Speed Reads

Feeling sheepish

America's 43-year haggis ban might soon be lifted

Haggis — in its most traditional form — is a boiled sheep's stomach filled with its minced heart, liver, and lungs, along with onion, oatmeal, and a variety of spices. It's the most well-known (and notorious) example of Scottish cuisine — but for the past 43 years, Americans have been forced to travel abroad to sample it. Since 1971, it's been illegal to import haggis to the United States because of a nationwide ban on food containing sheep lungs.

But now, thanks to the brave efforts of environment secretary Owen Paterson, the haggis ban may finally be lifted. "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," said Paterson in an interview with the BBC. "I am meeting my U.S. counterpart today to discuss how we can begin exporting it, particularly as so many Americans enjoy celebrating their Scottish heritage." Paterson reportedly plans to meet with senior Obama administration officials as early as next week in an effort to get haggis back onto American dinner tables as quickly as possible — so just to be safe, you should probably stock up on Lagavulin now.

[Full disclosure: the author once ate haggis in a Scottish pub. It was delicious.]