Celebrating Scotland: 10 Things I Love About My Country #5 – Food & Drink

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Should Scotland remain part of the UK now that we have been removed from the EU despite voting against it?

When we had the vote for Scottish Independence I voted to remain part of the UK because I was happy being Scottish, part of the UK and part of the EU. Now that it has been decided for us/against us to leave the EU my thoughts about becoming an independent Scotland have changed.

I am so proud to say I live in Scotland when I think of all the great music this amazing country has produced. So #5 in this series is Food & Drink.

 

I’m neither going to prove or disprove the stereotype that the Scottish diet goes hand in hand with heart disease but I am going to start with something that if eaten daily could probably kill you…

Deep Fried Mars Bar

Take one of the most popular chocolate bars in the world, soak it in batter and then deep fry it.

Why wouldn’t you?

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Take something that’s not the healthiest in the first place and add a hundred more layers of unhealthiness and what do you have? Some might say “a heart attack on a plate” but I say “slice of genius”! It’s two meals in one – dinner and dessert. I’m all for productivity and this is the ultimate time saver in my opinion.

Have I tried it? Sadly, no but I love the fact it’s famous all over the world and that Mars hate it! Also, apparently you can deep fry anything and I’m always up for that type of challenge.

Now, sometimes the best way to enjoy food is to try to not think about what it is that you are eating. With the next item that is definitely the case…

Haggis

I have to admit that I never actually tried this amazing Scottish delicacy until my twenties but I have to say I’m upset when I think about all the years I missed out on. I won’t beat about the bush, it does sound absolutely disgusting and the last thing in the world that you would want to put in your mouth let alone swallow and digest.

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However, add it to a plate of mashed potatoes, neeps (turnips), cover it with a whisky sauce and add a few oatcakes then you have an amazing meal that you can enjoy any day of the week not just Burns Night.

I like it to be a little on the spicy side and washed down with a nice cold beer. I’ve even been known to enjoy a haggis pizza or two. I urge you to put aside your disgust of eating sheep’s hearts, livers and lungs wrapped up in a stomach and imagine you are eating a nice Scottish animal made of bagpipes with tartan fur that roams the Scottish mountains. You will thank me for it!

Scotland has two national drinks, in my eyes, and that’s probably why the world looks at us as a nation of alcoholics. However one of them is non alcoholic…although it is commonly used to be a mixer for the other which is alcoholic. Maybe the world is right? Let’s look at the softcore (yet very, very hardcore at the same time, grrrr) drink first of all…

Irn Bru

It’s made in Scotland in case you didn’t know but what you might not have known is that it’s made from girders. America has Coke and we have Irn Bru.

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Coke advertises with sweet little kids singing on the hillside or polar bears at Christmas. We advertise Irn Bru with birds telling old ladies to shut up or evil snowmen at Christmas time. I think I love the adverts more than the drink itself. If you don’t get a chance to try the drink at least look at the adverts on YouTube.

I couldn’t even describe what it tastes like as I just know it as “Irn Bru”. It looks orange but doesn’t taste orange if that helps? I guess it does taste like “nice” rust. Imagine licking an old iron bridge in Willy Wonka’s sweet factory and that would be the taste.

It’s also an excellent cure for a hangover (shock).

Mince And Tatties

I grew up on this wonderful combination. Every Sunday I’d wake up and smell the mince cooking for later on that evening. The mince has carrots, onions and little sausages though it with beef stock and is served with mashed potato and sometimes dumplings or pastry.

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I started making my own and, don’t tell her, but I prefer mine to my mum’s version. Sometimes, if you have a lot of mince you get a bread roll with butter and scoop up some mince inside it. Mmm Mmm mmmm!

Greg, however, doesn’t share my love of the mince and tatties. He calls it either peasant food or a half cooked meal. What does he mean by a half cooked meal? Well, he seems to think it should have tomatoes added and become a spaghetti bolognese or some other Italian nonsense. The issue there is I don’t actually do the cooking and don’t often get to make my mince and tatties but after writing that and suffering from a slight drool in my mouth I am most definitely making it this weekend – peasant food or not!

