While staying at the French inlaws’ place this summer, and taking advantage of their TV (we don’t have one…everything we watch is online, baby), we enjoyed a most entertaining travel programme about Scotland (part of a series named Fourchette et sac à dos, or Fork and Backpack in English, or Gimme a fookin fork and let me deal with this in Scottish). In this, French TV presenter Julie Andrieu, who seemed most concerned about the state of her hair while on potentially messy activities (such as fishing), did a whistle-stop tour of all the Scottish clichés, including eating haggis and deep-fried Mars Bars, listening to readings of Robert Burns poetry, and attending the Highland Games. The culinary aspects of the experience attracted mixed reviews from the presenter: perhaps unsurprisingly, the haggis and fish and chips got a big thumbs up while the deep-fried Mars Bar got a big thumbs down (she didn’t even finish it…wimp).
But there’s more to Scottish cuisine than animal innards and fast-tracks to the emergency room. At the end of August, south-west Scotland will start its Flavour Fortnight – a food festival featuring artisan producers and hands-on foodie experiences. Commencing on August 31st and running until September 15th, the festival promises to feature everything from foraging to farmers’ markets. There should be something to suit all tastes and honour all traditions: a cider-making course with the country’s only traditional cider-maker will undoubtedly be a highlight.
With food festivals frequently centering on London and the south-east, this is a great chance for Scots to get involved in something just as good (and maybe even better!) on their own doorstep. I’d definitely be on the case of the Great Scottish Tablet hunt if it were me. OCH AYE.