food in Scotland

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So…before we came, everyone was worried about the food. The stereotype of british food is bland and overcooked, tasteless, mediocre, and heavy on the carbs and weird stuff like mint peas and haggis. Add in that the trip leader is a vegetarian, and you have a recipe for food being near the top of the list of concerns nearly everyone had before arriving!

Well, never fear–because when you travel with Teri, there will always be good food.

Our food experience has been a pleasant surprise to everyone (sometimes even to the fearless planner!), in part because every single restaurant on the itinerary was a recommendation from one of Teri or John’s friends. We’ve focused on either local classics or places that use local produce, and several of our restaurants have been part of the slow-food movement. Everything’s fresh made and most of it is full of delicious things like Scottish cheese or beef, locally grown greens and tomatoes, and fabulous homemade breads and soups. We’ve enjoyed ourselves at the Elephant House (for the ambience, not the food–it’s a place many writers have been known to work on their latest projects, including JK Rowling), at an Indian restaurant run by a mosque (for some of us, it was our first experience of Indian food!), at a Scottish comfort food restaurant (sausage and mash! fish and chips! steak and ale pie!), at neighborhood restaurants a bit off the beaten tourist-path, a local fish-and-chip favorite, and even a vegetarian restaurant (where we joined the clean plate club, and even Steve was saying it was his favorite meal of the week!). We’ve experienced some new things–deep fried haggis bites, curried parsnip soup, steak-and-kidney sausage, nut-loaf (instead of meatloaf). We’ve enjoyed the Scottish twist on old favorites–12 flavors of mashed potatoes, mac-n-cheese made with local cheddar and onions, Scottish beef burgers with brie and pineapple. And we’ve discovered the reality behind the traditional full cooked Scottish breakfast–1600 calories.

Of course, no trip is complete without some incredible sweets….whether it comes in the form of brownies with both chocolate sauce and ice cream, or belgian waffles smothered in nutella, or the traditional cranachan, or one of the oldest ice cream shops we’ve been in (in the same location over 100 years!), there’s always something for the sweet tooth too.

So the moral of the story is: don’t be afraid–try the food, it’s delicious! 🙂

(I’ll be updating this post with photos of our various food experiences if we get some of our tech challenges worked out before we leave for Iona…)

the clean plate club–at the VEGETARIAN restaurant!

scottish comfort food–sausages and mash, fish and chips…they can’t even look away from the food long enough for a picture, it’s so delicious.

what does a vegetarian eat at a scottish comfort food restaurant? a cheesy mushroom wellington in delicious flaky pastry, on top of mushroom-and-garlic mashed potatoes. oh yeah.

 

 

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