Roots Hebrides

Strange Cuisine Rarities of the Hebrides

If you think durian infused cakes, vegemite pasta and bird’s nest soup are out of the box —just wait till you get a load of these Hebridean foods. The Hebrides is a small archipelago off mainland Scotland, home to some of the most interesting and diverse foods in Scotland. Living in the Hebrides is like taking your own private tour of paradise! Littered with fresh countrysides, untouched islands and private coasts; the Hebrides is a place away from the hustle and bustle of city stress. The country’s cuisine however, is a whole other lesson in rare (and sometimes bizarre!) recipes.

As the Hebridean islands are surrounded by rich landscapes, lush greenery and crystal clear oceans —its no wonder that it’s cuisine is also inspired by the likes of herb-infused dishes and seafood. A good example of a traditional Hebrides recipe is none other than the; Crab Panna Cotta. Yes, you’re probably wondering how a dessert is supposed to taste like crab (yikes!), but here’s the catch. The Crab Panna Cotta is a savory dish- not a sweet one. Vinegar, fresh shallots and lemon juice are all added ingredients to a creamy mixture, poured over the crab meat and refrigerated before eventually roasted. Sounds like a task, but the payout is definitely worth it —and you can even add a dash of white wine to give it a real kick! The use of liquer isn’t exactly unheard of in Hebridean cuisines. Take a look at their pomegranate and sea lettuce with wine desserts for an example. This mouthful of a dish pairs together all of sour, savory and sweet delicacies to really give your taste buds a fiesta they won’t forget. The sorbet is made like any regular dessert; but thrown in with freshly grounded sea lettuce. A true embodiment of how locals love to combine seafood with just about anything!

black-puddingThis article wouldn’t be complete without the pride and joy of Hebride cuisine —if not of the entire area known as Scotland. Black pudding (also known as blood pudding) is made from just that! The combination of pig’s blood with oat meal, pork fat and milk is notoriously the all-in-one 5-star meal there. Black pudding would be a great shock value meal to serve at your next dinner party, but if you’re not able to come into contact with pig’s blood; opt for the mussels with venison sausages and apples! Another staple of rich Hebridean cuisine, this gourmet dish may sound a little strange at first. The end product however, is a gorgeous dish that comes together perfectly to resemble the sweet and savory nature of Hebridean dishes. If you’re more of a soup person, the cock-a-leekie soup sounds a little vulgar —but promises a tantalizing dish you have to taste at least once in your lifetime. The cock-a-leekie is a culmination of chicken, leek, white wine, bacon and -wait for it, prunes! Dashed with elements of thyme and bay leaves, what follows is basically what a jacked-up chicken stew on steroids would taste like. When you’re done scarfing down these filling meals, end your meal with Hebridean-inspired honeycomb puff candy. Sweetooths, beware! This is sugar-loaded and may not be for everyone. However, this baby can be made easily and in under less than 30 minutes. Mix together caster sugar, golden syrup and bicarbonate soda all together and you’d be served with a unique pick-me-up dessert for late night tidbits!

Now the Hebridean cuisine doesn’t always sound good on paper- but it promises one hell of an experience. Whether you’re eating pig’s blood for pudding or drinking prune soup; it would be waste to skip out on trying this cuisine at least once.

© Roots Hebrides - All Rights Reserved