January 21, 2004
BY LUCIO GUERRERO Staff Reporter
Chicago may soon be known for another culinary delight besides hot dogs and pizza.
It soon could be the U.S. capital of haggis -- the Scottish delicacy of sheep's heart, liver, lung and oatmeal boiled in a sheep's stomach -- after a Scottish company announced it is making Chicago its U.S base for the tinned treat.
Stahly Quality Foods Ltd., a small company based in Glenrothes, is going to begin producing haggis at an undisclosed Chicago plant. The company plans on selling about 300,000 tins of the stuff.
"There are lots of Scots living in the States, and Scottish food is becoming increasingly popular, so I think the market is definitely big enough to make haggis a success in the U.S.," Ken Stahly, owner of Stahly Quality Foods told the Evening Telegraph and Post in Scotland. "Chicago is an ideal base, because its geographical location is an ideal gateway to the U.S. and Canadian marketplace."
The company said it also would make a vegetarian variety. In the future, it could branch out to other flavors, including whisky.
About 10 million people in the United States have Scottish roots, and in Chicago, the Scottish community is becoming increasingly vocal. Recently, the city became one of the only three in the United States to host a Tartan Day parade.
However, it may be tough convincing non-Scots to try haggis. For many folks, the thought of eating something boiled in a sheep's stomach is too much to handle, even if it does taste good.
And in another haggis maker's survey, taken in November, a third of American visitors to Scotland believed haggis was a real animal and thought they could hunt and catch it.
Contributing: Sun-Times wires
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