The Robservations research team has been getting very excited at suggestions that the Americans could be about to lift their 40 year ban on Haggis. Rumours that they might finally relent have been doing the rounds for a few years now but let us hope they’ve finally seen sense this time.
I’m a big fan of the great chieftain o’ the pudding-race and my own theory is that they’ve turned their nose up at our national dish for all these years because they’re afraid they might actually taste something!
This embargo, after all, comes from a country where you can buy spray-on cheese and a type of marshmallow spread called ‘Fluff’.
Haggis isn’t the only legendary European product the Americans object to. I was amazed to discover the humble Kinder Egg has been banned by US Customs and Border Protection because it contains a: "non-nutritive object embedded in it."
Assuming that they’re not referring to the chocolate – although this could be debatable – we have to conclude they’ve got a problem with the toy inside.
Now let’s be clear, I’d quite happily ban Kinder Eggs too, not because the toys they contain aren’t particularly nutritious but because, in my opinion as a parent, they’re not very good! If you do managed to succeed in assembling one, following the instructions which resemble a challenge from the Krypton Factor, the chances are it will be lost or terminally damaged within minutes. And as every parent knows there are few things harder to handle than a mortally disappointed child on a sugar rush!
You’d think the sensible Danes wouldn’t have any truck with the nutrition nanny state but it turns out they’ve got an issue with Marmite.
No, not because they don’t like it (and for the record I’m firmly in the ‘love it’ camp) but because it’s too healthy. The problem is that the yeast extract contravenes a law passed 9 years ago restricting food products fortified with vitamins.
Nope! It doesn’t make any sense to me either. But then again, if you were one of those hooked on the TV series ‘Borgen’ you’ll appreciate that Danish politics doesn’t make a lot of sense much of the time anyway.
Finally, let us turn a withering gaze upon the French. They’ve suffered from a national paranoia for some time now about what they see as the deadly threat to their national culture from Franglais, and anything written in English in general.
Now they’ve taken the war into the dining room with dire warnings about ketchup and how it will corrupt the French palate. So much so they have banned ketchup from primary schools on the grounds that it will harm the kids appreciation of French cuisine and mask the flavour of whatever they’re eating.
Please accept my apologies in advance here if you think I’m stereotyping a little but if anyone had tried to force me to eat l’escargot or Frogs Legs when I was a wean I don’t think it would have been too unreasonable of me to ask for a dollop of sauce to help them slip down.