Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Scotland's Culinary Side

If you think Scotland is just kilts, bagpipes, Nessie and romantic scenery, think again. This ancient land, with its' robust , handsome people also has a great culinary history. Its' rivers and seasides are full of delicious catches and its' country side bursting with crops and sheep. Some of the world's best chefs also have come out of Scotland in recent years. It's not just a wild land, full of passionate people but also a cornucopia filled with amazing foods.

Since Scotland is surrounded by the Irish and the North Seas, its' cuisine has a large amount of fish recipes. There's the famous finnan haddie which is smoked haddock poached in milk and usually served for breakfast (OK, this is not for the faint hearted, that's for sure). The country also has a series of fresh water streams running through it which produces plump, tender salmon.

Oatmeal has always played a large part in the Scottish diet since ancient times. It started as a base for simple cakes and now has been an ingredient in haggis. This is a translation of a Viking dish and is a sausage made from sheep intestines or offal, beef suet and toasted oatmeal. (trust me , it's not as bad as it sounds). Robert Burns, the famed bard of Scotland, immortalized it in it
his famous "Address To The Haggis". Oatmeal is also seen in Scottish desserts as well. There's a rhubarb oatmeal crumb as well as a sweet oat cakes that are very similar to American oatmeal cookies.

I'd be remiss not to include that Scottish favorite - short bread. This buttery cookie was and still is usually made for the Christmas holidays. Housewives used to prick their clans' symbols in the dough and then bake. Now you can buy it with chocolate chips as well as with it dipped in chocolate.

Scotland is an amazing country with amazing good. There are all sorts of foods one can have there, satisfying a taste from the savory to the sweet.

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