Baking and the Political Divide

Baking and the Political Divide

Dreary, soggy, dark, Winter’s evening and I arrive in one of my favourite cities, Belfast. I hop into a taxi and give the driver the address of where I am meeting my pal. Heels on the ground, I alight from the car, pay Mr. Cabbie and click-click-click my way into the cafe where we are meeting.

We greet and launch into chatter as we enjoy a long overdue catch-up. Steaming coffee is served and with hands wrapped around the mug in an attempt to channel heat to the rest of my body, I ask “So which part of the city am I in? Nationalist or Unionist?”

My pal laughs and tells me to guess. I rise to the challenge and within seconds I declare “Unionist!” Completely stunned, he asks how I knew. I quickly think of smart retorts – ‘divine intervention’ and the like. In the end, I point at the menu board hanging on the wall. “Easy”, says I. “They sell ‘Tray Bakes’! Standard fare at all Protestant Church Fetes. What your lot would call ‘slices’ or ‘squares’!”

So you can navigate a city by baking. Who knew?


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