Offally Burns o' You
By Leilani Clark
Scottish poet and national treasure Robert Burns loved the haggis so much that in 1787 he wrote a poem to his adored food, perhaps even as he stared down into a pot of the bizarre dish, simmering in the stomach lining of the very sheep from whence it came.
For those curious about this culinary wonder, the back shelves at Gross Out (Grocery Outlet, for those uninitiated into the lexicon of the bargain market where products go to die) have purportedly produced cans of the gnarly Scottish fare, a sausagy concoction of sheep's heart, liver, lungs, oatmeal and spices that have simmered in the animal's stomach for at least three hours. Feel disgusted if need be, but know that haggis has been described by its fans as having an "excellent nutty and delicious savory flavor."
Of course, another way to explore the joy of haggis is to attend the Robert Burns Party, scheduled for Feb. 5 at Monroe Hall. Organized by the Santa Rosa Scottish Dancers, this Burns night is part of a worldwide celebration of Robert Burns' life and poetry, and includes performances by Scottish Highland, step dancing, a silent auction and a "kilt quilt" raffle. Sheep's organs will not be the only food available. Admission also includes sausages, homemade shortbread, caesar salad and a potato bar chockfull of "neeps and tatties." Look for secret flasks peeping out of pockets, since a dram or three of whisky is the traditional choice for washing it all down. All proceeds from the event benefit scholarships for students and families in the Scottish Dancer's classes. And don't worry, haggis hurling is not on the bill—at least not this year. Celebrate haggis (and Robert Burns!) on Saturday, Feb. 5, at Monroe Hall. 1400 W. College Ave., Santa Rosa. 6pm. $10-$20. 707. 588.8753.
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