Banned in 1971 due to its incorporation of sheep lungs, which could contain stomach acid and phlegm post-slaughter, haggis is illegal to import to the US. Given the large population of US residents with Scottish ancestry who host festivals for Burns Night, haggis makers utilize loopholes, including vegetarian haggis and a recipe without lungs that utilizes an artificial casing. While recent efforts have been made to legalize haggis in the US, I’m surprised there hasn't been more pushback against the ban. Why am I so passionate about this ovine delicacy?
Haggis has been prepared in a comestible fashion for so long in Scotland that the same methods could be replicated in the US. Millions have eaten haggis with little issue when it's produced by licensed food workers who cook it fully.
Haggis is undeniably an important part of Scottish-American cultural tradition. While Scottish-American identity is often laughably different from genuine Scottish mores, it’s common to take an interest in the places your ancestors came from, and even thoroughly American families enjoy a few older food-based traditions. Although potica and lutefisk aren't everyone's favorite and are far from "American as apple pie," they still grace the tables of many (well, some) US residents with Slovenian and Norwegian ancestry respectively, and the government hasn't intervened. Why should haggis be any different?
I’m not a fan of haggis myself – I find the texture overly runny – but if my country allows me to possess piranhas, I don't see why I shouldn't be allowed to dig into some sheep lungs.
Featured image: edited from "Haggis" from thenounproject.com, "Scotland Flag" from pixabay.com, and "The Flag of the United States" from wikipedia.com