People visit Scotland for many different reasons – wildlife, scenery, the Loch Ness monster, tartan, golf, distilleries and whisky, but you may be surprised to find it is a country full of unusual food and unusual delicacies. Our family excitedly wait for their foodie presents each time we take a trip – Edinburgh Rock, Scottish tablet and of course shortbread. Up in the highlands you will find another family favourite - Chocolate Macaroon bars – sweet, very sweet, chocolatey and coconutty you may be surprised (as we were!) to find one of the key ingredients is potato! Like any confection you can find the pre packaged varieties and, if you’re very lucky, delicious home made bars. Packed full of sugar – you definitely need a sweet tooth, but they are a must try if you ever visit.
Fish and chip shops are in the abundance, particularly in and around the many fishing villages. The fish is fresh and delicious served with lovely chips and don’t forget your pickled egg! The default setting is ‘battered’ – pizzas, burgers, mars bars…in Scotland everything is improved by some batter - so make sure you ask if you want it plain!
Breakfasts are a joy with red, white and black puddings, home made haggis (just don’t ask what’s in it!), sliced venison, fresh salmon and my particular favourite the very healthy fried potato scone! Porridge oats with honey or salt, fresh cream or even a splash of whisky! Flat, layered pastries called ‘butteries’ - like croissants someone’s sat on and very salty; oatcakes and the heavy ‘plain’ bread without any side crusts!
There’s Cranachan and Dundee cake for afters; Irn Bru and the obligatory whisky to drink and don’t leave without trying the world famous Tunnock wafers and teacakes.
We’ve tried it all (well nearly!). So, roadtrip 2019 – where there any surprises in store in the culinary world?
We tried our very first maple bacon doughnut in a diner at Port Edgar! Salty and very sweet it was a great start to the holiday! This was closely followed (some days later) by an Irn Bru cupcake and some delicate caramel pastry tart stuffed full of cream! The best scrambled eggs we’d ever had at the Ardgowan Hotel, St Andrews and the largest most delicious, one scoop of ice cream, at Shorty’s Ice cream parlour in Ballater. But for us its not all about the eating out – we shared picnics on the town centre green in Balleter, the harbour walls in Nairn and seal watching in Southend.
Good job we did a lot of walking – just need to hunt down that elusive battered Mars Bar…
"Be our Guest" - Jerry Orbach