This general thought-process has been a natural part of the lives of our Mediterranean and mainland European brothers and sisters for as long back as can be recorded, to the point that us Brits are generally scoffed at by them for loosing our culinary way so badly.
Affectionately our Gallic cousins called the Brits ‘Rosbif’ (Noun- Rosbif (plural – rosbifs) (humorous); a British person, as viewed by the French). I assume in their minds this is in regards to the generally stagnate and minimal selection of food and regional dishes found in the UK.
As we all love the banter I can appreciate this, but if there’s one thing I have learnt from my travels around the continents, it is that the produce we have here in Scotland is second to none. There is one particular memory from my travels that sticks out…
Once during a trip to Tokyo, roaming around the sprawling Tsukiji Fish Market we stumbled across an incredible abundance of huge, live Scottish langoustines and scallops. Funnily enough it seems, I soon realised that these are the same langoustines and scallops that I could find off the coast of Islay. The fact that I have been presented with an opportunity where shellfish can be fished out of the water in the morning and be into the kitchen in the afternoon is gastronomical gold.
The more I visit Islay, the more I am discovering that this is only one example of the amazing fresh, wild and harvested produce available on the island. It therefore wasn’t long before I was meeting and getting to know the people and the stories behind Islay’s produce, finding myself at the beginning of another chapter of my own journey in support of a true Scottish culinary uprising.