Joe and I spent the afternoon at an event organised by the Highland Food festival. All this week there are special events on in different towns. The idea is to make use of local produce to cooking up unique mouth watering recipes.
At Nairn, some fifteen miles away, there was an afternoon of food tasting and a cookery demonstration extravaganza. The weather held up just for the couple of hours we were there, and then the skies emptied in torrents as we drove home.
Maybe I will just list all the goodies I had a taste of, plus any little anecdotes that come to mind. Tasters of most of the things were free, but you could pay for a proper portion if you wanted one.
Glenmorangie whisky kicked off the taste buds. I am partial to a wee dram - not watered down, or on the rocks, just neat. Malt whiskies are my thing. When I went home this summer for a week to see my family, I stayed with my niece. Her husband to be is also fond of a wee dram - and as he says, "Ye canny drink alone." What could I do? He has an interesting collection of whiskies.
The other drinks on offer - a few tables along was locally brewed beer. I had a taste of a light coloured beer while Joe went for the stout. Very nice, but I didn't really want to wash the taste of the whisky from my lips, so Joe drank most of my wee cup.
Then there were fruit and veggie juices freshly made. I had a small cup of something that had spiced apple, banana and carrot in it - interesting, but quite sludgy when all was said and done. Much later on we tracked down a highland roast coffee company and their coffee was nice - that is praise from a mostly preferred tea drinker.
The eats - I remember mueseli in a plastic cup with a tad of milk swirling around. I have a packet of mueseli in the cupboard at home. I am aware that it is probably a very good source of fibre and stuff, but it usually only comes out when the Rice Krispies box is empty. This mueseli was nice. It had blueberries in it.
Wild boar sausage was another thing. Joe knows the man. He was looking for funding from the Crofter's Commission to buy a boar. He had a boar called Caesar and lots of sows - a harem of Caesar's wives. As long as Caesar was around, the wives respected each other, but when he died, the sows turned on each other. The man was looking for another boar to replace Caesar and bring order and stability to the harem. Later on in the afternoon we had boar burgers and boar sausages which were quite tasty. They are low in fat apparently.
Oh yes, haggis pakora! Not content with a taster I brought a whole portion! The Caledonian Curry Company produces some really great chutney's and chilli sauces. The first time we met up with them was at the Muir of Ord Agricultural Show. The man had just cooked up haggis samosas. He had added his own peculiar mix of curry spices to a traditional haggis, wrapped it up in triangles of pastry and cooked them - delicious. The haggis pakora was superb.
There were lots of jars of preserves. I am not really a jam person. Joe bought a jar of mustard. I tried an apple and ginger jelly which was very sweet.
Peanut butter ice-cream has got to be the most disgusting stuff ever! There was also Irn Bru flavoured ice cream too which I left well alone.
Yes, it was an interesting collection of nibbles. In one of the other tents they had cookery demonstrations, and in another tent they had children under the supervision of chefs, making pizzas. It was very participatory! There were fishy things too, but I don't like fish so I kept my distance.
I never knew there were so many nice and interesting local things to eat!