In defence of Cumbernauld firm’s haggis pie

Our Clare with the controversial haggis pie
Our Clare with the controversial haggis pie

PUFF pastry-based pies and haggis are both Scotttish culinary classics this month.

As families gather on January 1 there’s the splendour of the steak pie. Followed by the hearty meat and grained delights of the sheep’s stomach on Burns Night. There’s nothing controversial about that.

But what if the pie format was incorporated with haggis? Blairlinn-based Swords have created that on behalf of Asda who have sold the item in the run-up to the Bard’s big day as part of their Chosen By You UK range. And both parties have been slammed by nutritionists and doctors in the process.

Forget the dish itself – it’s the mere thought of the contents of the that are giving these healthy food gurus a heart attack. For the pie boasts double the amount of saturated fat found in other Scotch pies and contains two thirds of the recommended daily of said fats for the day.

Independent nutritionist Dr Carrie Ruxton said: “This is just a parody of Scottish cuisine. These cheaply-made mock-ups are really not good for health ‘’

Needless to say, bosses at Swords and Asda are fighting back in defence of the product – and said that it was part of an ongoing joint venture.

David Sword, joint managing director of Swords said: “It’s refreshing to see a major supermarket invest in listening to their customers and creating a product full of Scottish provenance and taste.

“Our first range of Chosen by you Scotland pies have proved very popular and we hope for similar success with the haggis pie.”

A spokeperson for Asda added that Swords was a natural choice to make the pie.

She said: “A total of 1210 individual blind taste tests were carried out in Falkirk for the Chosen by You Scotland range, and in the development of the haggis pie, Swords were the clear favourite on taste and quality.’’

By sheer coincidence samples of the pie were delivered to our office last week and were put to the test.

Fears that we might be dicing with death in the process were easily rubbished. For pies have been eaten – and enjoyed – in this office before.

Indeed we were fully aware that the pie cannot compete in the health stakes with a serving of salad or sushi but in the dead of winter does anyone really crave this type of dish? Could this be eaten in a football stand and would it be desirable after a bracing spell outdoors. Of course not!

The food police might be straight round to Tay Walk but this tester thought the pie had high calibre haggis, wasn’t too stodgy and was actually very tasty.