When a country bans certain food for nigh on half a century, chances are there’s a pretty good reason to keep your borders clear of the aforesaid stuff.
Yet if aides to Barrack Obama can be convinced to overrule a ban on a certain type of traditional food that has been forbidden in the U.S. for over four decades, then millions of lucky Americans will be finally able to get their first taste of a rarefied savory pudding which is made out of sheep’s pluck.
What is sheep’s pluck? Well it’s the heart, liver and lungs of a sheep, lovingly mixed with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt to make that most Scottish of dishes- haggis.
Has the sweet and succulent thought of haggis got you drooling like a demented dog yet? No? Well it gets better.
The sheep’s pluck and other ingredients are mixed with stock and traditionally encased in the sheep’s stomach before being simmered for around about three hours.
You can almost smell it can’t you? Well, you’ll be smelling a lot more haggis to, if the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack concedes to the lobbying of UK Environment Secretary Owen Paterson and decides to bring an end to the ban on importing haggis.
Which is great news for the Scottish producers of the banned food because the potential market for sheep lung is apparently massive and worth millions.
Following the ban on haggis in 1971, the ‘mad cow’ disease which ripped through the UK’s livestock in 1999, made it illegal for the U.S. not just to import any food containing sheep lung but also any of the UK’s beef and lamb products.
The ban on British beef was overturned earlier this year and now there is high hopes that the ban on haggis will be overturned as well because it could be worth £10bn to the British economy overall.
Sky News reported that Mr Patterson said “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.”
“I am meeting my US counterpart today to discuss how we can begin exporting it, particularly as so many Americans enjoy celebrating their Scottish heritage.
“This Government has opened many markets for our home-grown food and drink businesses. I will continue to do everything I can to boost exports of everything from whisky to haggis to support Scotland’s farmers and rural economy.”
Haggis is considered the national dish of Scotland, in part, thanks to Robert Burns‘ 1787 poem, Address to a Haggis. It’s not certain if Burns had been drinking whiskey when he penned his masterpiece to boiled sheep’s lungs. One can only imagine.