The U.S. meat market has evolved in recent years, thanks to the proliferation of new-school butchers and restaurants serving offal. However, there are still cuts that are taboo, and even some that are illegal. One of those is sheep’s lung, which is a key ingredient in the Scottish delicacy haggis.
Stateside, traditional haggis has been banned by the USDA since 1971, due to the inclusion of sheep’s lung. But that it has stopped Americans from making their own.
BBC reports that “a mini-industry has emerged with American firms from Texas to New England manufacturing lung-free haggis for the US domestic market each January.” Purveyors like Ronald Grant Thurston have simply created recipes that circumvent the banned ingredient.
Despite efforts by Scottish politicians to educated people about haggis, “Lungs are ‘considered an inedible item’ in the U.S., says a spokesman for the Food Safety and Inspection Service.”