The haggis is synonymous with Burns Night – a celebration of the great Scottish poet’s works – on his birthday, 25th January. Burns himself celebrates the dish in his poem “Address to a Haggis”, which traditionally is read during the celebrations,
“Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
As lang’s my airm.”
with the haggis brought out to the diners accompanied by a piper, before being dramatically cut with a ceremonial knife.
“His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi’ ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then O what a glorious sight,
Now considered a national dish of Scotland – probably thanks to Burns’ humorous poem - a form of the haggis (‘hagws’ or ‘hagese’) was first recorded in England around the mid 15th century, but is believed to have been eaten much earlier than that by huntsmen, using offal quickly cooked inside an animal’s stomach.
The iconic haggis is still made from sheep’s offal, such as heart, liver & lung but mixed with onion, oatmeal, suet and spices and will more likely have an artificial casing rather than be wrapped in the sheep’s stomach. And… versions are available to suit vegetarians and pescetarians.
A tasty and substantial savoury pudding, the haggis is traditionally served with mashed neeps (swedes / turnips depending on who you ask) and tatties (potatoes) and a dram of whisky. To complete a traditional Scottish menu, a starter of Cullen Skink (creamy soup of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions) and dessert of Clootie Dumpling (a less rich Christmas or plum pudding) filled with dried fruits and spices – the name ‘clootie’ coming from the cloth in which it is wrapped for simmering.
Enough preamble! We are stocking traditional and vegetarian haggis, along with a rich whisky cream sauce… and of course don’t forget your neeps and tatties from us.
Oidhche Bhlas Burns!