Scottish Potato Soup, otherwise known as Tattie Soup, is a heart-warmingly delicious but simple recipe that is perfect for a winter’s day lunch. In fact, one of our Scottish suppliers we interviewed even used to have it before school to warm up!
There are so many different potato soup recipes around the world. Potato and leek is popular, as is creamy potato soup, but of course, we think Scottish Potato Soup is the best, and we’re excited to share our own Tattie Soup recipe!
Surprisingly, the humble potato was only introduced to Scotland in the early 1700s, with potato gardens springing up around Edinburgh in the 1720s and near Stirling in 1739. It wasn’t until 1743 that it was first introduced to the Highlands and Islands, but by the 1800s they were 80% of the diet of Highlanders.
Scottish Steak Pie is THE dish to have on New Year’s Day. Who knew?
Well, not us, until we saw everyone buying them on New Year’s Eve here in Scotland and wondered what was going on. This is a different, larger pie to the traditional Scotch Pie. If you want to make one of those you can find our recipe here.
If you don’t know, New Year’s in Scotland is a pretty big deal. It even has its own name, Hogmanay, and the party lasts for more than just the one night!
Drop Scones, Scottish pancakes, Scotch Pancakes, or even Pikelets; whatever you call them, these little fluffy circles of deliciousness are easy to make and so tasty to eat!
Whether you eat them for breakfast or as a snack, drop scones are so flexible. My grandma used to serve hers with jam and a dollop of cream on each one, or sometimes just a slathering of butter. In our house, we’re partial to a bit of honey or golden syrup too.
Why are they called Drop Scones?
Drop Scones get their name from the action of dropping the mixture onto the hot griddle or into a pan.
They’re also called Scotch Pancakes or Scottish Pancakes, and although they are similar in ingredients and rise to American-style pancakes they’re usually smaller in size.
To confuse things even more, we have even seen these called crumpets, as another regional variation.
A Scotch pie or mutton pie is a small, double-crust meat pie filled with minced mutton or other meat. It may also be known as a shell pie or mince pie (although the latter term is ambiguous) to differentiate it from other varieties of savoury pie, such as the steak pie, steak and kidney pie, steak-and-tattie (potato) pie, and so forth. The Scotch pie is believed to originate in Scotland, where it is simply called “a pie” but can be found in other parts of the United Kingdom, and is widely sold all over Canada. They are often sold alongside other types of hot food in football grounds, traditionally accompanied by a drink of Bovril, resulting in the occasional reference to football pies.
The traditional filling of mutton is often highly spiced with pepper and other ingredients and is placed inside a shell of hot water crust pastry. An individual piemaker’s precise recipe, including the types and quantities of spice used, is usually kept a close secret, for fear of imitations. It is baked in a round, straight-sided tin, about 8 cm in diameter and 4 cm high, and the top “crust” (which is soft) is placed about 1 cm lower than the rim to make a space for adding accompaniments such as mashed potatoes, baked beans, brown sauce, gravy or an egg.
Scotch pies are often served hot by take-away restaurants, bakeries and at outdoor events. The hard crust of the pie enables it to be eaten by hand with no wrapping. Typically there is a round hole of about 7.5mm in the centre of the top crust.
World Scotch Pie Championship
Every year, since 1999, Scottish Bakers, a trade association, hold the World Championship Scotch Pie Awards. The winner of the Scotch pie section of the competition is judged World Champion.
This poem was written by ROBERT BURNS to celebrate his appreciation of the Haggis. As a result, Burns and Haggis have been forever linked. This particular poem is always the first item on the program of Burns’ suppers. The haggis is generally carried in on a silver salver at the start of the proceedings. As it is brought to the table a piper plays a suitable, rousing accompaniment. One of the invited artistes then recites the poem before the theatrical cutting of the haggis with the ceremonial knife.
Address to a Haggis
Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, Great Chieftain o’ the Puddin-race! Aboon them a’ ye tak your place, Painch, tripe, or thairm: Weel are ye wordy of a grace As lang ‘s my arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill, Your hurdies like a distant hill, Your pin wad help to mend a mill In time o’ need, While thro’ your pores the dews distil Like amber bead.
