Page last updated at 13:20 GMT, Monday, 28 September 2009 14:20 UK

Haggis dubbed 'extreme cuisine'

Extreme cuisine cover
The book features a wide range of food from around the world including haggis

A new guide to the most outlandish foodstuffs on the planet has included Scotland's national dish.

The Lonely Planet guide to Extreme Cuisine features haggis alongside the witchetty grub and bull testicles.

Dumfries butcher Stuart Houston, who is listed as a haggis producer in the book, said he was "surprised" at its inclusion in the guide.

Author Eddie Lin said the volume was designed to challenge people's ideas of what good eating was.

Extreme Cuisine is billed as a guide to "the most diverse food from around the world".

No matter what, it gets the name of haggis bandied about and, if anything, it will make a few doubters maybe have a wee shot at trying it
Stuart Houston
JB Houston Butchers

It includes tarantulas, stingrays and cow's udder alongside the haggis.

The feature page on the Scottish dish describes it as "the stuff of legend" and that eating it is "one way to ingratiate yourself with the people of Scotland".

"The best places make this delicacy by using secret seasonings passed down through the generations," it says.

"Most meat shops make haggis fresh on the premises.

"However, to truly pay homage to haggis, attend a Burns supper 'haggis fete', held on 25 January all over Scotland."

The book says haggis can be found at butchers across the UK but highlights the Dumfries shop JB Houston, run by Stuart Houston.

He said he was "quite chuffed" to have been listed as one of Scotland's main producers until he heard there was "a catch".

'Over the top'

"This catch was that haggis was put in along with other extreme cuisines such as grasshoppers, tarantula legs, witchetty grubs and various other specialised delicacies.

"I thought it was a bit over the top because haggis is more of a staple diet now, certainly in Scotland.

"And the amount of haggis we produce for England over the year is quite astounding."

He added that most Scottish butchers received orders from around the world for the dish made of offal encased in a sheep's stomach lining.

He said he found it hard to see why it would be considered as extreme cuisine.

"No matter what, it gets the name of haggis bandied about and, if anything, it will make a few doubters maybe have a wee shot at trying it," he added.



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