Annual Scottish Food Fortnight
Good food and drink is inextricably linked to the good life in Scotland. While the whisky of Scotland is well known around the world, the traditional foods are also gaining popularity everywhere. The Scots are hearty imbibers of food and drink and would hate to have the traditional meals, particularly the legendary teas of Scotland replaced entirely by fast food and convenience foods. The importance to the economy of consuming local produce cannot be over emphasized.
Since 2003 the traditional produce and dishes of Scotland have received a boost with the organization of the Scottish Food Fortnight. The 2006 festival was inaugurated in September at the childhood home of the Queen Mother, Glamis Castle, during Scotland’s Countryside Festival. The Countryside Festival held on the spectacular grounds of the castle is the venue for exciting traditional games and sports of Scotland such as falconry, jousting, archery and dog handling. Other regions from Loch Lomond to Perth, Iona and Mull to Edinburgh combine festivity with food and the occasion serves to acquaint children with local lore, traditional sport and history.
The Scottish Food Fortnight is an occasion for Scottish retailers, farmers and hoteliers across Scotland to promote Scottish produce in an exciting range of events all over the country. Mouthwatering local dishes are demonstrated by celebrated chefs at cookery shows and fair marquees. Seafood festivals are held at various venues across the country. The islands and highlands too have festivals for traditional local foods which are popular with the locals and tourists alike. Restaurants all over organize special menus using local produce and serve local specialties at attractive prices.
Farmers markets play a big role in the Scottish Food Fortnight and use it as a platform to discuss the importance and benefits of consuming local produce. While the festival is partly to encourage locals to support and consume local foods it is an attraction for tourists to learn about the foods of Scotland. Though it may not be a primary reason for visiting a country, many travelers enjoy experimenting with local foods and a nationwide promotion is a great place to start.