Burns Night Canmore.

Canmore HaggisMany of the restaurants and pubs in Canmore will be enthusiastically be hosting Burns Nights. A little about the great man. Robbie Burns was born on January 25, 1759. Burns’ best known work is “Auld Lang Syne”, but was one of Scotland’s most celebrated poets. Although Burns was Scottish Burns night is celebrated around the world including Canmore with it’s strong Scottish heritage. The evening centres on the entrance of the haggis (a type of sausage prepared in a sheep’s stomach) on a large platter to the sound of a piper playing bagpipes. When the haggis is on the table, the host reads the “Address to a Haggis”. This is an ode that Robert Burns wrote to the Scottish dish. At the end of the reading, the haggis is ceremonially sliced into two pieces and the meal begins.

Address to a Haggis

Robert Burns

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great Chieftain o’ the Puddin-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang ‘s my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o’ need,
While thro’ your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see Rustic-labour dight,
An’ cut ye up wi’ ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an’ strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Bethankit hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi’ perfect sconner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro’ bluidy flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll make it whissle;
An’ legs, an’ arms, an’ heads will sned,
Like taps o’ thrissle.

Ye Pow’rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o’ fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!

If you don’t want to go “full Haggis neeps and tatties”!, here is a recipe which gives a great quick and easly alterative, but still with all the wonderful falvours of Scotland. Enjoy and a wonderful Brurns Night.


25g butter
¼ tsp ground coriander
1 onion
, chopped
½ medium-sized swede
(about 200g), peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 carrot
, sliced
1 celery stick, sliced into small pieces
140g potatoes
, chopped into small pieces
good grating of nutmeg
400ml milk
140g cooked haggis
or black pudding, chopped or crumbled into pieces
2 tbsp double cream
a few celery
leaves, torn


1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the coriander and the vegetables, fry for 4-5 mins, then cover with 400ml water and bring to the boil. Cook until all the vegetables are soft – around 20-25 mins.

2. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, then add the milk. Transfer to a blender or blitz with a stick blender until smooth, then return to the pan to heat through. (For a really smooth consistency, push the mixture through a sieve after blending.) Check the seasoning and add a little more salt and nutmeg, if you like.

3. Meanwhile, heat the cooked haggis or black pudding in a frying pan until sizzling. Serve the soup in bowls and top with the haggis or black pudding, a swirl of double cream and the celery leaves.