Thursday, September 9, 2010

Foods in Scotland, Part 1

My first blog on foods here as I survey some of the oddities of UK & Scottish food & drink.

Bakes Potatoes. Here in Edinburgh, there are baked potato shops, where you can get a small, medium, or large sized potato topped with many things. I went for the gusto my first time out, and struck out swinging. I got the potato described as being topped with 'pasta, sweet corn, prawn, and tomatoes'. I also specially requested mine to be topped with a side of brown sauce, to complete the package. They forgot to mention that the pasta was somethered in more mayo than ever imagineable. Anyways, the only redeemable taste was that of the potato itself. The pasta was smothered in so much mayo, with a bit of a sour taste to it, that it was unfinishable.

The baked potato with mayo drenched pasta in all it's glory:

This baked potato was topped with Haggis. I resisted tasting, in order to order a Haggis as a stand alone dish first:

Next up is something that I wrote about in a previous blog, Bovril. Basically, a beef flavored drink. It comes in a bottle, and you scoop a teaspoon of the dark brown, thick, goopy stuff into a glass of hot water and stir. The only thing I can compare it to is beef broth, just really full, beefy, beef broth. In fact, I don't mind it too much. For perspective, George had some in his fridge at the apartment, and enjoys it. The Scottish contractor working here, however, loaths it.


Like a nice cup of coffee, only tastes like beef broth:

Next up was Marmite. The British couterpart (it was first made here, apparently) of the Australian Vegemite. Basically, a spread consisting of spent yeast. It looks like the same as when you open the Bovril can. Brown, dark, thick, creamy. Pungent smell. I proceeded to spoon a bit of it onto a piece of bread. Needless to say, I had to wash it down with my coffee. It tasted like I might imagine used yeast tasting...sour, old, fermented. I asked George and the contractor if they wanted some, and they both cringed. I think it is more popular and England, and have heard it is much more popular in Australia.

Glorious brown yeast:

Next up was the full Scottish breakfast, which I had on my first two morning. Basically similar to the Irish breakfast. A sausage square or round sausage, a fried egg, black pudding/sausage, and bacon on a Scottish bread roll. A heart attack on a bun, but a really good heart attack. The blood pudding is just blood sausage, a bit sweet tasting, and a less put together texture than a normal sausage.

Next up, brown sauce. Kind of like ketchup, kind of like barbecue sauce, a bit of sweetness to it. Apparently A1 is also a brown sauce. But this British version is used on more than just steak. Even on fries, for example. It's not as heavy as A1. I think it is pretty good.

A can of this is on the agenda:

One thing I really enjoy is the high number of quick places serving Falafel, Schwarma, Kebabs, and similar things. Quite popular here (though, this type of food is very common in many parts of Europe as even I saw in Germany, due to the high number of Turkish and Middle Eastern people).

Stay tuned for Food Blog 2 after awhile.


  1. how come no fried tomato slice?

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