Thursday, 24 January 2013

The offal truth

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One of the list of things about Americans which make me feel superior is their repulsion from offal. I remember some American humorist saying 'England is a country where people EAT kidney.' I consciously try hard not to be a snob but sometimes I can't help it. I think there is something specifically middle class about squeamishness in the face of offal. Offal is manly and seventeenth century and has no airs and graces, no side. However many wonderful recipes for sweetbreads people write in the quality papers, offal is basic. Offal is, literally, visceral.



I was therefore delighted to read on the BBC that haggis has been banned in the US since 1971 because it contains sheep's lung. Do I ditch my diet and go to the Burns Night Supper at the Athénée Palace on Saturday? I don't feel at home at those things, which are rather Terry and June but I did like reading Burns when I was fifteen and I do love haggis and neeps very much and, why deny it, love the way it repulses other people. 

I first met haggis in the pages of The Beano where they appeared as mobile bagpipes coming over the hills, always with hostile intent. I am not sure how old I was before I realised that haggises were made not born.

Yes, I shall go to the Burns Supper, even though I am too young in spirit for that sort of thing.

8 comments:

  1. Sometimes I do not know what the heck you are talking about;the Burns Night Supper;Terry and June.I am an Englishman{woman}{oh,no gender identity affliction}..an Englishman thrice removed,American.I love once and forever England. I like reading your 'stuff'.

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  2. I've never eaten haggis, but I've wanted to try it. I wonder if there's a place in Bucharest where it is served. I imagine it tasting like andouillete.
    -Joel

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  3. it's wonderful. I'll try to get you some.

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  4. Anonymous thank you but uou are not British if you have not read The Beano. Lord Curzon of course, imagining the word was Italian, pronounced it be-ano when he said of the victory celebrations in 1918 'I do hope there will not be a beano.' He had style.

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  5. Joel I have secure you a haggis, one of the last in captivity in Bucharest

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  6. I hope this is true!
    -Joel

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  7. Everything in this blog is true.

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  8. P.V.E., Are you talkin' to me? Well..okay and thank you too.

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