His knife see Rustic-labour dight, An’ cut ye up wi’ ready slight, Trenching your gushing entrails bright, Like onie ditch; And then, O what a glorious sight, Warm-reekin, rich!
Then, horn for horn, they stretch an’ strive: Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive, Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve Are bent like drums; Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive, Bethankit hums.
Is there that owre his French ragout, Or olio that wad staw a sow, Or fricassee wad mak her spew Wi’ perfect sconner, Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view On sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him owre his trash, As feckless as a wither’d rash, His spindle shank a guid whip-lash, His nieve a nit; Thro’ bluidy flood or field to dash, O how unfit!
But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed, The trembling earth resounds his tread, Clap in his walie nieve a blade, He’ll make it whissle; An’ legs, an’ arms, an’ heads will sned, Like taps o’ thrissle.
Ye Pow’rs wha mak mankind your care, And dish them out their bill o’ fare, Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware That jaups in luggies; But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer, Gie her a Haggis!
Address to a Haggis Translation
Good luck to you and your honest, plump face, Great chieftain of the sausage race! Above them all you take your place, Stomach, tripe, or intestines: Well are you worthy of a grace As long as my arm. The groaning trencher there you fill, Your buttocks like a distant hill, Your pin would help to mend a mill In time of need, While through your pores the dews distill Like amber bead. His knife see rustic Labour wipe, And cut you up with ready slight, Trenching your gushing entrails bright, Like any ditch; And then, O what a glorious sight, Warm steaming, rich! Then spoon for spoon, the stretch and strive: Devil take the hindmost, on they drive, Till all their well swollen bellies by-and-by Are bent like drums; Then old head of the table, most like to burst, ‘The grace!’ hums. Is there that over his French ragout, Or olio that would sicken a sow, Or fricassee would make her vomit With perfect disgust, Looks down with sneering, scornful view On such a dinner? Poor devil! see him over his trash, As feeble as a withered rush, His thin legs a good whip-lash, His fist a nut; Through bloody flood or field to dash, O how unfit. But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed, The trembling earth resounds his tread, Clap in his ample fist a blade, He’ll make it whistle; And legs, and arms, and heads will cut off Like the heads of thistles. You powers, who make mankind your care, And dish them out their bill of fare, Old Scotland wants no watery stuff, That splashes in small wooden dishes; But if you wish her grateful prayer, Give her [Scotland] a Haggis!
Oats are one of the few crops that can grow in northern Scotland, and they were the staple grain until the 20th century. So don’t be surprised by how often it is included in Scottish dishes.
This breakfast option is also popular in Nova Scotia. However, Nova Scotia’s oatcakes are square or rectangular-shaped, while those in Scotland are circular. Oatcakes made in Nova Scotia are sweet and use rolled oats, while Scottish ones are less sweet and have steel-cut oats.
Oatcakes are full of slow-digesting, low-GI carbohydrates that will keep you full for many hours. Plus, they are healthier than bread. You can have oatcakes as a simple breakfast on the go or serve them with your favorite dips and cheese as a delightful afternoon snack.
Another traditional Scottish dish you may not have heard of. Cullen Skink is a thick Scottish soup made of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions, and is a local specialty at the Rockpool Café from the town of Cullen in Moray, on the northeast coast. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
The Lorne sausage, also known as square sausage, slice or flat, is a traditional Scottish sausage, but isn’t actually a sausage since it isn’t incased in a skin or is cylindrical. Usually made from minced meat, rusk and spices. It is commonplace in traditional Scottish breakfasts.
It is thought that the sausage is named after the region of Lorne in Argyll; advertisements for ‘Lorne Sausage’ have been found in newspapers as early as 1896. This was long before comedian Tommy Lorne, after whom the sausage has been said to be named, became well-known.
The exact origins of the Lorne sausage remain unclear. It is often eaten in the Scottish variant of the full breakfast or in a breakfast roll. The sausage is also an appropriate size to make a sandwich using a slice from a plain loaf of bread cut in half.
Sausage meat, in this case a mixture of pork and beef, is minced with rusk and spices, packed into a rectangular tin with a cross-section of about 10 centimetres (3.9 in) square, and sliced about 1 centimetre (0.39 in) thick before cooking. Square sausage has no casing, unlike traditional sausages, and must be tightly packed into the mould to hold it together; slices are often not truly square.
