Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Top 5 Dishes to Try in Scotland

# 1 Haggis

 I know I've been talking about Haggis a lot lately .... but it's true: you must try Haggis on your visit to Scotland. Ideally your Haggis (lamb innards, oats, and suet) will be served with neeps and tatties (mashed parsnips and mashed potatoes). However, in these parts -- you could find Haggis on your nachos or stuffed into a bell pepper. It's everywhere!

#2 Cullen Skink Soup

Cullen Skink is a delicious, thick soup made of smoked haddock, potatoes, and onion.  Normally served as a starter for a formal dinner, I recommend eating this soup any chance you get! It's relatively easy to find it in a Scottish restaurant, but it's definitely not everywhere. It's so nice and hearty on a cold Scottish day.

#3 Fish and Chips
Fish and chips with mushy peas: a classic British dish. In Scotland, the fish is usually beer-battered, fried cod.  However, the fish could also be rolled in oats. Chips actually refers to what Americans would normally call French fries. They're usually quite good and chunky. However, don't expect to use normal ketchup on this dish. You'll want to douse your fish and chips in either brown sauce or salt & vinegar. And don't forget the mushy peas! Your peas could come looking like the ones above or they could be so mushy that they're actually completely mashed. Sometimes your peas might also be mixed with a bit of horseradish sauce.

# 4 Stuffed Potatoes
This particular potato seems to be stuffed with cheddar cheese and pineapple. Have I mentioned they'll stuff anything into a potato over here?  Cottage cheese, baked beans, tuna salad -- even pasta salad. The motto here is that anything goes in a potato. It's surprisingly super good. My latest favorite is haggis and cheddar in a baked potato.

# 5 Scone with Clotted Cream
Not specifically Scottish but definitely British, scones are like semi-sweet biscuits. They're not overly sweet like a cinnamon roll or danish. They do get quite sweet when you put a dollop of clotted cream and jam on them. And that's a must! According to the Ritz Carlton in London -- the institution of high tea -- the jam is supposed to go on first, then the clotted cream. Thus, the above picture is not in accordance with Ritz etiquette. I do think it is easier to put the clotted cream on and then the jam. But that's just me. And have I mentioned how heavenly clotted cream is??? Clotted cream is simply butter and cream mixed together. Quite possibly one of the best things you could put in your mouth!

I'll be posting soon on the top Scottish desserts to try! Even yummier!

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