One of the best things to do when visiting a foreign country is take a trip down their junk food aisle. Surely I'm not the only one who loves to do this? You really get a sense of the country's cultural psyche, you know? From limited edition kit kat bars in Japan (sophisticated appreciation of subtlety and niche) to salty and sweet liquorice in the Netherlands (...actually, I don't know why the Dutch love liquorice so much but to be honest, I'm obsessed with it too).
So when I first came to the UK, I was blown away by the superior quality of junk food: pickled onion chips (crisps)?! Monster Munch!? Double Deckers?! Woolworth's Pick n Mix (RIP)!? Don't get me wrong, Canada still has some pretty amazing junk food too (Dill Pickle chips FOREVER) but really, it was Scotland's offering of sugary goodness that ultimately sealed the deal.
So, to celebrate the launch of our Scottish Junk Food Tote Bag, we bring you:
A FOREIGNER'S GUIDE TO SCOTTISH JUNK FOOD
I was once lucky enough to do a tour of the Tunnock's factory. It's as amazing as you imagine; LOOK AT THE EXCITEMENT ON MY FACE!
Where would Scotland be without Tunnock's? I honestly don't know but I wouldn't want to live in that world.
I was first introduced to Tunnock's tea cakes as an exchange student and when fellow students heard I hadn't tried a tea cake, was promptly forced to try one. I remember thinking the packaging was old-fashioned and thought they resembled a whippet but wow, how wrong I was! From the whipped and airy marshmallow to the soft biscuit base, I was hooked. Snowballs are also little balls of sugary heaven and caramel wafers are what Kit kats wish they were. Thank you, Tunnock's!
A true staple of Scotland, Irn-Bru recently changed their recipe to include less sugar and well, Scots are not happy.
3. Kilmarnock Pie (actually the native Scot of LAKE&LOCH made me add this)
I don't eat beef/pork/chicken so cannot attest but Mr. LAKE&LOCH loves them. They've won loads of awards including World Championship Scotch Pie (I know) so I guess they're good? The idea of a "savoury pie" is still somewhat unknown in Canada (unless it's a chicken pot pie) so I can't really judge one savoury pie to the next.
The first time I saw a caramel shortcake I was curious - they looked similar to a nanaimo bar (again, an amazing offering of Canadian junk food) so obviously I had to try it. Personally I'm a fan of the really disgustingly thick caramel ones with equally thick chocolate on top.
Unnaturally yellow but SO DELICIOUS. Why am I so obsessed?! Am I crazy for loving these cream topped squishy tarts? Do yourself a favour: head to the nearest Greggs and get a pineapple tart/ cake. Let me know if you have any thoughts on who makes the best ones in Glasgow and beyond!
An institution. You might even say tablet is to Scotland what maple syrup is to Canada.
To readers outside of Scotland - this is not the macaroon you know but rather, the one traditionally made with potatoes. Very sweet and very sinful but also equally delicious. Sometimes you just can't beat a Lee's Macaroon bar, you know?
8. Coconut Ice
Again, achingly sweet (are you seeing a pattern here?) and you definitely must be a fan of coconut (who isn't?) to enjoy this sort of ice.
9. Sausage Supper (again, the native Scot's choice)
A deep-fried sausage with chips.
And that's all I have to say about that.
10. Raspberry Ruffle
We here at LAKE&LOCH HQ aren't sure if the Raspberry Ruffle bar is actually Scottish or if it's known nationwide (anyone know?) Either way we're including it because (a) it seems like the sort of sweet to come out of Scotland and (b) it's freakin' AMAZING. We've written about our love of the ol' Raspberry Ruffle before too.
11. BONUS: Almost anything by Buchanan's
What's your favourite junk food - Scottish and beyond?