Bored with Everyday Chocolate? Try Chocolate Haggis

Believe it or not, the spicy chocolate haggis isn't as "offal" as you might think

Recently, someone went and invented the chocolate haggis. Seriously. Now, just think about that for a while, and try not to shudder. But do keep this in mind: it's better than it sounds!

Then again, it would have to be.

A little revelation here: haggis is not Your Humble Writer's favorite dish.

What the hey?

As you may know, haggis is Scotland's most famous national perversion cuisine, consisting of minced sheep's heart, lungs, liver, and suet (yes, the hard fat we feed birds in the winter) mixed up with various spices, onions, and oatmeal, all sewed up in the poor animal's stomach.

Traditionally, a haggis is boiled up until it's mmm-mmm good and served with "neeps and tatties," which is Scottish for "turnips and potatoes." Eighteenth century Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote a poem about it ("Address to a Haggis") and it's still a popular dish among the heirs of Caledonia.

And now some lady has invented haggis chocolates.

If you say so...

To be fair, if you can get past its origins as the ultimate in leftovers, haggis can be a tasty dish, especially when prepared with a deer's innards rather than a sheep's. There are many popular varieties today, including vegetarian ones.

So perhaps the idea of a chocolate variety is less daunting once you consider that. Or perhaps not.

Truth be told, the chocolate haggis is no more a true haggis than most chocolate truffles are fungi... and thank goodness. Chocolate bacon is one thing, but even most chocolate extremos would be hard put to welcome actual cocoa-enriched haggis into their diets.

The real deal

Fortunately, it hasn't come to that. Edinburgh Chocolatier Nadia Ellingham, who invented the sweet variation of her country's national dish in early 2010, says people are a bit puzzled by the chocolates at first, but soon come to appreciate them.

Her company, Thinking Chocolate, produces their haggises for wide distribution in Scotland on the annual Burns Night (January 25), and sells them worldwide on their website.

Um, about those chocolates...

Chocolate haggises (haggi?) are delicate little balls of dark, spicy chocolate enriched with black pepper, nutmeg, and oatmeal. This may sound a little odd at first glance, but at least the sheep guts have been removed from the equation.

By all accounts, these haggises have an amazing taste that echoes the spiciness of a true haggis without the meaty flavor. So if you've got the guts (heh heh) try one of these little confections. A chocolate haggis it may be, but there's nothing "offal" about it.