Scotch broth is a filling soup, originating in Scotland but now obtainable worldwide. The principal ingredients are usually barley, stewing or braising cuts of lamb, mutton or beef, root vegetables (such as carrots, swedes, or sometimes turnips), and dried pulses (most often split peas and red lentils). Cabbage and leeks are often added shortly before serving to preserve their texture, colour and flavours. The proportions and ingredients vary according to the recipe or availability. Scotch broth has been sold ready-prepared in tins for many years.
In the early 19th-century cookery book A New System of Domestic Cookery by Maria Rundell “Scotch Mutton Broth” is made with mutton neck, skimmed and simmered around an hour before good quality cuts of bone-in mutton are trimmed of their fat and added to the soup. After several hours soup vegetables are added, turnips, carrots and onion, and simmered until just tender, and finally pre-soaked Scotch barley. The soup is served with a garnish of fresh parsley.
According to Christian Isobel Johnstone, the mutton could be served on the side as a bouilli with caper sauce, parsley and butter, pickled cucumbers, or nasturiums (edible flowers) with mustard and vinegar.
The main ingredients are barley, stewing lamb or mutton, and root vegetables like swedes, potatoes, turnip and carrot. Dried beans are another common addition, as are cabbage and leeks, which can be added in later stages of cooking.
White pudding, oatmeal pudding or (in Scotland) mealy pudding is a meat dish popular in Scotland, Ireland, Northumberland, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland.
White pudding is broadly similar to black pudding, but does not include blood. Modern recipes consist of suet or fat, oatmeal or barley, breadcrumbs and in some cases pork and pork liver, filled into a natural or cellulose sausage casing. Recipes in previous centuries included a wider range of ingredients.
History and recipes.
White pudding is often thought of as a very old dish that, like black pudding, was a traditional way of making use of offal following the annual slaughter of livestock. Whereas black pudding-type recipes appear in Roman sources, white pudding likely has specifically medieval origins, possibly as a culinary descendant of medieval sweetened blancmange-type recipes combining shredded chicken, rice and almonds, or as a way of lightening up offal with the addition of cream, eggs and breadcrumbs. Meatless versions were common, as they could be eaten during the Lenten period of abstinence. Many older recipes are sweetened: a 15th century British pudding combined pork liver, cream, eggs, breadcrumbs, raisins and dates, while a 1588 recipe collection featured a white pudding made of beef suet, breadcrumbs, egg yolk and currants, flavoured with nutmeg, sugar and cinnamon. A similar recipe given in Woolley’s 1670 book The Queen-Like Closet used hog’s lights and was filled into intestine sausage-skins. By the mid-18th century, Elizabeth Raffald’s white pudding recipe, “White Puddings in Skins”, combined rice, lard, ground almonds, currants and egg, using sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and mace as flavourings; by this period the inclusion of offal such as liver or lights, as well as sweet flavourings, was becoming rarer.
An oatmeal pudding recipe found in the 18th century Compleat Housewife is made with beef suet and cream, thickened with oatmeal and mixed up with egg yolks, then baked in a dish with marrow.
Alongside these more refined and elaborate recipes, a simpler form of white pudding was popular in Ireland, Scotland, and some parts of Northern England, combining suet, oatmeal (or barley in Northumberland), seasoning and onions, in sheep’s or cow’s intestines. In Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland and Ireland they were referred to by the names marag gheal or putóg bhán. These oatmeal-based puddings survived into modern Irish and Scottish cuisine, although with significant regional differences. Modern commercially made Scottish white puddings are generally based on oatmeal, onions, and beef suet; the same mixture simply fried in a pan is known as skirlie. In Ireland, white puddings also include a substantial proportion of pork or pork liver and pork fat. Most modern white puddings are filled into a synthetic cellulose casing and boiled or steamed; typical spices used include white pepper, nutmeg, and sage.
White pudding may be cooked whole, or cut into slices and fried or grilled. Irish white pudding is an important feature of the traditional Irish breakfast. Scottish white pudding is often served, like skirlie, with minced beef and potatoes, or is available deep fried in many chip shops.
