Bahraini Burns Night

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Last week Ari and I went to our first dinner party in Bahrain. We were introduced to lovely Scottish couple (Ari's boss' neighbours actually) and they have been above and beyond welcoming and helpful to us both. Assisting us with the dreaded car search, advising who to set up satellite TV and bank accounts with, even rekindling our (somehow lost) love for G and Ts. And so we ventured into our very first "Burns night" experience and boy did we learn a thing or two!

Burns night is generally held on the birthday anniversary (Jan 25) of Scottish poet Robert Burns (more affectionate known as Robbo or  Burnsie - not fact, I just made that up). They serve haggis with "tatties and neeps", whisky and listen to scottish music and poems. Which is exactly what we had, minus the poems...

Being the non-Scotts we were, Google informed us that "tatties and neeps" were potatoes and turnips, though we had to further consult Google for what turnips actually looked like. Yes! It was a food fail on Ari and my behalf. Haggis we were told, is an acquired taste so I was most apprehensive but had to try it anyway, it came over especially from the UK for tonight. Out here I guess it's considered quite the delicacy, as I would consider Pho or BBH delicacies - because you just can't get it!

It actually wasn't that bad, tasted like offal mixed with other ingredients. I later found that the other ingredients included sheep's heart, liver and lungs, oatmeal, pearl barley, spices etc encased in stomach. Charming! We even had "Cock-a-leekie" soup, which is soup made with chicken and leeks.

Who'd have known we'd come out more cultured and educated from Burns night dinner :) Oh and last fun fact, Robbo pen the traditional new years folk song "Auld Lang Syne", you should all know it perhaps not by title like me. Thank heavens for Google.

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