Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight
As the only Scot in the office I felt it appropriate to be the one covering Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight- as well as wanting to defend some of our more weird and wonderful culinary dishes. Since moving south of the border I have experienced many moments of homesickness, but none hit quite as deep as walking into my local supermarket and not being able to purchase a packet of tattie scones…
No list of Scottish foods is complete without it, and no vacationing Scot has not been interrogated over if we genuinely eat it. The answer is yes, and frequently. Most Scottish households Sunday dinners will have an accompanying side dish of haggis, as well as earning a place on the table during Christmas dinner, Burns night or any other festive meal. Haggis can be found on most Scottish menus as well as making its way into the more common high street foods in the form of pizza toppings, sandwich or bridie fillings, and much to the bemusement of my English boyfriend, haggis pakoras. Haggis is a savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck (lungs, heart and liver) minced with onions, oatmeal, suet, spices, encased in a sheep’s stomach. For as grizzly as it sounds, it really is delicious, 5.295 million people can’t be wrong!
Or more commonly known as the Lorne Sausage is a morning favourite in Scotland. It looks exactly as it sounds, a square sausage. The science behind it is groundbreakingly; take a buttered roll, a large blob of brown sauce and place your Lorne sausage on top where it fills the roll corner to corner, bon appetit (kisses fingers). Traditionally the Lorne Sausage is made from beef as historically that was the more popular meat in Scotland at the time of its invention. Many countries boast their own version of the Lorne sausage, uncanny in resemblance and a result of Scottish emigrants taking the Lorne recipe with them.
The staple dessert at your grandparents’ house, made with flour, breadcrumbs, dried fruit, suet, sugar and spice with milk to bind it. The mixture is wrapped in a floured cloth, placed in a pan of boiling water and simmered until cooked through then dried by the fire or in an oven. If you are planning on consuming one of these during Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight before taking a dip the “wait 30 minutes before swimming” rule does not apply- try 4 days after eating a cootie dumpling. If ignored you will sink.
Also known as a potato scones, is another breakfast favourite in Scotland, usually accompanied by a full Scottish breakfast or alternatively in your Lorne sausage roll. A typical potato scone is made with mashed potato and butter, plain flour is added to make it into a dough which is then rolled out and put on a griddle to cook. Traditionally they are served hot, but no hungry Scot is above reheating one in the toaster.
A traditional dish most commonly found these days at large events such as rugby games, ceilidhs and even school dinners due to its basic ingredients and simple presentation. The recipe consists of potato, onions, minced or roast beef and whatever other vegetables you have handy. Essentially, stovies is a dish intended to use up your left-over food.
Similar to the English pasty, a bridie is a Scottish meat pastry that originates from Forfar. The name refers to when it would frequent wedding menus. A bridie has a lighter texture than a pasty, the filling consisting of minced steak, butter, been suet seasoned with salt and pepper and occasionally with minced onions. Traditionally, If the baker pokes one hole in the top of a bridie, this indicates that it is plain, or without onions; two holes means that it does contain onions
The munchy box
Quiet possibly my most missed “traditional” Scottish cuisine, and one that rightfully deserves recognition and a mention during Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight. Nothing beats a walk home after a night out clutching this beauty in your hands. A munchy box is a pizza box full of an assortment of fast foods which typically includes kebab meat, fried chicken, pizza, chicken tikka, onion rings, pakora, naan bread, chips and a sauce. Oh munchy box, how I miss you…
In celebration of Scottish Food and Drink fortnight I bequeath you with the Selkirk Grace, a prayer said before eating and penned by the great Scottish poet Robert burns.
“Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.”- Robert Burns
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