A full Scottish breakfast is just like a full English breakfast, except it comes with black pudding, lorne sausage, and tattie scones. Haggis is sometimes included, as is white pudding (similar to black pudding but with the blood substituted for fat). Tattie scones may be bland to some, but serve them with lashings of butter and you’re good to go. Expect to leave the table feeling full and content. Late night? Most places in Scotland serve this hearty breakfast all day long.
Scottish seafood is amongst the best in the world and our salmon is no exception.
It swims from the North Atlantic into our rivers and is known for its moist, smooth texture and rosy colour.
Many of Scotland’s restaurants offer Scottish salmon, and it’s at its best served simply with pan-fried green vegetables.
PGI Scottish Farmed Salmon must be typical of the species, Salmo Salar (Atlantic salmon). It has a consistent shape. The fish must have a rounded ventral body surface when viewed laterally and the body wall musculature should show no significant tendency to collapse when carcass is eviscerated. Scottish farmed salmon have an iridescent appearance and are silver in colour. The flesh colour must have a minimum intensity of 26 on the Roche Scale. Scottish farmed salmon are firm with a fibrous to smooth to even texture and have a consistent flavour due to the rapid chilling post harvest.
The geographical area is the western coast of mainland Scotland, Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland Isles. The designated area provides a unique environment which produces the characteristic features of Scottish farmed salmon. In particular these include:
High flushing rates of sea lochs and voes which provide strong currents which ensure the fish are continually swimming. This in turn produces the distinctive firm textured flesh and prevents excessive fat deposition.
High water exchange ensures good oxygen supply which increases the salmon‘s metabolic rate and leads to a beneficial effect on the size and weight of the fish.
The high quality, North Atlantic oceanic water enables the salmon to grow evenly and to a consistent shape.
The small fluctuation in water temperature over any given year means that the fish can be cultivated in a stable environment which in turn produces an even and consistent flavour and texture with no rancidity.
Scottish biologists have been attempting to improve wild salmon runs for over 150 years. The first efforts to incubate and hatch salmon eggs took place in 1838. In 1890, there were 18 hatcheries operating in Scotland. From this period until the 1960’s this knowledge and breeding skills were further developed through experience so that the production of Scottish salmon could be initiated, with the first farm fully established at Lochailort in Inverness-shire in 1969.
Towards the late ’70s and early ’80s, as experience grew and increased finance was available, the rate of expansion was increased with a number of businesses getting involved. Tonnage rapidly grew on the back of this. While only 600 tonnes were produced in 1980, this grew to 32,500 tonnes in 1990 and in 1998 a total of 115,000 tonnes were produced. With this rapid expansion in production, there was also growth in the numbers employed in the remote communities in the Scottish Highlands and Islands. Indeed, today 4 000 people are directly employed in the production of Scottish farmed salmon.
Pure coastal waters and sheltered lochs have sustained and nurtured each Scottish farmed salmon while expert husbandry skills have ensured each salmon achieves and maintains prime condition. Much of the industry’s success has been due to its ability to successfully market itself to meet changing trade and consumer requirements. The vital element in this has been its emphasis on high quality. Indeed, quality has become a watchword among all producers of Scottish farmed salmon and it is never compromised as evidenced by the Label Rouge label which Scottish Farmed Salmon is entitled to bear. It is therefore with good reason that Scottish farmed salmon has continued to be held in such high regard by leading chefs, food writers and discerning consumers worldwide. The high reputation in which Scottish farmed salmon is held for quality, consistency and flavour is borne out by the findings of consumer research.
The method of production is as follows:
EGGS: In Autumn, the parents are selected from the cages. The eggs are stripped between November and December. Fertilised eggs are then incubated in fresh water hatcheries under carefully controlled conditions.
ALEVINS: From January to the Spring, the eggs hatch and feed from their yolk sac. Health and performance are continually monitored by husbandrymen to ensure optimum development into fry.
FRY: When they begin feeding for themselves they are placed in fresh water tanks for four months, during which time they grow to the parr stage.
PARR: The parr identified by the characteristic ‘parr marks’ on the flank grow rapidly up to the end of the Winter. In the Spring they lose the characteristic ‘parr marks’ and undergo a major physiological and anatomical transformation and turn into smolts.
