- Indulge in Haggis
If there is one Scottish dish that epitomizes the delights of the country it must be Haggis. It is, without doubt, the country’s most famous culinary item. It is a fabulous way to explore the wonders of sustainable food in that it uses every part of the animal – and boasts incredible flavor, courtesy of the wealth of spices used in its preparation. It also has a proud tradition. It is celebrated on Burns Night and the ‘Address to the Haggis’ by celebrated Scottish poet Robert Burns is recited prior to being enjoyed by those present. Authentic Haggis is made from ‘Sheep’s Pluck’ finely diced heart, liver and lungs. These are mixed with oatmeal, suet and various herbs and spices. The mixture is inserted into a casing made from sheep intestines and then boiled (or baked). It is a delight to enjoy.
- Seafood and Fresh Fish
The waters, both inland and off the coast of Scotland provide some of the freshest and most delectable fish and seafood in the world. Special mention needs to be made of the whole trout that is served with Lavage. However, while in Scotland take the time to enjoy some of the many dishes prepared from pollack and Atlantic salmon. Don’t ignore the delights of fresh oysters and mussels.
- Scottish Lobster
A whole Scottish lobster is a thing of beauty. I remember my experience on the west coast where my wife and I enjoyed Squat Lobster. The meat is incredibly succulent and enjoying it fresh, either boiled or grilled with fresh, melted butter from one of Scotland’s incredible dairies is a delight. It also makes a wonderful addition to even the simplest of pasta dishes.
- The Famous Grouse
The game from Scotland has become famous across the world – and for good reason. It has a distinctive flavor and the many varieties can be prepared in a number of ways. Special mention needs to be made of the grouse. Shooting season runs from the beginning of August until the end of December (usually). It is during this time that you may be lucky enough to have access to birds that have grown fat on the Scottish Moors. Roasted and stewed (or served in a casserole) they bring to mind some of Scotland’s wildest places. Each bird will usually suffice to feed one.
- The Joy of Cullen Skink
This age-old, classic soup is ideal for those cold evenings. It is made from smoked haddock (ideally it should be ‘Finnan haddie’ sourced from Aberdeenshire. I have fond memories of being 12 years old and enjoying this classic Scottish dish at the neighborhood pub. It is the ideal comfort food.
- A Simple Delight – Cured Meat and Cheese
It may appear simple at first glance, but the depth of flavor offered by Scottish cured meat and the fresh locally produced cheeses must be experienced to be appreciated. The variety is impressive, ranging from sausage and venison to other options – and the smoked cheddar is the perfect accompaniment. It is always a treat for my wife and me to wander from stall to stall at the farmer’s market in Stockbridge. Fresh bread, wonderful cheese, and the magnificent cured meats from Peelham Farm are the makings of a meal perfect in its simplicity and depths of the flavor of each of the components.
- Scottish Gin
Although Scotland may be best known for Whisky, the country produces an array of exceptional gins. More and more producers are busily perfecting the craft of distilling gin – and the results beg to be enjoyed. Especially noteworthy are Edinburgh Gin and The Botanist produced on the Isle of Islay. I am also particularly fond of the new Fidra Gin, a dry gin made with locally gathered botanicals from East Lothian (just outside Edinburgh).
For sugar lovers, Tablet is a delight. This is a medium/hard confection and could be likened to fudge. It’s made using sugar, butter and condensed milk. That mixture is boiled and allowed to cool, crystalizing in the process. The end result is a delicious treat that is coarser grained than fudge – and more brittle.
- Dundee Marmalade
With a history going back to 1797 this marmalade was first produced in Dundee, hence the name. It was made by James Keiller and his wife. The wonderful balance of flavors comes courtesy of the addition of Seville Orange rind.
Legend has it that marmalade was first produced in Britain as a mistake. The story goes that a boat that was transporting oranges broke down in Dundee Port. The oranges were at risk of spoiling so some enterprising locals made marmalade from the cargo.
If you would like to try these Scottish culinary delights book now at My Stayc Break UK and enjoy an amazing trip to Scotland.