Scottish Flavours To Try During Your Holiday Trip
Local and Seasonal Cuisine
Just like elsewhere in the world, the Scots have developed a new interest in their culinary skills, which is their focus on seasonal and local foods. Whether they are interested in eating healthy, or otherwise, the Scots try their level best to purchase fresh fruits and veggies from their local suppliers. Because of this new development, farmer’s markets are emerging all over.
Most restaurants in the countryside as well as the urban regions are trying to design their menus in such a way that the seasonal produce can be utilized. An abundance of fish, meat, vegetables, and fruit can be found here. Look for venison, pigeon, Angus beef, and rabbit in winters. Langoustines (which are small lobsters) halibut, trout, and crab can be found in fall, spring, and summer. The rotating batch of raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, rhubarb, apples, and brambles offer such flavourful options that the fruits taste delicious in themselves, and make your meal truly unforgettable. Green beans and asparagus are fresh and tender when it is their season. The land and time of the year inspire Scottish puddings, jams, and pies.
Scotland’s lakes and rivers are home to some of the most strongly desired for seafood in the world. And lucky for seafood lovers, the markets and restaurants all over Scotland boast this bounty that the country is so abundantly endowed with. Wild salmon, haddock, trout, herring, langoustines, mussels, crabs, oysters, scallops, and mackerel are among the treats that you should definitely not miss.
There are a variety of mouth-watering ways in which fish is prepared in Scotland. But the speciality of the Scots is the smoked fish; they have developed an excellent art of cooking smoked fish, both hot and cold. Give them smoked fish anytime of the day, and the Scots will gladly devour it. They brush their fish with lemon juice and cracked pepper, and eat it with oat crackers of thin slices of bread. The Isles of North Uist, Isles of Skye, and Arbroath are praised internationally for their local delicacies of smoked salmon, trout, and haddock. Be sure to try them out for a delicious experience.
Other than fish, you should definitely try the tradition fish n chips, which is a favourite of the Scots. The fish is haddock or cod, which is battered, and then fried till it turns golden and crispy. Another scrumptious option is the Cullen skink, which is a creamy stew consisting of smoked haddock, onions, and potatoes. It is the perfect appetizer on cold nights of winter. If you want the ultimate indulgence, then treat yourself to grilled, baked, or sautéed langoustines that are tasty and succulent.
The Scots are in love with their breads, biscuits, pies, and cakes. Whether with a cuppa or after your meal, you can always find something sweet to indulge in. You can find the most fresh and the best goodies in bakeries.
Conventional shortbreads, whisky cake, scones, mince pies (filled with dried fruits, nuts, and brandy), and empire biscuits (jam joining two cookies of shortbread, with a cherry on top) are among the local favourites. Gingerbread, oatcakes, butterscotch apple pie, and treacle tarts are popular options if you get hungry in early afternoon or late morning.
Balmoral tartlets are filled with butter, citrus peel, cherries, and cake crumbs; Abernethy biscuits contain caraway seeds and extra sugar; Islay loaves are sweet bread consisting of brown sugar, walnuts, and raisins; Dundee cake is filled with raisins, sherry, spices, and cherries; these treats that are named after the regions they hail from are definitely not to miss.
The Scottish cuisine is immersed deep in its history. And every traditional dish is backed by an interesting story. Haggis, which was once peasant food, is a mixture of the lungs, heart, and liver of a sheep that is cooked with oats, spices and onions, and boiled in its stomach; the item has come back to life in formal restaurants. If you are turned off by the ingredients of the dish, then you can pick the vegetarian option, which is equally delicious; ‘neeps and tatties’ are yellow turnips and potatoes that are mashed after boiling.
Another current delicacy is the black pudding, which was formerly food of the peasants. It can be found almost everywhere, whether it is a breakfast place, or a traditional fish n chip shop, or a formal establishment. It is made from a goat’s or a sheep’s congealed blood that is mixed with barley, oats, potato, meat, and bread. The pudding can be boiled, deep-fried, or grilled. The Scots prefer to have the black pudding with bacon, fried eggs, beans, potato scones, square sausages, and toast for breakfast. The triangular fried scones are like a thick pancake, and are a close part of the native breakfast, which is called a fry-up, thanks to all the fried items on the plate. Porridge with salt, honey, or cinnamon, is another popular option for breakfast. The Scots are not very comfortable with sweet porridge.
Real Ale and Bubbly
The Scottish Gaelic word ‘uisgebeatha’ translates as water of life. It certainly is the water of life on Scottish soil. Whisky combines the Scottish essence, the earth’s aromas, air, and water in one sip.
Bubbly differs between blends and single malts. This is because of the ingredients, type or cask, and distillation processes. The main ingredient used for making whisky is malted barley, which is combined with corn or wheat to produce blended whiskies. The use of just malted barley produces single malts or malt.
There are five main regions of whisky in Scotland that produce very different tastes. The Lowlands produce whisky that tastes lighter; Speyside produces sweet whisky that has scents of flowers; the Highlands produce and smoky and smooth whisky that is fragrant; Campbelltown produces slightly salty whisky; and Islay produces whisky with a strong flavour of peat. If you are a fan of this famous bubbly, then you must try out these unique flavours. If you want a starting point, then a distillery is a good place.
Real ales that are matured naturally, and made using traditional ingredients, have now come to the United Kingdom. Although they are not as popular as the Scottish bubbly, real ales have started to mark the beverage scene with their presence. Arran Brewery’s Arran Blonde, Orkney Brewery’s Dark Island, Caledonian Brewery’s Duechars, Skye Brewery’s Red Cuillin, and Shetland’s White Wife are good brews that you must try.