SMOLTS: Under farmed conditions, they are transferred from the freshwater environment, in which they have lived and developed since birth to sea cages or tanks where they grow rapidly. They average in the range of 50-90 g in weight. The transfer from fresh sea water is an extremely delicate operation and requires very careful monitoring to ensure that the young salmon are not damaged.
SALMON: Once in salt water, the smolts grow in cages in lochs and inlets around the Scottish coast for a period of 1-2 years. The salmon are fed on compounded rations based on fish meal and fish oil to ensure that they are provided with all of their nutritional requirements.
HARVESTING: Scottish farmed salmon are harvested humanely using methods which ensure that they are rapidly stunned and bled. This ensures high flesh quality and hygiene.
GUTTING: Once bled, they are immediately chilled in iced water to a temperature less than 4 °C. They are then gutted as soon as possible and brought down to a packaging temperatures of 0-2 °C.
PACKING: They are packed into food grade boxes/containers to protect the product during handling, storage and transit and all packing is carried out in line with stringent specification governing temperature controls, hygiene and product grading.
DISTRIBUTION: The product is stored and distributed to the customer in line with strict hygiene standards, including temperature control at between 0-2 °C.
Independent inspectors rigorously enforce the quality of Scottish farmed salmon. Farms and packing stations undergo frequent, random, detailed checks and audits.
Made from flour, sugar and butter, shortbread is a rich, crumbly, buttery biscuit that pairs perfectly with a hot cup of tea.
Originally an expensive biscuit and reserved only for special occasions such as Christmas and Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve), shortbread has made its way into the mainstream and for that we’re thankful – we couldn’t imagine only being able to eat it once a year!
Buckfast Tonic Wine is a caffeinated alcoholic drink consisting of pure caffeine added to fortified wine, originally made by monks at Buckfast Abbey in Devon, England, now made under a licence granted by the monastery, and distributed by J. Chandler & Company in Great Britain, James E McCabe Ltd in Northern Ireland, and Richmond Marketing Ltd in Ireland. It is based on a traditional recipe from France. The wine’s distributor reported record sales of £43.2 million as of March 2017.
Despite being marketed as a tonic, Buckfast has become notorious in some parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland for its association with the loutish ned culture and antisocial behaviour. High retail sales are recorded in Lurgan, as well as throughout the Central Lowlands including Glasgow and the surrounding areas of East Kilbride, Hamilton, Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, Cambuslang, and Coatbridge.
A Buckfast Wine tanker on the A38 in Devon.
The wine, which is still manufactured using many of the same ingredients, is based on a traditional recipe from France. The Benedictine monks at Buckfast Abbey first made the tonic wine in the 1890s. It was originally sold in small quantities as a medicine using the slogan “Three small glasses a day, for good health and lively blood”.
In 1927, the Abbey lost its licence to sell wine. As a result, the Abbot allowed wine merchants to distribute on behalf of the Abbey. At the same time, the recipe was changed to be less of a patent medicine and more of a medicated wine.
The wine, which comes in distinct brands depending on the market, has achieved popularity in working class, student, and bohemian communities in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In the Republic of Ireland, Buckfast is packaged in a darker bottle, has a slightly lower alcoholic strength, and lacks the vanillin flavouring present in the British version. Buckfast sold in Northern Ireland (where it has been nicknamed “Lurgan champagne”) is the same as that sold in the rest of the UK.
Buckfast contains 15% alcohol in the 750 ml green-bottled UK version, and 14.8% in the brown-bottled Republic of Ireland version, which equates to roughly 11.25 UK units of alcohol.
Both versions of the drink contain phosphate and glycerophosphate (each of these as the sodium and/or potassium salt).
The “brown bottle” Buckfast sold in Ireland has a caffeine content about equal to a strong espresso coffee (60 mg/100 ml) and higher than Red Bull (32 mg/100 ml) whereas the UK-sold “green bottle” Buckfast has a caffeine content about equal to strong black tea (30 mg/100 ml).
Buckfast Tonic Wine (brown bottle) Sold exclusively within the Republic of Ireland. • Fortified wine, 14.8% alcohol • Sodium and potassium glycerophosphates – both measured at 0.65% w/v • Disodium phosphate • Caffeine – 0.055% w/v • Sulphite preservatives
Buckfast’s perception as being involved with street drinking, public intoxication and anti-social behaviour has caused controversy in Scotland.
