First Haggis World Championship launched

PERTH will host the first Haggis World Championship on 14 May.

Entries for the competition, which is organised by the Scottish Craft Butchers (SCB) trade body, will close on 5 May.

The hunt for the world’s best traditional haggis will see restaurant chefs compete with local butchers and haggis manufacturers for the coveted title.

SCB president George Jarron said haggis is a “product that is enjoyed” by the Scottish diaspora throughout the world and there are a lot of world-class recipes and experts out there.

He said: “SCB is delighted to host this exciting event and bring together some of the most outstanding haggis producers to compete for the very first world title.

“Haggis attracts global recognition so there should be a global award for the best.”

Jarron added that the competition is mainly looking for a “500g traditional Scottish haggis” in a ball shape — with judges focusing on appearance, flavour, texture, and the true rustic nature of the national dish.

Five regional winners will be selected from within SCB members before including all-comers, along with two runners-up.

The organisers said that all entrants must produce and sell haggis and meet other terms and conditions laid down by the new competition.

Current Scottish Haggis Champion, butcher Tom Courts from Fife, said it had been his career ambition to win the national title and that the world championship would be the ultimate feather in any haggis-maker’s cap.

He said: “The competition will be fierce.

“This is the title everyone wants and there are some amazing recipes out there – many passed down through generations.

“Haggis used to be a peasant food, offering a cheap yet nutritious dish, and it’s now a gourmet staple on many top restaurant menus.”

The competition will be staged as part of the SCB trade fair, a biennial event attended by butchers from across the UK, which means the first champion will hold their crown for two years.

Read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s food and drink pages, in association with Cask & Still magazine.

Plus, don’t miss the mystery diner’s restaurant review in the April issue of Scottish Field magazine.