North East Scotland
North East Scotland is in Scotland, one of the four countries that make up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This is the part of Scotland to the north of the Central Belt and east of the Highlands which has long been known as good farming and fishing territory, but has of late come into considerable wealth because of its location as a base for the North Sea offshore oil industry.
Cities and Towns
Over the years numerous traditional Scottish dishes have been created in North East Scotland, and no trip to the region would be complete without trying the local cuisine.
The Forfar Bridie
Originating from the county town of Angus, Forfar, Bridies are said "to have been 'invented' by a local baker in the 1850s." The name may refer to the pie's frequent presence on wedding menus, or to Margaret Bridie of Glamis, "who sold them at the Buttermarket in Forfar." They are made from pastry filled with mince (with or without onion), steak or even chicken, with butter and beef suet, salt and pepper. Similar to pasties, but because they are made without potatoes, they are much lighter in texture. Bakers in Forfar traditionally use shortcrust pastry for their bridies, but in the rest of Scotland, flaky pastry is preferred (It is possible in butchers or even fishmongers in Forfar to find flaky pastry bridies). Before being baked, the bridie's filling is placed on pastry dough, which is then folded into a semi-circular or triangular shape; finally, the edges are crimped. If the baker pokes one hole in the top of a bridie, it is understood to be plain, or without onions. Those that do include onions have two holes. the bridie continues to be a popular snack in Forfar with many locals eating them for lunch at the weekend.
The Arbroath Smokie
Arbroath smokies are a type of smoked haddock – a speciality of the town of Arbroath in Angus. The Arbroath Smokie originated in the small fishing village of Auchmithie, three miles northeast of Arbroath. Local legend has it a store caught fire one night, destroying barrels of haddock preserved in salt. The following morning, the people found some of the barrels had caught fire, cooking the haddock inside. Inspection revealed the haddock to be quite tasty. Towards the end of the 19th century, as Arbroath's fishing industry died, the Town Council offered the fisherfolk from Auchmithie land in an area of the town known as the fit o' the toon. It also offered them use of the modern harbour. Much of the Auchmithie population then relocated, bringing the Arbroath Smokie recipe with them. Today, some 15 local businesses produce Arbroath smokies, selling them in major supermarkets in the UK and online. In 2004, the European Commission registered the designation "Arbroath smokies" as a Protected Geographical Indication under the EU's Protected Food Name Scheme, acknowledging its unique status.