As I am more gourmand than gourmet, and more human garbage disposal than either of those things, I refuse to turn up my nose at any dish I’ve never eaten. Texture doesn’t throw me off (I love escargot and gelatinous Chinese mushrooms) nor does appearance (paneer saag—looks unholy, tastes of the heavens). But I have a mental block over the traditional Scottish dish, haggis. It’s not the idea of a sheep’s heart, liver and lungs boiled with fat and oatmeal inside its own stomach—I’ve no aversion to organ meat. For me, it’s the trypophobia—fear of a dense collection of holes, or rather the revulsion I feel upon seeing the honeycomb pattern of something like tripe, which is the casing of haggis. (Trypophobia is not however, named for tripe—they’re false cognates.)
I was actually under the impression that there would be no way to make haggis seem more repellent to me, but then some culinary sadist went and produced them in hors d’oeuvre “pop” form. Yes, like a haggis lollipop. A tripe lollipop. A tripe fucking lollipop garnished with a little tartan bow. In an attempt to overcome my completely irrational phobia, I’ve been subjecting myself to the images from this tutorial for haggis pops over and over again, and if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to narrate my disgust.
Guts! No problem there! I can watch graphic surgeries or brutal Hollywood gore with no problem. I cook my own meat—guts mean nothing to me, man.
This is where I start to get uncomfortable. This is the stomach and while I can’t see the honeycomb holes, I spot a glimpse of the villi—tiny little wormy hairlike structures that aid in digestion by increasing surface area. I don’t like villi either.
That is a disgusting amount of villi and I am openly shuddering right now. The tiny residue of cavewoman survival instinct and my brain is screaming at me to find whoever this person is and save them from the poison they are about to eat.
Oh thank God, we’re back to guts.
Hey it’s starting to look like food!
Okay, it is food now.
What are you doing?!? What are you doing with that?!? Nothing should ever look like that!! You’re making something evil!!
There is no God. We live in a bleak amoral universe. When we die, we’re meat, just like these… pops.
[Vomits. Screams. Pours bleach in eyes. Self-immolates.]
I honestly hope that you don’t share my lizard-brained aversion to the tripe surface of haggis, and I hope you’ll check out the full tutorial below—Burns Night has come and gone, but it’s never to early to start planning your next haggis-based soirée! If you are a fellow trypophobic, I sincerely apologize, I and hope you understand that the people of Scotland are at least partially responsible for your current condition. Blame them!