I’ve got quite a sweet tooth and I do like sweets but I don’t always like them to be deep-fried. In fact, I like some sweet stuff so much that I eat it until it makes me feel sick…

Tablet

Whoever created the original recipe for Tablet must have had shares in sugar as it is basically all made of sugar. You usually get it in little cubes but, for me, one cube is never enough. I have two and it still tastes good. I have three and I’m feeling a little bit sick but then I have four and then I really feel sick. There’s still some left though and it would be rude not to finish them all so I duly comply and scoff the lot and end up regretting it…until the next time.

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It’s a “granny” type recipe but my hometown, Tillicoultry, has a company that creates this type of sweet,among others, and can be seen in shops all over the country.

Tablet – enjoy it with a nice mug of black coffee!

If black coffee is too tame for you then you might want to try our other national drink…

Whisky

Sometimes known as Scotch, Whisky is the drink very much associated with Scotland. “A Wee Dram” is the solution to many problems in our country as a simple “cuppa” is no use to us.

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It’s also seen in many a New Year and toasted many happy occasions. Again, I’ll have to admit that I’d don’t really like it and much prefer the American versions such as Jack Daniels.

Okay, as I’ve been writing this I’ve tried to find something “healthy” but I’ve accepted the fact that there just isn’t anything and I’m more than happy with that. Healthy is boring but there is nothing boring about us Scots. So let me share a very local delicacy…

Butteries

Some people think of morning rolls as a floury bap or whole meal bread but if you say “morning roll” in Aberdeen then you basically put on 3 kilos in weight. Salt and lard fashioned together into a cow pat is how I’d describe an Aberdeen Buttery.
They. Are. Amazing.

Toast them, butter them, spread jam on them and you are in heart attack central. Many bakers in Aberdeen sell them and each have their own type. Some are crispy, some are salty and some even created ones with bacon added!

Vegetarians beware, the next item has meat, meat and more meat…

Aberdeen Angus

Beef! Burgers! No, I don’t “want fries with that”. I just want a proper, beef, burger. Scotland produces the finest beef and I’m glad to say I live in the village that is home of the Aberdeen Angus cattle breed. We even have a monument celebrating this fact as you enter the village – he’s called Jeremy Eric…

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They are not mad, they do not have foot and mouth disease they just taste fab! They have also had a very nice life before they get shot in the head and become food (sorry veggies but s*** happens).

There are many other just as unhealthy options for food and drink coming out of Scotland and we do also experiment with the healthy options that we have discovered from other countries but doesn’t the above selection just feel like a big warm food and drink hug?

We might all die young but we will have a full belly and a big satisfied smile on our faces!

Are you proud of your country? Let me know about it in the comments below or tweet me @SteveSays2014 and don’t forget to take a look at other posts in this series.

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26 thoughts on “Celebrating Scotland: 10 Things I Love About My Country #5 – Food & Drink

  1. I have eaten Haggis, did the Whisky Trail and just adore shortbread which originated in Scotland. (I can make a mean shortbread). My son loves deepfried Mars – I just can’t even look at it. Just toooooo much for me

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  2. I live in the US. I was browsing blogs today and came upon yours. Oh MY! I’ve heard of Haggis, but never saw a pic before. Thanks for the illumination. It doesn’t look so bad, in fact, if my husband, a meat and potatoes man didn’t know what it was, I’m sure he would love it! 🙂

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      1. Was talking about this an hour ago. We thought a possible aspect of his personality. Like the Dream Lord. She did say about the new accent. “I may keep it”.

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      2. You are a t-shirt phrase machine. ‘In-thefuck-tresting’!
        I noticed there’s a lot of ‘robot’ bad guys in the trailer for this season. Then the whole concept of heaven/the promise land. What if the Doctor is killing these bad guys but giving them an afterlife. Next week, the Dalek that’s gone so wrong it’s good. Must be worthy of a place in ‘heaven’.

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      3. He is a brilliant actor and a much bigger fan boy than anyone else out there. He was born for this role. And has probably been rehearsing it for the last 50years.

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  3. Reblogged this on O Pie-oneers! and commented:
    In my haste to get my post finished, I forgot to reblog Steve’s list! Poor form, me.

    You know a guy’s writing is engaging when he gets haggis to sound appetizing. But it’s the beef that’s calling me…

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