! Contains wheat!

haggis_chips

Mackie’s is a major crisps manufacturer and is trying to break into the US market. Three years ago, Mackie’s was unable to export their Flame-grilled Aberdeen Angus crisps to America, because of fears of Mad Cow disease. So their Flame-grilled Aberdeen Angus chips-for-export are now made with a vegetarian recipe. Where would the world be without America keeping us healthy?

Okay, the taste test:

Appearance: Okay. Nothing bad to report. Although the chips are heavilly-flavored, there is no evidence of powder, just black pepper, which is Good.

haggis_chips2
Aroma: Don’t ask. Fetid, nasty — like the Mummy’s athletic socks. But, like a ripe cheese, you don’t smell it, you eat it.
Texture: Although Mackie’s claims to make thick crisps, these chips were very thin, about half the thickness of Miss Vickie’s thick-cut chips, and very crunchy. Good.
Mouth Feel: These are remarkably non-oily chips (perhaps because they are cut so thin) and the salt, though evident, is not nasty granules. Fine.
Taste: Salt, spice, potatoes — where’s the mutton? Meh.
After-Effects: None so far, but this report may be amended for late medical bulletins and addenda regarding looseness of stools and other such possible counter-indications for the sensitive diner. But no immediate haggis-hurling.
Summary: Nope. But, overall this is a well-executed chip: nicely cut, crisply fried, non-greasy, not over-seasoned.  I bet other Mackie’s flavors would be quite good.

A true haggis, turning its back on vegetables. A sheep's stomach stuffed with liver, lights, heart, and whatever else might be inside a sheep. Serve with whisky. And a deep-fried Mars bar.

A true haggis, turning its back on vegetables. A sheep’s stomach stuffed with liver, lights, heart, and whatever else might be inside a sheep, combined with oats. Lots of oats. Serve with whisky. And a deep-fried Mars bar. [celtnet.org.uk]

Alton Brown says, “Serve with mashed potatoes, if you serve it at all.” Which is not really encouraging. So I asked a Scot: “On Bobby Burns Day, when you have that haggis and all, what do you have with it?”

“Whisky.”

“No, I mean other vegetables.”

“Man, I said whisky didn’t I?’

“Okay, but potatoes, rice…”

“Whisky!” He glowered at me as only a Scot can glower.

“What about neeps and tatties?”

“Lowland, are you?” He shrugged, “Turnips, maybe. Some put it in the haggis.” He shook his head. “But that’s wrong! A filthy Saxon trick to lengthen the pluck.”

I didn’t ask any more.

So, haggis chips with turnip and whisky dip? Or, maybe, just whisky. Lots of it.

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