Scotland is noted for its efforts to gain independence, its castles, the Highlands, sheep, wonderful landscapes and of course whisky. Everything at mealtimes revolves around haggis. This savory dish made of meat, oat flakes, salt and spices was formerly regarded as the food of the poor. Visually, haggis is reminiscent of black pudding, and classically it is eaten with turnips (neeps) and potatoes (tatties).
Nowadays this dish can be found on menus in numerous variations where fantasy has no limits: haggis with salad, with nachos, in pastry turnovers, in lasagna, as a filling in breast of chicken or on toast. However, since offal is not to everyone’s taste, visitors nowadays will also find vegetarian haggis in Edinburgh’s numerous restaurants.
Scotland’s capital itself is bustling with life. The city with its population of around 450,000 attracts crowds of tourists. It also has three internationally famous universities, Edinburgh Napier University, Heriot-Watt University with the Edinburgh Business School, and the University of Edinburgh. The economy is flourishing, and only 3.4% of the population is unemployed. Incidentally, the unemployment rate in Scotland as a whole is 5.9%.
This dynamism is also noticeable in the numerous catering businesses. Of course there are still the classical pubs with Scottish beer, fish & chips and homemade soups – but an exciting mix of organic, regional, international, traditional and adventurous has established itself in Edinburgh. There are many interesting concepts in Bruntsfield Place. Anyone who wants to see a tattooed artistic coffee barista offering a wide variety of specialist coffees and toast with avocado should visit Artisan Roast (http://www.artisanroast.co.uk/). Dark organic chocolate with bergamot is served for GBP 3.75 at Coco Chocolatier right next door (http://www.cocochocolate.co.uk/).
Brown bread in Edinburgh
Visitors to Edinburgh will also find German artisan skills in Bruntsfield Place. Number 185 has the sign „Confectioners and Patissiers“. This is where master confectioner Falko Burkert operates Falko (Master Confectioners) Limited (http://www.falko.co.uk). In addition to pretzels, you will find various breads and cakes in the window displays. Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest cherry gateau) is also popular, alongside strawberry tartlets and apple pie. Locals, visitors and the press rave about the high quality of the baked products.
„Teatime“ should also be on your daily schedule when in Scotland. The best for this are scones, still warm and with butter and jam, but best of all served with clotted cream. This type of thick cream has a minimum fat content of 55% and is the finishing touch for perfect enjoyment.
Even if there are no scones, there is shortbread instead. This Scottish short pastry comes in a very wide variety of shapes and sizes. The classic form is “shortbread fingers”. These are rectangular-shaped and the length of a finger. However, the pastry is also available as „shortbread rounds“, which are around 1 cm thick and approx. 5 cm in diameter. There are also thin disks up to 20 cm in diameter. Guests can then break pieces out of these „petticoat tails“. Variants also exist in which the pieces are already pre-cut.
Other addresses of bakeries, cafés and confectioners in Edinburgh that are worth a visit include:
Liggy’s Cake Company
45 William St, Lothians, EH3 7LW
38 South Bridge
The Bakery Dunbar
60 High Street, Dunbar, East Lothian, EH42 1JH
87 South Bridge Street, Bathgate, West Lothian, EH48 1TJ
Restaurant, Events, Catering, Gallery
94 Hanover Street
27 Simpson Loan
Shortbread House Of Edinburgh Ltd
25 Tennant Street, Midlothian EH6 5NA