Celebrating Burns Night and all things Scottish

This week, around the world (but probably more in Scotland, I suspect) traditional foods will be dished up in celebration of Burns Night. The main event, taking place this Saturday, celebrates a famous Scottish poet, Robert Burns.

The feast is laden with haggis, which is a big sausage filled with minced heart and liver, spices and oatmeal. Traditionally it’s all stuffed into a lamb’s stomach lining – delightful! – but these days a sausage casing is used more often. Think of it as a sort of terrine, served up with neeps and tatties, which are bashed turnips and potatoes cooked in cream. Another traditional dish is cullen skink – what a name! – a hearty haddock and potato soup. I am sure a few whiskies are on the cards too.

I’ve never had the opportunity to try some haggis, but I love all the bits and pieces, so I’m sure I’ll quite fancy it. Our copy editor, Linda, lived in Scotland for a year and ate haggis quite regularly. She says it’s a little like boerewors and it tastes pretty good with tomato sauce, especially washed down with whisky from the nearby distillery, Edradour. Tour buses would stop at Edradour on the way to the hostel in Inverness (where Linda worked as a receptionist) and bring with them a free bottle of whisky. In winter the tourists dwindled, but the whisky didn’t, which meant Linda was always kept in good supply!

In the meantime, I might stick a few skilpadjies on the braai, the closest thing I’m going to get to anything wrapped in stomach fat. These morsels are so delicious as long as they’re seasoned with salt and freshly cracked coriander and cooked until the fat is crispy.

If you’re celebrating, please send us pics via Twitter (@Eat_Out) and enjoy!


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