Sunday, January 20, 2008

Can pigs fly?

As reported below from the BBC, Scottish haggis producers are seeking permission to woo the brave and the adventurous in the US, with there fair.

The market size is potentially significant, but the US consumer pallet will require a fair amount of educating.

I fear the story is really targeted to cause a stir in the home market, timed to coincide with the build up to Robert Burns night. When every true Scotsman tucks into a haggis washed down with a dram of the finest malt.

Have you ever eaten haggis?


David Carruthers 20th January 2008.

Scots ask US to lift haggis ban

The Scottish Government is considering asking the United States to rethink its ban on haggis imports.

Imports of Scotland's iconic dish were banned by the US in 1989 in the wake of the BSE scare because it contains offal ingredients such as sheep lungs.

Only an offal-free version of haggis is available in the US.

The move would be backed by renowned haggis maker Macsween, which believes the American market could be a very lucrative one.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said it "will consider engaging the US government on its haggis export ban, if there is popular support for such a move from within our world famous haggis producers".

Expat Scots

Jo Macsween, a co-director of family company Macsween, said she hoped to see the ban overturned.

"The market is massive because there are so many expat Scots there and once Americans try a good quality haggis, they can't get enough of it," she added.

The dish, traditionally served with tatties and neeps on Burns' night, usually contains a sheeps lungs, liver and heart minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices and salt mixed with stock.

It is then boiled in the animal's stomach for around three hours.

A spokesman for the US Department of Agriculture said: "We do not allow importation because of the UK's BSE status."

"Sheep are susceptible to TSE's and thus the US takes precautions on importing those ruminants from BSE-affected countries."

However, a spokesman for Britain's Food Standards Agency said: "We see no reason at all why people cannot eat haggis safely, so long as manufacturers follow hygiene legislation.

"We have the strictest BSE controls in the world."

Story from BBC NEWS:

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