Hello Guys! My name is Skarleth I am Mexican PhD student in Scotland. Aside I love studying (in case my supervisor is reading this), one of my passions is to eat… really a love trying new dishes and try to describe them. If you are Mexican as well, you will know that eating is probably the happiest part of the day. I always show off the richness of the Mexican cuisine with any international person I talk to. However, leaving aside this pride about our roots, I have had the opportunity to try other food in its own origins. This blog will be mainly about sharing with you my experience about international dishes, its uniqueness and similarities with the Mexican food.
Without more ado, this blog is dedicated to the Scottish food.
A dish that has its own Ode!
Probably when you think about The UK, the first dish that comes to your mind is the fish and chips, or any fried dish. Even though you can find fish and chips in Scotland, which is even more tempting and delicious after midnight for no specific reason (alcohol), Scottish food is more that than.
One of the most characteristic Scottish dishes is haggis and, if you have done your research, you have already found the recipe of the haggis before coming to Scotland. However, if you haven’t DO NOT do it. This dish is so into the Scottish culture that has his own Ode, wrote by one of the most famous Scottish poets, Robert Burs.
Haggis is this kind of dishes that you should first enjoy and then do the research. So… instead of being a spoiler and tell you the ingredients I will tell you what it tasted like for me the first time. I saw this plate and it looked like mix of white rice and beans. Nevertheless, when I tasted it was much more than that, the texture was indeed like fried beans but the taste was like a salty dry ground beef. I know the description is the less appetizing but believe me, the taste was so so good that the first thing I did when I arrive home was to look up the recipe. So be brave and try it, because that is something that you won’t find anywhere else.
Seafood in the island?
Another thing you have to try in Scotland is the salmon. I know in Mexico it might sound like a fancy food but in here is kind of eating beef. I have always been a salmon lover and back home almost every time I was in a “nice” restaurant I usually asked salmon for as the main dish, so far none of them has been as good as the one I do at home in here. I literally just put salt, pepper and garlic, nothing elaborated, the difference is the actual salmon. Believe me, you don’t want to miss it!
If you are wondering about getting something sweet, there are two traditional things that you should get either in the regular store (Tesco) or in any souvenir shop (Princess street, Royal mile, Northbridge). The first one is the fudge, which is kind of the Scottish version of the Dulce de leche or jamoncillo but smoother and harder. You can find the fudge in different flavours (including whisky) and just one small square will take away your sweet craving. The other option is the butter shortbread, it is a traditional biscuit, the most famous brand of shortbreads is “walkers” you can recognize it for the tartan print. Strangely, I am not personally a fan of the finger version, I found it a bit hard and dry, but I am addicted to the round version. Is like sopa de fideo vs sopa de letras, same ingredients, different flavour.
To get warm…
Finally, it would be a sin not to talk about the Whisky, internationally order as “scotch”, is a MUST if you are coming to Scotland. I would not dare to recommend a specific one. You have to have your personal encounter with the Whisky. In here you have it without ice and if the flavour is too strong just add a bit of water. In the whisky tasting sessions, the experts claim that is almost insane to mix whisky with a soft drink like in Mexico, but I know some locals that do it too, so feel free to try it as you please (better just by itself).
Let me know which has been your experience with Scottish food and also if you are interested in any particular food (region, country or dish)
By Skarleth Carrales
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