Whether you’re Scottish or not, it’s always fun to celebrate Robbie Burns Day on January 25th. The day is to celebrate the life and death of Robert Burns, the national poet of Scotland who wrote such ditties as Auld Lang Syne and Comin’ Thro’ the Rye, the poem which is said to have inspired J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. He is also known for drinking a lot and womanizing even more, and by the time he died at the ripe old age of 37 in 1796, he had fathered nine children.
While there are no formal rules that dictate how you should celebrate Robbie Burns day, the three staples include whisky, poetry, and everyone’s favourite dish — haggis. Haggis is made by combining a sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs with onions, oatmeal, and mutton fat, stuffing it into a sheep’s stomach, and boiling it in stock. The presentation of the dish at the Burns suppers is a dramatic one at that, and often includes a Highland piper leading a parade of chefs with the haggis, and the recital of Burns’ poem Address to the Haggis. The haggis is then slashed open with a sword and a splash of whisky is poured over top. Yum!
Burns suppers can take place any time around the poet’s birthday on January 25th. If you want to bring out your inner Scot, here are a few places that are throwing a bash:
The Toronto’s best Irish chain of bars is hosting a bash on the 25th at all of its locations around town. Come and enjoy all of the traditional foods including Haggis, Filet Mignon, and Cock-a-Leekie soup. Also included is the scotch. Dinner starts at 6:30 P.M., and will cost you $39.99 per person.
The Mill St Brewery is holding its dinner on Wednesday, January 24, and also includes a full traditional menu. In the Distillery District, 55 Mill Street. Dinner at 6:30 P.M., and the cost is 39.99 per person.
The Bow and Arrow is having a large celebration on Sunday, January 28. Not only are they serving haggis and scotch, but there’s a piper, too. No tickets required. 1954 Yonge Street, at Davisville.
Did you want to screw dinner and just enjoy the scotch? C’est What is offering a Highlanders whiskey tasting, in which seven half-ounces of obscure whisky will be served. Wednesday January 24th at 5:00 P.M. $24.57 per person.
And if you want to go all out and cook your own, here are a few places you can buy Haggis in Hogtown:
Mrs Bridges British Bakery, at 1 Eglinton Square and 322 Eddystone. 416-661-8663.
But n’ Ben Bakery at 1601 Ellesmere Road, near McCowan. 416-438-4214.
Allen’s Scottish Butchers at 2151 Weston Road. These guys are the largest producer of Haggis in Canada, with over 15000 lbs of sheep guts sold per year. 416-244-1018.
So lads an’ lassies, enjoy yerselves!
Photo by Bmann from Flickr.