30th Nov 2021 | Food
St Andrew’s Day is a time for Scots around the world to celebrate their rich history, their music and, as befits a feast day, the country’s traditional food and drink.
Few countries can claim have made such an impact on both ends of the world cuisine scale – the wonderful and the downright weird.
Where Irn Bru sits on this scale is down to personal taste. Now 120 years old, it is reputedly the only fizzy drink in the world that outsells Coke in a particular country, yet it remains relatively unknown outside of the UK.
The recent COP26 climate conference in Glasgow offered a chance for many high-profile visitors to try the drink for the first time, with Member of the US House of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declaring she “loved it”.
One Scottish drink that is known throughout the world is whisky which has been around at least 400 years longer than Irn Bru and is now produced by over 130 distilleries scattered across the Lowlands, Highlands, and Islands. True Scotch whisky must be aged in oak barrels for at least three years and be a minimum 40% alcohol by volume.
Porridge – with salt not sugar – haggis with neeps and tatties (that’s turnip and potatoes to non-scots) and shortbread have all proved popular beyond their Scottish birthplace, whilst Cullen skink, Arbroath smokies and cranachan are traditional dishes worth seeking out north of the border.
Delicious though they are, none of the above have created quite the stir as a delicacy that emerged from the Haven fish and chip shop on the outskirts of Aberdeen in 1992.
When fryer John Davie decided to offer deep fried mars bars during school holidays little did he realise the impact the crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside delight would have.
After being picked up by local media (and other chippies), hunger for the story grew and grew and the battered bars featured across prime-time television in both the UK and US.
There are far healthier ways to mark St Andrews Day on November 30 which traditionally heralds the start of the Scottish winter.
With vapour rising from the bowl like a mist o’er the heather, Scotch Broth is one of the country’s most inspired culinary creations, guaranteed to warm the coldest of cockles – and you don’t have to trek North of the border for the full flavour.
The Real Soup Company’s Scotch Broth is faithful to the traditional recipe, featuring lamb, root vegetables, leek and pearl barley. The perfect way to celebrate Scotland and St Andrew’s Day.