“The quality of food and drink that Scotland has to offer is world-renowned and our premium produce is increasingly cultivating an impressive reputation overseas.” – Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland
It was national scallops day in the USA this week and as an avid seafood lover, I certainly made the most of the day! I cooked one of Speyside’s Specialities’ delicious featured recipes – black pudding and scallops with orange cardamom syrup. As I sat and enjoyed the distinctively Scottish meal, I started thinking about the Scottish seafood industry.
As the head of a Scottish meat manufacturing company, I see seafood as an important branch of the food and drink industry, and something to support. The food industry in Scotland is huge, and is worth over £5.4 billion to the UK economy. With our bounteous rivers and lochs, and a sea rich in much more than just oil, there is a lot to be gained in regards to seafood, and besides, much of it provides the perfect accompaniment to our meat products.
I have often heard, and very much agree that Scottish seafood is the best in the world – reflecting the harsh but stunning environment, a lot of Scottish seafood can be tough on the outside, making it all the more tender and full of flavour on the inside!
Some of Scotland’s top seafood exports include:
- Fish such as salmon, trout, haddock, bass, cod and mackerel. These are big business for the Scottish export industry. In fact, Scotland is Europe’s largest premium salmon producing country.
- Scallops – definitely deserving of a national day. Scottish West Coast scallops in particular are highly regarded with seafood lovers.
- Brown crab (cancer pagurus) and velvet crab (necora puber) are extremely common throughout Scotland with many top restaurants serving them around the world.
- Mussels and other shellfish are in abundance around the Scottish coast. I have often spotted people (and also taken part in) collecting fresh mussels along hot spots in the Scottish coasts.
- Lobster – Many regard Scottish lobster as the best in the world, myself included!
I would highly recommend any foodie to try each and every dish. It’s a hard to choose amongst all of the different offerings, but my favourite seafood of all time is most definitely Scottish crab, shellfish and lobster!
What is your favourite seafood dish? Do you have a favoured seafood recipe to share with us?