Catering Scotland

What does real Scottish food look like?

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What does real Scottish food look like?

November 06
16:55 2013

Susan Gregory, Head of Food, Nestlé Professional

The deep fried Mars Bar has a lot to answer for.

Just a mention of it has become a shorthand way of denigrating the ‘poor’ Scottish diet, of mocking a reliability upon the deep fat fryer, and of lamenting a lack of inventiveness when it comes to food innovation. But the worst thing about the deep fried Mars Bar isn’t that it tastes bad (which it does), or that it has become a placeholder for intelligent food debate (which it has), but that it prevents conversation about all the incredible, seasonal food that Scotland specialises in.

Haggis, shortbread and porridge aside, we should celebrate how good Scottish seasonal fare is, and as we wave goodbye to summer we can look forward to hearty bowls of Scotch broth. The soup, which involves slow cooking a bounty of autumnal root veg with barley and, traditionally, lamb, utilises the best of Scotland’s home-grown ingredients and prepares them into a satiating dish. September and October are great months to try using carrots, leeks, turnips, and potatoes, and Neeps and Tatties come into their own over the colder months.

The growth of the Casual Dining Sector and new food trends for British cuisine have aligned to highlight dishes such as Scotch Broth, which is enjoying a voguish return to menus in pubs and restaurants up and down the country. The Scran and Scallie, an upmarket Edinburgh-based gastropub opened by Michelin-starred Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack earlier this year, give their ‘Sheep’s Heid Scotch Broth’ pride of place on the a la carte and fixed price menu.

The Scran and Scallie is doing important work to remind us what a wonderful natural larder Scots have, by highlighting regional classics that have been somewhat neglected in recent years as imports and pre-prepared meals came to dominate kitchen cupboards. Cock-a-leekie, a chicken and leek broth, is a delicious concoction with all the cathartic, revitalising promises of a classic chicken soup, and their sausage and mash is a reminder that comfort food can be just as seasonal and wholesome as any other dish. And not a deep fat fryer in sight.

There’s yer dinner…

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Catering Scotland

Catering Scotland

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