Why was haggis banned in the United States

"Since George Romero, innards have suffered a severe loss of image"

Telepolis table talks, part 1: Haggis

The increasing ideologization of food leaves Telepolis no other choice: A team of food testers has to be sent into the contested terrain of culinary hegemony. Due to the possible establishment of Scottish self-confidence on September 18, the research trip begins with the local national dish: the haggis.

Reinhard Jellen: I will briefly report what I researched about the haggis: It consists of the stomach of a sheep, which is filled with heart, brain, liver, lungs, kidney fat, tripe, beef suet and onions as well as oatmeal. George W. Bush Jr. At the G8 summit in Edinburgh in 2005, he feared that the local national dish would be served to him - because of the addition of sheep's lung, the import of haggis into the USA is prohibited.

The Scottish national poet Robert Burns once put it:

Ye Powrs, wha mak mankind your care
And dish them out their bill o 'fare
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking goods
That jaups in luggies
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer
Ghee her a haggis!

And I think that the haggis, given the fact that it looks really good - a bit like a blood and liver sausage with chopped onions puked in street dust - doesn't taste that bad. A hearty people's dish. Probably also a poor man's meal.

Peter Mühlbauer: At least it looks like it.

Martin Lickleder: At least a sheep owner's meal.

Celeste Hardy: Does it even taste like sheep?

All: No.

Peter Mühlbauer: It is not clear what the English hate more about haggis: the innards or the oatmeal. From the 18th century, Samuel Johnson has passed down the statement: 'Oats are a grain that is fed to horses in England and people in Scotland.' The Johnson biographer James Boswell responded: 'This is why England is famous for its horses and Scotland for its men.' The haggis reminds me of blood and liver sausage.

Martin Lickleder: But rubberized. The oats in particular make it unmistakable. If you had more spices that you don't have in British cuisine, you could make something really great out of it. So it tastes a little unspecific, but you can already eat it.

Hubert Erb: I thought it would taste heartier with more bacon.

Martin Lickleder: These are the leaner, weather-beaten Scottish sheep.

Reinhard Jellen: Are offal now as unhealthy as it is claimed - or is that vegan misinformation?

Peter Mühlbauer: If you overdo it, you can get high uric acid levels.

Martin Lickleder: Liver is extremely rich in iron, as was previously said of spinach. But you can't eat much of the haggis. It would be good if there was a spicy sauce with it.

Peter Mühlbauer: As with all offal dishes, they are extremely filling.

Martin Lickleder: The herb is also missing. As in general in British cuisine, I miss the game with the various aspects. The dishes are always bold and sweet. Spices are in short supply in traditional English cuisine, but you could also try nice side dishes with the sour.

Peter Mühlbauer: Do you also have the impression that innards have been more taboo since the 1970s?

Hubert Erb: Since the George A. Romero films broke into popular culture, innards have indeed suffered a severe loss of image.

Martin Lickleder: One reason for making offal taboo is certainly to be found in the industrialization of livestock killing. Up until the 1970s, there were mostly butchers with in-house slaughtering, and that has changed a lot until today. The innards used to be very cheap, but they were also quite delicate and had to be eaten quickly.

With remote slaughter, their transportation and storage has become too costly. In addition, it seems to me that people tend towards abstraction when they eat meat and do not like to eat special organs. Perhaps one reason why the Leberkäs is still very popular, although rumor has it that everything can be found in it: eyes, teeth, claws ...

Peter Mühlbauer: In the television series A real Viennese does not go under from the seventies there is still the Beischl, i.e. the Saure Lüngerl, as an apparently particularly striking form of proletarian food. Today Mundl Sackbauer would probably get away with schnitzel for less.

Martin Lickleder: In the organic market, and this is of course a height of hypocrisy, you don't get a liver, only the fillet. Because in the sense of a re-ecologicalization of meat consumption it would actually make sense to use the whole animal better and not just cut out the schnitzel. I think that's a shame. A lot of offal is still served in France. The supreme discipline here is the preparation of tripe or foie gras.

In part 2 of the table discussions, there will be a smoothie tasting at Munich's Viktualienmarkt.

(Reinhard Jellen)

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