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A photo a day, #8

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Tourism is the cornerstone of the Scottish economy and accounts for something like 10 percent of Scotland’s jobs. Without tourism, rural areas of Scotland would surely be poor. The tourism industry in Scotland seems well aware of the importance of food in making tourists happy. Odds are that, as long as you aren’t too far off the beaten path and can find a restaurant, it will be a good one. The irony, though, is that traditional Scottish fare is hard to find. Instead, most restaurants serve what I call international Mediterranean tourist cuisine. The breads are superb and are usually baked by the restaurant that serves it. The seafood is extraordinary and locally sourced. Menus will often tell you the names of the local fishermen who supply the different types of seafood. The ales, not to mention the whisky, may be local, too.

Above is Lobster Thermidor at the Boat House restaurant on the isle of Ulva. The isle of Ulva is off the beaten path (the ferry that gets you to the island is a small motorboat). And yet the Boat House served some of the best — and the most reasonably priced — food that we had. Most visitors to Ulva come over on the ferry, go for a short walk, have lunch, and return to Mull.

The downside of food in Scotland is that the grocery stores — even in Edinburgh — are not very good. You’ll find plenty of good bacon, but the produce leaves much to be desired, both in quality and variety. So that’s an economic niche just begging to be filled in Scotland — small farms growing good produce. In a restaurant garden on the isle of Iona, I saw some of the most beautiful celery I’ve seen. Such celery would make a fine export.


  1. frigast wrote:

    As a pseudo French I must protest sliced bread – and certainly butter 🙂
    What’s in this thermidor other than the lobster itself ??

    Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink
  2. daltoni wrote:

    The bread was as good as the lobster, even if it was sliced! The Thermidor sauce certainly included cream and butter. I’m not sure what the red bits were — some sort of fresh red pepper, I believe. I peeked into the kitchen and saw a rack of loaves. The restaurants we went to all had excellent bread, and I believe they all baked it themselves.

    Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink
  3. frigast wrote:

    So-o-o, you dined in restos every day ??
    Not even once left to building your own fire, hunting down whatever you could, and gnawing bones ??

    Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink
  4. daltoni wrote:

    Oh gosh no. On Gometra, three days’ worth of food had to be carried in on our backs and cooked on a camping cooker. For three days at Lochbuie, we were in a self-catering place more than an hour’s drive to the nearest restaurant. There will be more about this in my mega-post… 🙂

    Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink
  5. frigast wrote:

    Oh, so you DID carry something on your bag – the photo of 19 SEP showing the young, white haired David, doesn’t exactly indicate a thing like that 🙂
    Sorry, but I have a talent for seeing the overlooked – lolol

    Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink
  6. daltoni wrote:

    Ha! To climb Ben Buie, I had only my camera and walking stick. But I did my share of miles with a full pack. Ken, though, always carried more than I did. My pack was generally around 25 pounds, and Ken’s more than 30. Thirty pounds is nothing to Ken, who has carried packs up to 75 pounds while on patrol for the park service in Alaska. There will be more about tough hiking runs in my mega-post, which I hope to get to soon. I’m still catching up on things that I fell behind on while I was away.

    Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink
  7. Jo wrote:

    In the meantime, pictures are keeping me entertained, while awaiting mega post. This had to be an awesome trip.

    Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

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