By Patricia Lightfoot
November 30 is Saint Andrew’s Day. At the Scottish girls’ school I attended, this meant haggis for lunch. Three scoops on the plate: white mashed potato, orange mashed turnip and grey haggis. We also had haggis for lunch every Tuesday, as I recall. On “haggis” days, there was a dessert/bribe of canned pineapple rings for those who ate everything on their plates, which I never did, as I could not get past the haggis. When November 30 fell on a weekday other than Tuesday, were we treated to haggis twice in the same week? It would seem logical, but my memory fails me on this point.
Scotland shares its patron saint with, among others, Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Russia and the Ukraine. As a child, I could only assume that schoolchildren in those countries were not subjected to minced offal encased in a sheep’s stomach. There is much to celebrate in Scotland, including a shared belief in the transformative power of education and the importance of social justice, but as a long-time expatriate I do not miss the haggis.
Photo credit: Phil Lightfoot