If I ever write my own “Mommie Dearest” book, Chapter One will be “The Night She Made Me Eat Haggis.” It was actually both parents but the evening still makes me wake up at night screaming. Given this traumatic childhood encounter, you can understand my alarm with the news story that Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has come to the United States to seek the ban that was imposed on the importation of haggis in 1971. The “Return of the Haggis” could soon come to a restaurant near you. I just fail to understand. We have always been so nice to the Scots and this is how they repay us. Isn’t it enough that we have tried so hard to like soccer this year?
Paterson (left) is trying to convince US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to free the haggis. In order to make haggis, you basically take all the parts that you want to eat from an animal, toss them, and eat what is left. Haggis uses sheep’s pluck or the heart, liver, and lungs mixed with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt and then stuffed and cooked in the sheep’s stomach. This obnoxious concoction is then simmered in the stomach for three hours. The problem for the U.S. has been the sheep lung which has been banned for importation.
Peterson recently proclaimed that “I share many haggis producers’ disappointment that American diners are currently unable to enjoy the taste of Scotland’s wonderful national dish in their own country.” The promise to allow Americans “to enjoy the taste” of haggis sounds more menacing than enticing.
As many on the blog know, I tend to favor free market principles and I must admit the effort to free the haggis has lift me torn between my economic principles and my personal disgust. For my part, I would prefer to drop the Burns poetry, toss the haggis, and drink the Scotch. With enough Scotch, I can begin to barely understand the Burns poems but there is no amount of Scotch in the world to kill the taste of haggis.