Tag Archives: local

Breakfast in Scotland

27 Jun

Breakfast.  What does it mean?  When we sleep, we are fasting, meaning we do not eat.  Breaking the fast, or breakfast, is the first meal of the day.  We are often told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  This is a topic of great debate in nutritional circles and beyond.  As for me, well, it’s not a meal that I skip.

There really isn’t uniformity with breakfast.  Depending on lifestyle, culture,  socioeconomic status, and time constrains, breakfast food varies.  If I have a morning workout, a protein packed breakfast is my go to choice.  If it is a lazy weekend morning, a chewy toasted bagel and some fresh fruit can be wonderful.  And, of course, if there are leftovers around, those also work at times.

Since I like to eat regionally, I enjoy all meals that reflect the personality and culture of the surroundings.  Recently I was in Scotland.  The food was spectacular.  And the breakfast was not only filling, but a very interesting combination…and one that I would not have put together.  But I loved it nonetheless.

As my beloved partner Denis and I steeped ourselves in the people, history and food of Scotland, we noticed that this breakfast was pretty much a staple in every region of the country.  The flavors varied slightly, reflecting the region of the food, but when we ordered the “standard” breakfast, it was consistent.

Breakfast consisted of bacon (it looked and tasted like ham to me, but it was called bacon), potatoes, an egg, a roasted tomato, sautéed mushrooms, and a sausage. A basket of breads also accompanied the plate.  Sometimes beans and back pudding were present too.  This meal started us off on the right foot.  Daily breakfast left us with a full belly of warm food on which to set out for the adventures that each day held for us.  Breakfast was sustaining, culturally reflective, and delicious.

So the next time you are off on travels, depart from your comfort zone.  Be open to local culturally rich experiences, including culinary.  Break your fast in the way that is right for you, but notice local flair. Scotland held many delights along our travels, and breakfast each morning started our day off just right.  Go out there and have fun. Let me know what you find.

IMG_5964

 

 

 

Beer and ball

5 Jan
Local beer1  YUM!

Local beer1 YUM!

 

Fact: I am of german descent.  Fact: I like beer, especially a microbrews made from a small brewery. And with football hitting the end of season frenzy, lots of people will be getting together, watching football, eating fun nibblers, and drinking beer. Good thing beer is good for you! Who knew?

Beer has been around for a long time. It was a beverage of ancient Africa and Egypt. Some beer that Egyptians made came from unbaked bread. (Some beer today is known as a “sandwich” for that reason). Beer pretty much stayed the same from the ancient times until the Germans started working on it.

What influence did Germany have on beer? Germans had been brewing beer for hundreds of years, but could not do so in the warm months because the beer would spoil. They began to brew only in the cold months and store their brewed beer in caves in the Alps. The climate in the mountain caves were cool, and they discovered in doing so that the beer did not spoil. This was the fermentation process at work, but they did not know that at the time.

It was called the lager method. They did not know why it worked, but it produced a better beer, so onward and upward! An advancement in the beer we love today.  Some unlikely scientists also contributed to beer.  Like who you ask?  Even the genius of Louis Pasteur influenced beer in the mid 19th century. What? Louis Pasteur and beer? You bet!

Louis Pasteur, famous French chemist and biologist, contributed advancements in science with yeast and fermentation. Fermentation is a chemical process involving sugars turning into alcohol. This method was used to preserve beer long before it was applied to milk and other foods. This was his contribution to beer and brewing. We only know the french for their wine. Now we can thank them for our beer too! Anyway, Pasteur also discovered the relationship between heat, fermentation, pasteurization leading to better beer. Thank you to theAfricans, Egyptians, the Germans,  French scientists as well.

I particularly enjoy microbrews and “craft” beers. The brew masters of smaller craft breweries play with the recipes and flavor a bit. For a foodie like myself, beer can be every bit as much fun to match with food

Watermelon beer.  A refreshing summer treat!

Watermelon beer. A refreshing summer treat!

as fine wines. Alterations in recipes and ingredients can provide interesting flavor variances, which is a lot of fun to taste. Beer from small breweries can also be interesting to taste regionally. In addition to local food, it can provide another way to sample local flavors while traveling. There are dozens of variations of beer, maybe even hundreds, so it can really be a celebration of the palate to go beer tasting!

Believe it or not, beer does have health benefits. Any alcohol, when consumed in moderation, will lower “bad” cholesterol , reduce the risk of blood clots, has been associated with lowering the risk of kidney stones and heart disease, and decreases the risk of other diseases. Beer is made with natural ingredients including plant sources, so it is nutritional.  As far as vitamins and minerals go, beer has niacin, folate, calcium, potassium, and even fluoride! So when you flash that dazzling smile,  you can thank your local brewer!

But again, beer, like all alcohol, only has health benefits when consumed in moderation, so be mindful

A delicious classic beer to enjoy,

A delicious classic beer to enjoy,

when drinking. Grab some classic beer,  like Guinness, or go local, like I sometimes do when trying new neighborhood small brewries.   Start enjoying local influences in food, wine, and even beer when traveling.  Or grab some great local brews and support local entrepreneurs.  Bon Voyage!