Despite his surname and a bizarre ability to swing it like Louis Prima, Paolo Nutini is, in fact, Scottish.
Last night, the 22-year-old singer appeared at the Minnesota Zoo and, in a fly-by meet-‘n-greet, we had the opportunity to ask him about the breaking haggis news. It seems the English are claiming to have found a 1615 cookbook that contains the earliest mention of haggis — a sheep stomach packed with oats and sheep’s liver, heart, and kidney — thereby making the national dish of Scotland historically English. The Scots are none-too-pleased.
SUSAN PAGANI: Wait, just one question, how do you feel about today’s haggis controversy?
PAOLO NUTINI: Haggis? Why? What’s happened?
PAGANI: Allegedly it’s not Scottish — it’s English!
NUTINI: NO! Who said that? Have you ever seen one?
PAGANI: Seen a haggis?
NUTINI: I have! A live one.
PAGANI: What, like a free-range haggis?
[At this point, Nutini’s manager, a very tiny, very pregnant, very English woman chimed in]:
MANAGER: No, it’s definitely Scottish, but I’ve had vegetarian haggis and it’s lovely.
PAGANI: What was in it?
MANAGER: Oh you know, cereal — barley and oats, herbs, vegetables…
NUTINI: It’s terrifying. It’s kind of like a bird, but all fur and teeth — no feathers. Like half turkey, half mole.
PAGANI: A tunneling bird?
NUTINI: Or a flying mole — but it can only get a few feet off the ground.
PAGANI: Ah, that’s the turkey.
NUTINI: Yes, that’s the turkey.
And then he scurried off to sing about his new shoes, leaving us alone to ponder the plight of the Scottish haggis.
Strange coincidence–I just today tried the ‘haggis’ from Seward Coop. I must say that while it is a pleasant sausage they make over there, it is most assuredly not haggis, or even a semblance of haggis. While I understand it is against FDA regulation to use the offal parts of the lamb/sheep that are used for traditional haggis (windpipe, lungs), this had no lamb/sheep parts at all, and most definitely was not reminiscent of MacSween’s haggis, one of the more popular producers of haggis in Scotland. Real haggis is, in short, brilliant–offally, peppery, wonderful. Still looking for something close…
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