Celebrating the taste of the North Highlands
With the ancient traditions and rhythms of farming life, with the bringing in of the harvest, throughout the world autumn is a time to celebrate food and drink, and the North Highlands is no different. With the nights drawing in and the weather growing colder, what better time to draw the curtains, light the fire and relax with a good hearty meal?
Here in the North Highlands, we are truly spoiled by our access to so much quality food and drink. Marion last week mentioned that the Taste North 2019 festival was upon us and I took the opportunity to attend.
Even knowing how much is happening with food and drink in the region, I was blown away by the variety and quality of products on offer. Spending far more than was sensible I ended up leaving with a goodie bag tucked full of flavoured rapeseed oil from Cullisse, air-dried venison sausage and smoked cheese from Highland Charcuterie and Smokehouse Ltd, smoked duck from Caithness Smokehouse, beer from John O’Groats Brewery, delicious baked goods from Puffin Croft and much more!
Of course, living in the North Highlands means access to great food and drink and fresh produce is not restricted to special events. Most major towns have at least one butcher offering top-quality, locally-sourced meat, along the coast it’s hard to find somewhere that isn’t selling fresh-caught fish, and nearly every farm and croft in the area has some kind of fresh vegetables or eggs for sale (and once you’ve cooked with farm-fresh veg it’s very hard to go back!).
With all this talk of great produce, it would be remiss of me not to suggest a few recipes you can try yourself using great ingredients from the North Highlands.
- Caithness Smokehouse Cullen Skink
- Rock Rose Gin Mincemeat Baklava
- Slow Cooked Deep Groat Pie
- Wild Scottish Venison with Port-Roasted Figs and Rooster Potato Wedges
- A range of curries using Zepice artisanal spice blends
- Any one of a huge number of recipes from Savour, the cookbook from the chef of Whaligoe Steps Café
Want to find out more about the range of food and drink businesses in the North Highlands? Check out Caithness Chamber of Commerce’s membership directory and the list of exhibitors at this year’s Taste North festival.