A FAMILY recipe has won the first ever Haggis World Championship.

Winner Laura Black admitted she entered the 40-year-old family secret in the contest “in hope rather than expectation” as she lifted the trophy at the Scottish Craft Butchers Trade Fair in Perth on Sunday.

Black, who entered for the North Lanarkshire butcher Coopers of Bellshill, said taking home the gold was the “highlight of my career”.

“I’m absolutely delighted. The world title is coming to North Lanarkshire, coming to Bellshill and coming to Coopers,” she said.

Around 70 other hopefuls entered the competition to be named the haggis world champion.

Head judge John Wilkin (below), a senior lecturer in food science at Abertay University in Dundee, described Black’s winning entry as “near perfection”.

Calling it “absolutely superb”, Wilkin added: “If there's better haggis out there somewhere in the world then I want to taste it.”

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The judge said the winning haggis’s flavour was “spot on”.

“The texture was firm but moist,” he added. “The product was uniform throughout, yet it still looked hand-crafted and traditional. We also enjoyed the nice peppery back note and the subtle tang of meat.”

But Black said the family secrets behind the championship haggis would stay secret.

“Let’s just say we only use fresh ingredients and a secret combination of spices that brings it to life,” she said.

“I’ve never entered it in competition before and I’m so proud and pleased. I inherited the recipe from my parents when I joined the business in 2017 and every time I taste it I think – ‘that’s a damn good haggis’. Now the world thinks so too.”

Coppers of Bellshill supplies haggis to outlets across the country with overnight shipments delivering the delicacies down south.

The 26 staff at the company’s shops in Bellshill and Motherwell are preparing to produce a bumper batch to satisfy the inevitable rush of customers following their world championship success.

George Jarron, the president of Scottish Craft Butchers (SCB) which hosted the new competition, said the event had proved a showcase for the best in the business.

“We have been running a Scottish Haggis Championship for the past 30 years, but this is the first ever world championship,” he said.

“We decided that haggis was such an iconic dish the world over that it was deserving of a global championship title to let the world know we had recognised and rewarded the very best.

"And it was only fitting that the first world title for a product so quintessentially Scottish should be staged in Scotland.

“There are few producers of our national dish that wouldn’t want to have a World Championship to their name, and we congratulate Laura and the team at Coopers of Bellshill for securing the first place on the international roll of honour.”