My heart was heavy when I left Scotland for Wales over five years ago, but a little part of me remains there. I have great fondness for Scotland (especially the West of Scotland) and its people who warmly welcomed me when I made it my home all those years ago. I went to University there, got engaged and married there, I began this blog allotment2kitchen there in 2009. Scotland has so many memories for me, and so many highs and lows.
Even though I am no longer living in Scotland, I still celebrate the revered bards - Robert Burns birthday my own way and its often with a vegetarian haggis, either shop bought and then its always MacSweenor homemade tweaked and based on Edinburgh's vegetarian institution Hendersons.
In my time there, I witnessed the Scottish haggis integrated into many world fusion cuisine recipes from haggis bon bons, haggis burgers, haggis canneloni, haggis dim sum, haggis pasty, haggis pakoras, haggis panini, haggis pastitisio, haggis pies, haggis lasagne, haggis moussaka - haggis pizza, haggis quesadillas, Black Pudding and Haggis Risotto; haggis Scotch eggs, haggis samosas, haggis sausage rolls, haggis spring rolls, haggis wontons, haggis tostados, haggis Tex Mex nachos, Haggis A La Wellington; haggis wraps, in fact you name it, someone somewhere has made it with haggis. Want to learn more about the haggis, then follow this Haggis blog post. You may also be interested to note that there has been some debate about the haggis origins and that it may even be English - whatever its true origin, it will always remain a Scottish icon. Here is an interesting article by The Guardian on Haggis: An International Ingredient.
Scotland is really progressive in relation to embracing the diversity of its people: whether they be Scottish born and bred; New Scots or even RefuWeegees (a Glaswegian Refugees) - we're all fae somewhere!. I myself was pleased to be accepted as an Honorary Scot because of my Celtic connections.
When I lived there, BBC Radio Scotland transmitted a programme Ravi Burns. And in place of the Scottish Poets Robert Burns 'Address to A Haggis' the Scottish Comedian and Actor Sanjeev Kohli (who I met a couple of times at 'Diversity' related events) gives us 'Ode to t Samosa'
"Wee sleekit, cowrin' triangular tastie, oh what a picnic is in thy pastry'.
The novelist Alasdair Gray also recited 'To a Mouse' against a background of sitars.
Please follow this link for some more interesting facts about Scotland's ethnic and cultural diversity and its fusion influences on cuisine.
With five days to Burns Night I offer you a Alternative Fusion Burns Supper Menu and take the opportunity to showcase again some of the vegan and vegetarian meals that I and some of my vegetarian blogger friends, many with Scottish links have created at home over the years with vegetarian and vegan haggis. Enjoy!
Served Once Up a time at A Vegetarian Eatery in South East Wales (2012 - 2013)
Burns Night Supper Club Menu
And this is an open top version of the vegan Haggis, Neep and Tattie Pie. This don't look pretty here, but it gives you an idea of the layered filling: haggis, then neeps, then topped with mashed tatties.
A slice of Clootie Dumpling which I made when I was running the Vegetarian Cafe in 2012 - 2013.
Irn Bru Jellyand also Irn Bru Sorbet. You will find Irn Bru in many recipes in Scotland from cupcakes to coffees and cocktails. There is also Irn Bu fudge that became popular by a Scottish company called The Ochil Fudge Pantry.
Here is me enjoying an Irn Bru and Scottish Tablet Ice-cream
Shortbread from Green Gourmet Giraffes. These can be easily infused with flavours from the Indian Continent - cardamon, fennel seeds or if your dare - red chilli flakes - see this Red Chilli Shortbread recipe for inspiration.