Celebrate Burn’s Night 🏴
The end of January is approaching which means Burn’s Night is round the corner. If you’re not already dusting off the bagpipes and ironing your kilt, then here’s a whistle-stop tour of the wonderfully Scottish celebration and some recommendations for the table!
Burns Night, also known as Robert Burns Night or Rabbie Burns Day, is a celebration that commemorates the life and works of the Scottish poet Robert Burns. It is typically observed on or around January 25th, which is the poet's birthday. Burns Night is especially popular in Scotland (naturally) but is becoming a nice excuse for a get-together across the UK.
The evening often involves a Burns Supper, a traditional Scottish feast! And one cannot enjoy a Scottish feast without several of these delicacies and festivites:
- Address to a Haggis: The evening usually kicks off with the recitation of Burns' poem "Address to a Haggis." A haggis, which if you’re not familiar, is a traditional Scottish dish made from minced sheep's heart, liver, and lungs, mixed with oatmeal, suet, and spices, is then ceremonially served.
- Traditional Scottish Fare: The meal typically includes other traditional Scottish dishes. ‘Neeps and tatties’ is a very popular side – essentially just mashed turnips and potatoes, and is often served alongside the haggis.
- Scotch Whisky 🥃: Burns Night is not Burns Night without a glass or two of Scotch whisky. Toasts are raised to the memory of Robert Burns and various other Scottish heroes.
- Recitations and Music 🎶: The evening often features recitations of Burns' poetry, traditional Scottish music, and a wee bit of dancing. You may have heard of a little song called "Auld Lang Syne," which is commonly sung around the world to bid farewell to the old year and welcome the new one and was written by the bard himself in 1788.
- Poetry and Toasts: Throughout the evening, there are various toasts to different aspects of Scottish life and culture. If you're doing it properly, 'Cheers' in Gaelic is 'Slàinte mhath', pronounced slan-ge-var.
In our humble opinion it isn’t a celebration unless there’s pie! We thought we’d created a fairly original ‘Mac and Cheese Pie’ as part of our collection of pies inspired by American dishes. But unbeknown to us and very quickly pointed out, Macaroni Pie has a huge heritage and it actually hails from Scotland.
Back in 1920 the first evidence of the Macaroni Pie in Scotland emerged when Hays Bakers in the city of Dundee advertised them for sale. Traditionally without a hat or lid (ours is topped with crisp pastry and a cheese rusk!), this carb-loaded pie stuffed with pasta in a cheesy sauce is a thoroughly satisfying eat. Give it a go and pair it with appropriate veg like buttered leeks (and a spoonful of haggis!) for a wholesome and delicious dish!
Go on – take a Chunk!