In certain parts of Scotland, Buckfast is associated with drinkers who are prone to committing anti-social behaviour when drunk, especially drinkers under 18 years old. The drink also has a very high caffeine content, with each 750 ml bottle containing the equivalent of eight cans of cola. It has been suggested that this may cause it to act as a stimulant at the same time as removing inhibitions, self-control and a feeling of having drunk enough, though research into similar drinks have failed to find clear evidence for the latter effect. A diet of four bottles a day has been described as ‘not conducive to a long life’ in a Scottish court.
The beverage has entered the popular lexicon with nicknames such as “Wreck the Hoose Juice”, “Commotion Lotion”, “Cumbernauld Rocket Fuel”, “Mrs. Brown”, “Buckie Baracas”, “Coatbridge Table Wine”, and a bottle of “what the hell are you looking at?” It has also earned the unofficial slogan, “Buckfast: gets you fucked fast”. The drink’s prominence within the “Buckfast/Buckie Triangle” – an area east of Glasgow between Airdrie, Coatbridge and Bellshill – has raised concern. In addition, the glass bottle has been blamed for allegedly contributing to litter and providing drunkards with a weapon.
Several Scottish politicians and social activists have singled out Buckfast Tonic Wine as being particularly responsible for crime, disorder, and general social deprivation in these communities. Although Buckfast accounts for only 0.5% of alcohol sales in Scotland, the figure is markedly higher in Lanarkshire. Helen Liddell, former Secretary of State for Scotland, called for the wine to be banned. In 2005, Scottish Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson suggested that retailers should stop selling the wine. On a subsequent visit to Auchinleck within her constituency, she was greeted by teenagers chanting, “Don’t ban Buckie”. Jamieson then received correspondence from lawyers acting for Buckfast distributors, J. Chandler & Company, in Andover. A further consequence was that Buckfast sales increased substantially in the months following Jamieson’s comments.
In September 2006, Andy Kerr, the Scottish Executive’s Health Minister, described the drink as “an irresponsible drink in its own right” and a contributor to anti-social behaviour. The distributors denied the claims and accused him of showing “bad manners” and a “complete lack of judgement” regarding the drink. Kerr met with J. Chandler & Company to discuss ways of lessening Buckfast’s impact on west Scotland but the talks broke up without agreement. Three months later, Jack McConnell, First Minister of Scotland, stated that Buckfast had become “a badge of pride amongst those who are involved in antisocial behaviour. In response the distributors accused the Scottish Executive of trying to avoid having to deal with the consequences of failed social policy and the actual individuals involved in antisocial behaviour by blaming it on the drinks industry.”
In January 2010, a BBC investigation revealed that Buckfast had been mentioned in 5,638 crime reports in the Strathclyde area of Scotland from 2006 to 2009, equating to an average of three per day. In 2017, Scottish Police reported there had been 6,500 crimes related to the drink in the previous two years. One in 10 of those offences had been violent and 114 times in that period a Buckfast bottle was used as a weapon. A survey at a Scottish young offenders’ institution showed of the 117 people who drank alcohol before committing their crimes, 43 per cent said they had drunk Buckfast. In another study of litter around a typical council estate in Scotland, 35 per cent of the items identified as rubbish were Buckfast bottles.
In 2016 a sheriff said there was a “very definite association between Buckfast and violence” while sentencing a man for hitting a 15-year-old boy over the head with a bottle at a birthday party. In January 2018, a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh heard a man had consumed lager and a whole bottle of Buckfast before ferociously stabbing a workmate.
In July 2017, the British trade magazine The Grocer reported that increased sales of Buckfast in southeast England had pushed the drink up to 91 on UK’s top 100 alcoholic brands. The increased sales were following a marketing campaign to improve the drink’s image.
In 2017, thousands of empty Buckfast bottles were recovered during a clean-up of the Eglinton Canal in Galway, Ireland.
