Hidden European Food

Hidden Eurofood: Highlands

The Scottish cuisine shares much with the Central and Northern European cuisine and with the British one but has very distinctive recipes and traditions. Surely the seafood, available all the year, has ever been one of the main ingredients. Very spread for breakfast and perfectly Scottish is the Porridge. Now spread all over the world, it can be prepared in so many different ways. Oats (which are one of the few grains that manage to grow well in Scotland’s climate), water and milk (or only milk or only water), salt and then…whatever you want! Other typical dishes are the Rumbledethumps prepared with potato, cabbage, and onion and, if you want, also cheddar and the Cullen skink, a soup made of smoked haddock, potatoes, and onions. The Dunlop cheese is also very traditional. As a dessert, we surely need to mention the Dundee cake made with currants, sultanas, and almonds. We can not definitely finish this HEF without talking about SCOTCH! Scotch whiskey is malt or grain whiskey. Originally it was made from malted barley (the wheat and the rye were introduced only in the late 18the century). It can be divided into five categories: the single malt Scotch whiskey, the single grain, the blended malt, the blended grain and the blended Scotch whiskey. The first mention of the Scotch dates back to 1495 in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland!

The cuisine of the Highlands is changed during the last centuries. Traditionally, anyways, it was considered the food of the brave Highlanders of Scotland! While most of the other European people ate a plant-based diet of grains, in the Highlands the main food was animal food and the diet was based on raw milk, sheeps, cheese, and butter. Also, the fresh fish was a vital part of the diet. An ancient tradition of the Highlands is, for example, the Finnan Haddock: a tradition of centuries which includes that the fish has to be salted and left to dry overnight and then smoked the following day over soft peat and green wood for some hours. Also, some varieties of apple and the smoked earrings are definitely part of the most ancient traditions of the land of the Highlanders.

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