AN Aberdeen delicacy, once branded as tasting “like a mouthful of seaweed” by broadcaster Terry Wogan, is seeing sales rise across the country.
The buttery is joining the likes of the Glasgow roll and the Arbroath smokie in being sold nationwide after Aberdeenshire bakery Murdoch Allan took part in a new developer program with ASDA last year.
And praise is coming from high places with First Minister Alex Salmond, who also serves as MSP for Aberdeenshire East, hailing the family-owned bakery’s 63 per cent surge in sales.
He said: “Murdoch Allan is a fine family business presenting the best of the North-east right across Scotland.
“I am pleased that Asda have been able to provide the national stage to showcase the top quality produce this local institution has to offer.
“These sale results wouldn’t be possible without great products, and Murdoch Allan deserve the plaudits on that front. A 63 per cent increase in sales speaks for itself and the calibre of fine pieces they make.
“I am particularly delighted that the iconic buttery is now available outside of the north-east, and look forward to the day that it gets the world recognition for which all good Aberdeenshire folk know it.”
The Hatton factory was established in 1888 by Huntly firm Forbes Simmers and became part of the United Biscuits empire in the 1970s.
It was sold to Murdoch Allan and Sons in 2002.
Last year the bakery signed a #500,000 contract with Asda to supply all 55 of the high street giant’s Scottish stores.
Paul Allan, managing director of Murdoch Allan, said the sales were “fantastic”.
He said: “The sales are very good news. The butteries are not commonly sold outside the North- east and it is fantastic that we are bringing them elsewhere.
“I very much appreciate the words of the First Minister, he lives not far from us and he has been instrumental in helping out the firm in the past.”
He added it would be “great” if the north-east roll gained the recognition of the Arbroath smokie or Glasgow roll.
During a radio broadcast from Aberdeen in 2005 Wogan caused outrage in the Granite City when he branded the roll “disgusting”.
He told shocked Aberdonians: “It is like a mouthful of seaweed. It is an acquired taste - maybe with a bit of butter or perhaps even a dash of marmalade.”
Wogan later described it as “disgusting” and said there was little chance he would try one again, even though there were several in his gift hamper.
But Mr Salmond hit back saying that someone who presented the Eurovision Song Contest couldn’t give lessons on taste.
BBC food duo the Hairy Bikers have also included the buttery amongst their recipes.
A north-east staple the buttery - or ‘Rowie’ as it is sometimes known - was created with high levels of salt and fat for fishermen heading for the morning catch.
Former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev is said to have enjoyed his morning buttery when visiting Aberdeen to be given the freedom of the city in 1993.
The city’s JG Ross bakery recently launched the roll in Aberdeen Angus flavour to celebrate Aberdeen football club’s League Cup win.
A Facebook page celebrating the delicacy boasts over 13,000 ‘likes’.