Free The Haggis: England Moves To Lift Decades Old Ban

225px-HaggisIf 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?

Owen-Paterson200px-Tom_Vilsack,_official_USDA_photo_portraitPaterson (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.


Source: Sky

79 thoughts on “Free The Haggis: England Moves To Lift Decades Old Ban”

  1. The key to evolutionary advancement and primacy is, as I recently read, is to be able to eat anything natural. Thus, I am doomed, because the resulting emesis would cause dehydration and possibly a ruptured esophagus. But in a crunch, I could probably chow down on some Milk-Bone (TM) dog biscuits.

  2. Darren Smith
    Can’t it just be made from American sheep?

    we don’t have enough scotch

  3. Isn’t Rocky Mountain Oyesters calf testicles or bull testicles?

    I have a low gross out threshold.

    Speaking of which, I clearly recall in one of my anthropology classes the professor discussing that items are either safe to eat, or they are not. Accepted food items are determined by culture. The concept of “gross” has no biological component – something is either edible or it is not. Tastes are shaped by culture, so what one culture would find a repugnant taste or concept, another relishes. Cannibalism or baked insects, for example.

    1. From our friends at the Onion.

      Progressive Parents Allow Child To Choose How He’s Ostracized By Peers
      NEWS IN BRIEF • Family • Parents • Kids • Lifestyle • ISSUE 50•26 • Jun 30, 2014

      COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA—Preferring not to dictate the specifics of his social exclusion, progressive local parents Brad and Monica Tull are letting their son Josh choose his own method of being loathed and mocked by his peers, the couple reported Monday. “Rather than impose our own interests on Josh, our approach is to give him the opportunity to pick out the reasons he’s mercilessly bullied and made fun of every day at school,” said Monica Tull, citing her son’s unrestricted access to a broad menu of pursuits that will earn his classmates’ derision, such as the oboe, Magic: The Gathering, and theater set design. “Frankly, we wish our parents had given us such freedom of choice, instead of forcing us into activities like tap classes and scouting. Through our hands-off strategy, Josh will get to experience daily torment and cultivate very few friends on his own terms, not ours.” The permissive, open-minded parents added that instead of telling Josh what to wear each morning, they always let him select from an array of department-store-brand sweatshirts and ill-fitting corduroy pants.

  4. RTC:

    The Romans brought the bagpipe to England and outlying areas. The earliest mention of pipes in Ireland were in the 1200s. It was somewhat later that it flowed to Scotland.

    At what point has enough time elapsed that a particular instrument can be considered part of the country’s history? Because I think 800 years is plenty of time for Ireland and Scotland to make the bagpipe their own. 🙂

  5. It’s the Scottish drums I really like. I think one’s called a bodhran that can sound like a heartbeat or a rousing battle drum. (Don’t know how to spell it.)

  6. Paul:

    The bagpipes are so mournful, it’s impossible for me not to tear up when I hear them at a funeral or see them at a ceremony honoring the lost. Haunting, but definitely not uplifting.

    1. Karen – like my mother, I find the bagpipes annoying. 😉

  7. Culloden was that war in the 1745’s when the Clans rose up to assert independence from England and support (totally worthless) Bonnie Prince Charles. Cause was noble but the figurehead was a spoiled pampered reprobate unfit to lead the howling Scott warriors.

  8. No haggis or rocky mountain oysters here….I will take the lutefisk although it tastes horrible. At least it is cod fish.

  9. Paul,

    I doubt many folks know what Rocky Mountain oysters are.

    Had it not been for a late show on the History Channel during a bout of insomnia; I wouldn’t have caught your comment either.

    I’m not sure which I’d choose, if forced to do so; haggis or Rocky Mountain oysters.

    I’m guessing haggis.

    1. Bob, Esq. – it was a big bonding activity for all the middle and upper-class males in my community. 😉

  10. Thanks, Darren. WordPress doesn’t like it when I deride frankenfood.

    1. “It is said that the Irish invented whiskey. The Scots perfected it”
      I’ll agree with that, especially the those from Islay.
      Bruichladdich 10 is very good. Ardbeg Galileo is the best I have had.

  11. Pipes are believed to have been transported by the Roman legions. The Roman troops and supply lines had conscripts and volunteers from many countries they conquered. They brought bits and pieces of their culture with them. The video below is the Edinburgh Military Tattoo from about 2009. The musicians in this piece are from the Egyptian Army.

    1. Chuck – it is possible that the Romans brought them to England and Scotland, etc. but it is also possible that King Arthur is a Roman trained soldier left in England when the Roman pulled out.

  12. If you bloggers don’t like the Haggis entry, then run with a can do chef. New Scandinavian cooking with Andreas Viestad. Here’s the holy fish dish.

  13. Schulte, my numbers were just guess work, as I qualified but, out of courtesy, I replied until after I could look up the paper. I think if you put a tortoise on a lifelong treadmill, like humans, they’re going to die sooner. They may not live at all if you make them eat at McDonalds — or go extinct without the help of Viagra. And if you feed them hormone disruptors, like humans, it will impact puberty and probably also life expectancy. Do you really need Morgan Spurlock’s “Supersize Me” to conclude that Western frankenfood is epigenetically changing the human genome and, by extension, behavior? His wife complained of his ED, 3 weeks in. As far as high school kids know today, viagra has always existed. In the same way, an older generation believes bypass surgery has always been around. It is tragic how many of us roll over and play dead for what is considered normal, which is in reality devolution. That is why we do not realize our full life expectancy, much less even 100 years.

    1. samantha – all teenagers think the world does not exist before the day they were born. You have to get much older to realize how foolish that presumption is. 🙂

  14. Chuck – what you may be presupposing is the bagpipe moving from culture to culture but that denies simultaneous invention. There is no reason that the Celts did not invent the bagpipes independently of other groups.

  15. Can’t it just be made from American sheep?

    Gives “protectionist” a double meaning.

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