Scotland is a country within and part of the United Kingdom and covers approximately the top third with the Atlantic Ocean surrounding most of it except from the Irish sea and North Channel to the South East and The North sea to the East. Scotland has also in excess of 790 islands, which include the Hebrides. The capital city is Edinburgh – favourite place of mine – it is also the second largest city with Glasgow being the largest, and I have to say when we visited our friends we liked Glasgow very much too. In the 18th century Edinburgh was the centre of the Scottish Enlightenment and subsequently Scotland was dramatically changed into one of Europe’s industrial, commercial and intellectual inspirations. Aberdeen is the third largest city i Scotland.
It was in the Early Middle Ages that Scotland became and independent sovereign state and continued to be so until 1707. In 1603 King James VI of Scotland became King of Ireland and England by inheritance and this formed a personal coalition of the three Kingdoms. In 1707 a political union with England formed the Parliament of the UK. The treaty if Union was agreed in 1706 and enacted by the twin Acts of Union 1707 passed by the Parliaments of both countries, despite popular opposition and anti-union riots in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and elsewhere. Great Britain itself subsequently entered into a political union with Ireland 1801 to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Legal system of Scotland has remained separate from The UK and Northern Ireland and Scotland is a distinct jurisdiction in public and private law.
The food of Scotland is a particular set of cooking practices and traditions and there are characteristic qualities and recipes that are their own, but do share a considerable amount with a wider British and European cooking. Traditional Scottish dishes do also sit alongside the international flavours… Scotland’s natural pantry of dairy, game, fish, fruit and vegetables is the principle influence in traditional Scottish cooking, with a high dependence on simplicity and a lack of flavours from abroad, as these were historically expensive and rare.
The recipe I found for this evening is already smelling great and blessed we are that No 1 son is at the helm…. Finnan Haddie
There are references to smoked fish in Scotland going back to the 16th century. James Boswell wrote about them in the 18th century, mentioning that Scottish smoked fish could be obtained in London. But these were heavily smoked (as a preservative) and a bit tough. In the late 19th century, as fast transportation by train became available, the Aberdeen fishing village of Findon (pronounced locally as “Finnan”) began producing lightly smoked and delicately flavoured haddock (haddies) which were of a much finer texture. They were an immediate success and variations on these tasty fish have become very popular. They can be simply grilled with butter but here is a recipe with milk and onions which turns them into a delicately flavoured fish stew.