Capital plays host to haggis-eating championship

It is a battle to crown the true Chieftain o' the puddin' race.

The world's first official haggis-eating championship is to be held in Edinburgh next month.

Organisers are inviting 50 contestants to have a skinful of a different kind - in the form of ploughing through a pound of offal in a matter of seconds.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Although the Guinness World Record experts adjudicating have advised the challenge, on Sunday June 19, must be completed in less than two minutes, unofficial contests have seen the national dish consumed in fewer than 60 seconds.

The inaugural competitive eating championship takes place at the Art Roch hostel on Edinburgh's Grassmarket, although organisers are in talks with the city council to hold the event in the open air.

The event, which is being organised by the hostel, will raise funds for Help for Heroes and has won the backing of city author Alexander McCall Smith, The Proclaimers, and veteran pop star Lulu.

Mr McCall Smith said: "There are many causes for which I would be most happy to eat haggis, but this one in particular deserves its haggis."

Charlie Reid of The Proclaimers described Help for Heroes as "the most worthy of causes" and wished hopefuls "good luck with the indigestion".

The contest is inspired by events in the United States, which see contestants plough through dozens of burgers.

As part of the official adjudication, cameras and timers will have to be set up to monitor the event.

Prospective contestant Derek Smith, 25, who manages the bar in the Fiddler's, part of Art Roch, said: "I'm a bit of a gannet anyway so I probably won't do too much preparation.

"Either way it should be a great atmosphere on the day."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Caryn Carroll, manager of Art Roch and one of the event's organisers, said help was at hand for any vegetarian contestants who wanted to give the event a go.

She said: "We'll be offering brave hearts with strong stomachs a choice of meat-based and vegetarian haggis, which Halls the haggis makers, has agreed to donate."

The number of entrants is capped at 50 and hopefuls can register by emailing [email protected] or joining the Edinburgh haggis championship Facebook page.