|Did a Wee Bit of stealin' this photo from Veronica's Blog|
Now I knew who Robert Burns was-- he is the Scottish poet who wrote many famous things, the least of which is Auld Lang Syne which has become a New Years tradition. Scotland is proud of their native son Burns night is celebrated on his birthday, January 25th-- January is my second least favorite month of the year, kind of like the ugly step sister to the much prettier December. So any excuse to get together on a frigid night with good company is enough for me.
The big to-do of the night is the eatin' of the Haggis-- a sausage like delicacy made of Sheep Livers, hearts and lungs and stuffed in, well let's just call in "natural casing".
A quick google search beforehand described Haggis as "vile" while someone else said it is nicknamed a football because of it's looks and the fact that you'll wish you had kicked it into the street once you've eaten it.
Encouraged by those comments we arrived nearly a half hour late-- completely underestimating the time it would take to grab some chocolate for our hosts and make it across the city. We weren't the last to arrive however, but at 8pm we gathered at the table for the arrival of the Haggis.
One stands as it's brought in and truthfully-- it smelled pretty good.
Gillian also made Salmon for the vegetarians and less brave in attendance, I opted for a surf and turf and the Haggis was served along with mashed potatoes, peas and turnips.
Truthfully, it tasted like Shepherds Pie-- maybe because I mixed mine in with the potatoes. The Haggis is cut with Oats but not so much that it was dry. I liked it-- and that's saying something because I don't like Shepherd's pie.
There's a corned beef hash like quality to it-- and I could imagine eating it with eggs in the morning if you put a little bit of crisp on it on a grill.
I passed on seconds, but only because after reading those reviews I had a chicken sandwich at home before we left, so I was pretty full.
I won't order it the next time it's on a menu somewhere (and I've never seen it) but if I find myself at another's Burns Night sometime I won't hesitate to have it again-- and I won't eat dinner beforehand.
Wikipedia has a whole lot of information on formal Burns Night celebrations.