Andrew Webb’s Food Journeys: Tuck into haggis for Burns night
- Credit: Archant
The end of January marks what you might call, a return to normal service, where we all finally give up any ideas about diets or abstinence. And so it is with perfect timing that the Scottish tradition of Burns Night comes around. So here’s my local take on the Scottish Bard’s birthday dinner.
We’re very lucky to have two butchers in our town, and both Humphrey’s and Burton’s stock MacSween haggis, which won a Great Taste Award in 2013. They come in a variety of sizes, and if you’ve a lot of mouths to feed, then go for the chieftain size. For a different approach, Chris at Humphrey’s also advises rolling haggis into bite sized balls, dipping in egg and breadcrumbs, and deep frying, “nice served with a chili sauce dip” he adds.
No Burns Night would be complete without a wee dram of whisky, and the aptly named Adam Burns, from the Robert Graham Whisky shop in Cambridge, has the following recommendations. “If you’re starting out look for a whisky from the Spayside or Highland region as these tend to be lighter and more floral or fruity in character rather than smoky or peaty, something like a Glenfaclas 10-year-old would be a good place to start.” If however you want to push the boat out Adam recommends a newly released 15-year-old Caol Ila, or for something made a little more locally, try Adnams Single Malt Whisky, made in Southwold entirely from East Anglian barley.
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If you don’t fancy doing any of the cooking at home, there’s a choice of venues in the area hosting Burns Night suppers.
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The Cambridge Scottish society, yes there is such a thing, are having a gala dinner with a piper followed by traditional music and dancing on Saturday. See camscotsoc.org.uk for more information. Loch Fyne, also in Cambridge, has a Burns Supper menu available on Sunday, and finally the White Hart in Wimbish is hosting a Burns Night on Saturday.
Whatever you decide to do for Burns Night, make sure you address the haggis, with the traditional poem.