Ah, Jubilee year – a chance to for us to reflect on all that makes the UK great. There’s our food, for one thing. So what better time for us to ask you to vote for your favourite UK tastes?
Now obviously we’re slightly piggybacking on the current series of the BBC’s Great British Menu (and a very fine programme it is too). However, we’re all about the food itself, not the people cooking it.
Here's how it's going to work. Each week over the next eight weeks we’ll nominate five foods from a different part of the UK. We think these foods are either quintessentially linked to the area through history or they are more modern staples that began in that region, with many subsequently spreading in popularity throughout the rest of these isles.
We’ll then invite you to vote for your favourite of our choices – and disagree vehemently with what we've come up in the Comments section. Voting will remain open for each region until 29th May. Then the top choice from each region will go forward into a national vote to decide the UK’s favourite food.
Our Scottish selection
We begin our culinary journey around the UK in Scotland. And here are our five choices:
Arguably Scotland’s national dish, the minced pluck (liver, lungs and heart) of a sheep mixed, with oats, onions, suet, salt, pepper and spices deserves more than a once a year appearance.
Yes, salmon is fished and smoked elsewhere on the planet but its origins and many of its finest exponents are Scottish.
Once associated with prison and austerity, porridge is now a superfood and breakfast staple. And the iconic rugged Highlander on boxes of Scott’s porage oats gloriously reflects its Celtic heritage.
Another food that you can find elsewhere but wild Scottish venison (“the Scottish monarch” some call it) is particularly highly prized for its taste. So much so that demand is currently outstripping supply.
Chicken tikka masala
Here’s this week’s wildcard. Chicken tikka masala’s origins are hotly disputed – Indian and Pakistani food scholars say it originated in the Punjab, restaurant owner Ahmed Aslam Ali claims he invented it in Glasgow in 1971. What is undeniable is its massive growth in popularity from north of the border to the rest of the UK.
Cast your vote
Do you agree with our choices? What should have been nominated? Have your say in the Comments section.