Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the pudding-race!

 For the past few years, Ned Swain has thrown an annual National Pie Day event here in Portland, complete with pie poetry and pie-themed drama.

Well, this year Swain tells me he needs a break from Pie Day, so instead he’s planning a blow-out Robert Burns Day celebration at the Portland & Rochester Public House, 118 Preble St. Ext.

Robert Burns Day falls on Jan. 25, the Scottish poet’s birthday, and it’s traditionally celebrated with a presentation of the haggis, bagpipes, a reading of Burns’ work and, of course,  lots and lots of whiskey.

Haggis, the national dish of Scotland, is a savory pudding made from sheep’s organs and other ingredients – onions, spices - cooked in the animal’s stomach. Here’s what it looks like:

Haggis, traditionally served with “neeps and tatties” (turnips and potatoes), was the subject of a famous Burns poem called “Ode to a Haggis” that is usually read at Burns Day celebrations.  

Swain’s celebration begins at 7 p.m. with readings of Burns’ work. Swain will read from an original 1787 first edition printing of poems  in the Scottish dialect.

Rosemont Market is preparing the haggis using all local ingredients, and Portland & Rochester will be serving a selection of Scotch whiskies.

Be brave and wear a kilt, and you might just win a special door prize. (Watch out for drafts.)

Tickets are $30 and include several samplings of whiskey and a “healthy portion” of the haggis.

Tickets are available at  Brown Paper Tickets

About the Author

Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.

Meredith can be contacted at 791-6332 or mgoad@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @meredithgoad

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