But I absolutely, resolutely refuse to eat haggis.
Never will a forkful of that oatmeal/lamb innards mixture pass my lips. I don't care if it is a national dish. Or if my marriage depends on it. The thought of it makes my tummy turn.
I know this is not fair. I know that many people relish haggis, enjoy it even. Especially on the 25th of January, Burns Night, the birth date of the beloved Scottish poet Robbie Burns.
When I was dating future Scottish husband, I quickly learnt that this poet had cult-like status. Upon meeting future Scottish mother-in-law, I was given a Robbie Burns tea towel, thus my collection of Robbie Burns merchandise started. I guess she didn't quite know what to give the American career woman that was occupying her son's time. On each meeting, I received more -- thimbles with the poet's face, small books about his life, an apron. Maybe she thought I would develop an appreciation (I did).
But never for haggis. In an attempt to get me to try the concoction, future hubby would often recite the beginning to Burns' Address to a Haggis:
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin'-race!
Problem was, I had no idea what he was saying.
When we were planning our Scottish wedding, we went traditional. An old country house on Loch Lomond, kilts, an 18-piece pipe band. The food was all sourced locally. So I guess future hubby wasn't out of order to want to serve haggis.
No way. What would the American guests eat. There would be an alternative. OK, maybe. Then my mind quickly conjured up images of little mounds of lambs innards sprinkled on the plates of my guests, eaten by drunk men in kilts, downing beers and swearing up a storm. I had to put a stop to it. What was he going to ask for next, fried Mars bars for dessert? If he wanted to pay for the wedding, maybe, but since he wasn't...
We did end up offering haggis as a choice at dinner the night before. And many of our American guests tried it. I politely passed and had the smoked Orkney salmon...
Photo credit: case de queso