77 pounds of haggis for dim sum and traditional one pounders, to be served with Chinese Lettuce Wrap
Haggis display at the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow, Scotland. The furry figure top left is described as a “wild haggis”. The bottom right figure wrapped in plastic is described as a “domestic haggis”. – photo T. Wong
There are 77 pounds of haggis that I have just picked up from Peter Black & Sons at Park Royal South in West Vancouver. I will deliver them to Floata Restaurant tonight, enroute to my appearance to “Address the Haggis” at the Burns Supper for the Vancouver & District Labour Council.
Many people outside of Scotland revile the poor wee haggis. It is the butt of many jokes. While in Scotland, I visited the Kelvingrove Museum and even found a display of a “wild haggis.” (see the picture above). There was an accompanying sign that read:
created in Glasgow Museum's workshop 2005
created in a Scottish kitchen 2005
A “ceremonial haggis” should be “as lang's my arm” in length. It is also called a “piper's haggis”, because it is piped in at dinners on a large serving plate for everyone to see.
Dim Sum can be translated as “pieces of the heart”
or “touch the heart” or “pieces of heaven.” These are small portions
of food that are succulent and delicious. But what happens when you
add haggis to this little heavenly morsels? Will haggis, one of the
world's most celebrated and reviled foods ascend to the celestial
But you cannot give a proper “Address to A Haggis” if it's already cut up into little wee piece.
Scots still like to see a traditional haggis at a Burns Dinner. We
serve a one pounder of haggis to each table. It might be not enough
for 10 Scots guests – but it is more than enough for 10 non-Scottish
diners. To solve the problem we encourage people to share.
also serve a 7 pound banquet haggis that is “as lang's my arm” to our
head table. This ensures that it is pretty in pictures… as well as
extra leftovers for any of our guests.
An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
– 3rd verse from Robert Burns poem “Address to A Haggis”
Watch Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson cut up the haggis at the 2009 Dinner
imagine layering a little bit of haggis with Chinese plum sauce, adding
crispy noodles, finely diced vegetables and Chinese water chestnuts,
and serving on a delicate leaf of lettuce. This is our Gung Haggis
lettuce wrap, a cultural and culinalry fusion twist. But people say
they have never seen people eat so much haggis, or eat haggis so
And what does our traditional haggis maker think of all this?
Peter Black describes himself as a haggis rancher.
2006, we were paid a high compliment when haggis rancher Peter Black
attended the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner with his family! Peter loved
what we had done with his haggis.
Peter Black & Sons, at
Park Royal Mall in West Vancouver, is BC's largest producer of haggis.
Peter's haggis is a family secret with extra spices. It is different
from a traditional lard recipe – which I have occasionally gagged on.
I describe a Peter Black haggis to be like a nice liver pate, suitable
for serving with crackers at your next Super Bowl party.
to visit Peter Black & Sons at Park Royal South – because there is
an annual display of “live wild haggis.” Often the haggis is sleeping,
and you have to be very careful not to disturb it – but if you're
quiet, you can sneak up on it.
Peter Black & Sons with family at
the 2006 Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner, linking hands to sing Auld Lang
Syne to bring a finale to the dinner event – photo Ray Shum
Here are some of the menus from our past dinners: