It’s the biggest week of the year for for Scottish cooking with Burns Night approaching this weekend and chefs all over Scotland will be sweating over their national dish. Although the evening is chiefly regarded as a celebration of poet Robert Burns birthday, it is the starring role that haggis plays that makes this ritual supper a culinary focus the world over. Central to the evening, with his ‘address to the haggis’, Burns elevated the working mans meal of offal and oatmeal stuffed in sheeps lungs into a symbol of Scotland – the ‘great chieftain o the puddin -race’.
In recent years the idea that ‘Scottish Cuisine’ is somewhat of an oxymoron has been over thrown by the likes of Tom Kitchin, Martin Wishart and Dominic Jack. Edinburgh now boasts five Michelin stars – more than anywhere else in Britain outside of West London. Although haggis traditionally is still considered the epitome of all things Scottish – is it really right to still be held up as Scotland’s national dish? With such a rich array of ingredients at their disposal, this new wave of chefs are breathing life into the countries first rate produce and utilising their skill to provide world-class dishes. There will be those that will religiously consume haggis every Burns Night but ignore Scottish cuisine the rest of the year and we urge them to look again. We published a blog post last year which is a great guide called Fine Dining in Scotland which you can read here.
In the meantime for those who will be participating in a Burns Night Supper – here is Radio Scotland’s animated address! John Gordon Sinclair’s Ode to a haggis.
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