Haggis, anyone?

Monday, January 26, 2009

This past weekend's festivities included Robbie Burns Day. Prior to Saturday, I had no idea who or what Robbie Burns was. A coworker texted me on Saturday afternoon. "We're going to Robbie Burns party @ Stayner's tonight. You in?" Hell yes, I'm in. Last week was mental and I was in the mood to blow off some steam and drink some adult beverages. Robbie Burns could have been the grocery bagger at Sobey's and I would have been in.

I knew it was going to be a weird night when I was paying my $5.00 cover and a guy in a tailcoat and painted-on sideburns called me a "wee lass" in the worst Scottish accent I'd ever heard. The second tip-off? Immediately after finding my friends and grabbing a seat, a trio of bagpipers started making their way around the pub followed by some kilted, embarrassed looking waiters dragging a trolley carrying something that looked like this:

It's Haggis!!

In case you're too lazy to click the link:

Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish.

There are many recipes, most of which have in common the following ingredients: sheep's 'pluck' (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally boiled in the animal's stomach for approximately three hours.

Haggis somewhat resembles stuffed intestines (pig intestines otherwise known as chitterlings or the kokoretsi of traditional Balkan cuisine), sausages and savoury puddings of which it is among the largest types. As the 2001 English edition of the Larousse Gastronomique puts it, "Although its description is not immediately appealing, haggis has an excellent nutty texture and delicious savoury flavour."

I'd never eaten Haggis before in my life. I knew it had somewhat gross ingredients, but had I been able to access Wikipedia from the bar and seen the excerpt above, this little "choose your own adventure" scenario would have had a very different ending.

In the name of being a good sport I tried about a tablespoonful of the Haggis. It was served on a shortbread cookie-type crackery thing, which was pretty tasty. To be honest, the Haggis wasn't even bad. Think really finely minced lamb with lots of spices. I'm happy I can now add "eat ground animal organs" to my list of life accomplishments.

It turns out that Robbie Burns is considered a "cultural icon" of Scotland and his 250th birthday was on the weekend, hence the wicked celebrations. He was also a poet, which is a little disappointing, because on the list of Things Amy Likes, poetry falls in between getting fired and Pap smears. Apparently the guy with the painted-on facial hair was meant to represent Robbie Burns himself because a few songs by the band, he's stagger up to the microphone and read a poem. The more he drank, the worse his fake accent got, and the longer the poems he chose. When I looked around the bar, everybody had really stunned "WTF??" expressions on their faces except for the herd of cougars who were sitting right in front of the stage. These cougs were seriously hot to trot. I'm not sure if the real Robbie Burns would have been the type to "get low" and/or be ground upon by a pack of women who absolutely should have been home sewing patches on their kids' snowsuits, baking oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies and watching Oprah. They should not have been rubbing their saggy boobies on Robbie Burns' best black greatcoat. He's a cultural icon, for God's sake!! We are not in a Nelly video!! Maybe there was catnip in the Haggis or something but these "ladies" were full on loving the 'burns and the craptacular accent.

So, the weekend was obviously not lacking in culture. I definitely learned a lot. #1, I'm glad I'm not Scottish. #2, when in doubt, do not look at the list of ingredients in a food you're not sure about. Ignorance really is bliss. #3, women really *do* love guys with accents, no matter how awful. Boys, listen up--if you want to get laid, adopt a fake accent. It doesn't matter if you can't do it well. I'm pretty sure Robbie Burns left with a grandmother on each arm. If he can do it in that ridiculous getup, surely you can, too!

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  1. Ha! This is so true! If I wasn't married, I'd be on the first plane to England or Ireland! I love to hear real accents! Oh and about the old heffers who decide to go out to clubs and such...ewww. There was a group of them at the club we went to this weekend. Nothing is funnier than watching a bunch of 50 year old women try to dance to rap music! They look ridiculous!

  2. I love an Irish accent...not such a fan of the British accent :)