The monks of Buckfast Abbey and their distribution partner, J. Chandler & Company, deny that their product is harmful, saying that it is responsibly and legally enjoyed by the great majority of purchasers. They also point out that the areas identified with its acute misuse have been economically deprived for decades and Buckfast represents less than one per cent of the total alcohol sales across Scotland. Abbot of Buckfast Abbey, David Charlesworth, has emphasised that the tonic wine his monastery produces “is not made to be abused”.
In February 2013, J. Chandler & Company applied to the Court of Session in Edinburgh to stop Strathclyde Police from marking bottles of Buckfast so they could trace where under-age drinkers bought them. A company spokesman complained, “This is discrimination at the highest level. Buckfast is no more involved in crime than any other brand of alcohol”. A former head of the Scottish Police Federation said: “Buckfast, the distributors and the lawyers who act on behalf of the monks refuse, point blank, to take any responsibility for the antisocial behaviour that’s caused by the distribution and the consumption of Buckfast. They even refuse to change the glass bottles to plastic bottles despite overwhelming evidence that large areas in play parks and certain areas in Scotland are littered with this green glass”.
In February 2014, the case was settled without any judgment being made by the court. Assistant Chief Constable Wayne Mawson of Police Scotland apologised to J. Chandler & Co for asking a shopkeeper to stop selling Buckfast and gave written undertakings not to include the product in any bottle-marking scheme unless it has “reasonable grounds” for doing so, and “not to request licensed retailers, situated anywhere in Scotland, to cease stocking for sale Buckfast Tonic Wine”. In 2016 sales of Buckfast Tonic Wine reached record yearly profits of £8.8 million. The abbey trust, which is a shareholder of the Hampshire-based wine’s distributor and seller, J Chandler, gets a royalty fee for every bottle sold. Although the trust declined to give out specific sales figures, it said it “strives to work with J Chandler and Co to ensure that the tonic wine is marketed and distributed responsibly”.
It is important to note that the drink has no such associations in England, and, especially in Devon where it originated, is rather more associated with the elderly and Buckfast Abbey itself as a tourist destination.
In 2015, a “National Buckfast Day” was set up by fans to honour the tonic wine. The organisers designated the second Saturday of each May National Buckfast Day. The organisers decided to rename the day World Buckfast Day for 2016.
Hi folks, continuing on the Scottish foods topic is an old favourite called “stovies” a traditional Scottish dish which is delicious and very popular, My ex wife makes beautiful stovies and I have made them myself.. yum.
Stovies (also stovy tatties, stoved potatoes, stovers or stovocks) is a Scottish dish based on potatoes. Recipes and ingredients vary widely but the dish contains potatoes, fat, usually (but not always) onions and often (but again not always) pieces of meat. In some versions, other vegetables may also be added.
The potatoes are cooked by slow stewing in a closed pot with fat (lard, beef dripping or butter may be used) and often a small amount of water or sometimes other liquids, such as milk, stock or meat jelly. Stovies may be served accompanied by cold meat or oatcakes and, sometimes, with pickled beetroot.
“To stove” means “to stew” in Scots. The term is from the French adjective étuvé which translates as braised. Versions without meat may be termed barfit and those with meat as high-heelers.
Originally created in Arbroath, these haddock go through a traditional process dating back to the 1800s. First, they’re salted overnight to preserve them, then using a very hot, humid and smoky fire they’re cooked for around one hour.
To avoid burning the fish, it’s essential to use intense heat and thick smoke. This also provides the unique smoky taste and smell that people expect from Arbroath Smokies.
In fact, Scottish food has long come under criticism for being fatty, beige and lacking in nutrition, with naughty-but-nice staples such as haggis, tablet and deep-fried Mars Bars giving us a bad reputation.
But like them or loathe them, Scotland’s foodie traditions continue to tempt – and boggle the minds of – curious visitors.
So when you’re visiting Scotland, make sure to pack a pair of trousers with an elasticated waistband and prepare to eat yourself around the country with our pick of the best Scottish foods to try.
If you need breakfast on the go, but still want a little taste of a fry-up, then a breakfast roll is exactly what you need.
A soft, buttery, floury breakfast roll sets the perfect foundation. The filling, however, is entirely up to you.
With items such as bacon, sausage, fried egg, tattie scones and more on offer,
Why not try a bacon roll with lashings of nippy broon (brown sauce)?