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Great Chieftain O’ The Puddin’ Race!



Beyond the desire for a good knees-up and toasting goodbye to January, Burns’ Night is a perfect recipe for an amazing dinner experience, one that most food and drink brands would fall over themselves for. A feast for all the senses.


‘Rabbie’ Burns

Part of the charm of Burns’ Night lies in the storytelling and mystique behind the man. ‘Rabbie’ Burns, as he is still fondly known, was a popular Scottish poet, admired as much for his verse as his high-spirits, love life, 'kirk-defying' and hard-drinking!


A Cultural Icon

What positions Burns differently, is that he wore his heart on his sleeve – one of unbridled passion – and as we all know, emotion is a more effective creative lever over the long-term. The fact that he died in 1796 (at only 37), lays testament to the popularity and longevity of his legacy.


The Young Romantic

Spontaneity, directness, sincerity, tenderness and humour fluctuate throughout Burns’ works. His vulnerability and humanity connect with people.

Every year, we take a family holiday to a little village called Kenmore, nestled on the banks of Loch Tay. The Inn there claims to be Scotland’s oldest, established in 1572. 

Above the chimney-piece in the bar, is a poem scratched in pencil by Burns after a day’s walking through the Breadlebane hillsides in 1787. He was so moved by the welcome he received, after a few whiskies, he composed a poem on the spot, still visible today. What it reveals is an ode to nature and a romanticism that is his signature tone of voice. 




A Wee Beastie?

To the uninitiated, the Haggis has often been mistaken for a wee beastie, roaming unchecked through the Scottish Highlands. But this unusual culinary icon (the contents of which are best left unknown to some) forms the centre-piece for Burns’ Night supper – its key, distinctive asset. Easy to draw, popularise and meme even!


The Address

​The presentation of the Haggis (piped in of course!) and the address:


‘Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!’

is a dining experience ritual that connects with tradition, provides

optimism through conviviality and allows tribal affirmation! 

The Haggis is presented whole, ready for its grisly demise.

 

But on more than one occasion, once by my mother-in-law, the otherby a studio manager, it was served like mince on a bed of salad garnish. If that ever happens to you, leave immediately!

The Senses

The assault on all the senses continues as the kilted host’s skean dhu is plunged into the poor wee haggis to the jingle ‘An' cut you up wi' ready slicht, trenching your gushing entrails bricht, like ony ditch’. Served with the unmistakable aroma of a single malt whisky, a heady, potent smell fills the air.

 

That’s not to say Burns’ Night is the reserve of the carnivorous. Each year, we serve a fine vegetarian haggis, equally as popular as its meaty alternative. And may I offer in accompaniment some award-winning vegan cheese from Honestly Tasty.



A Visual Feast

The final essential ingredient to any successful Burns' Supper is a heraldic display of tartan, flags, thistles and heather. Together, these combine in making the occasion both distinctive, memorable and unmistakably Scottish.

 

So there you have it, the perfect recipe for an unforgettable Burns' Night.

And all the ingredients for an intriguing, culinary experience. 

 

For those of you lucky enough to take part I wish you all a wonderful Burns’ Night.

Gie her (Scotland) a Haggis!

Listen to the exclusive BAGGI Burns' Night playlist here to get your party started right!

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