There are plenty of treats out there to be ticked off a foodie’s wish list, says Sarah Devine
Asumptuous roast dinner and an array of fine foods are quintessential to a Scottish Christmas, but the nation’s rich offering of delightful delicacies can also be the perfect present – and the gift of a unique foodie experience is the ultimate treat.
At Gairloch, in Wester Ross, some of Scotland’s finest squat lobster, brown and velvet crab and langoustines can be caught on a creel-fishing experience courtesy of Shieldaig Lodge on Badachro Bay. Visitors can then savour their catch as part of a five-course feast cooked by a classically-trained chef.
Followed by an overnight stay at the 19th-century lodge, this is a truly indulgent gift which any seafood lover would adore.
Foraging has also become immensely popular across Scotland, thanks in part to the popularity of found food in chic Scandinavian fine-dining restaurants such as Noma in Denmark.
There are many day-long courses throughout Scotland which would make ideal gifts for foodies who seek the time to appreciate quality ingredients by learning to source unique and delicious leaves, fruits fand fungi from the country’s natural larder.
Paul Wedgwood, chef and co-owner of Wedgwood the Restaurant in Edinburgh, is planning to reveal a secret world of flavour around Midlothian next April.
Once they have been foraged, the spring pickings will go towards creating a three-course meal, which will then be served with style in Wedgwood’s fine-dining Royal Mile restaurant.
For the sweet-toothed, a box of handmade artisan chocolate at Christmas is a must.
Scotland boasts many word-class chocolatiers and Pitlochry’s Iain Burnett – whose Velvet Truffles were once known only to Michelin-starred chefs – has released his Christmas selection.
Spoil chocolate connoisseurs with a box of hand-crafted Velvet Truffles and spiced pralines, coated in glossy couverture chocolate from São Tomé in Central Africa.
Burnett’s hot chocolate stirrers will also be appreciated during the cold first months of 2019.
Likewise the smoky flavours of wild venison bresaola and green pepper venison salami, which can be found in gift bags assembled by the Great Glen Charcuterie in Roy Bridge near Fort William.
Add in some sweet smoked grouse breasts to these presentations to bring a real taste of opulence to your favourite food lover’s celebrations this Christmas.