Potatoes, or tatties, are one of Scotland’s most important crops, with over a million tonnes grown every year. Mass-cultivated varieties, including Maris Piper and King Edwards, are widely used in restaurants and available to buy in supermarkets across Scotland. Ayrshire is famed producing delicious, earthy potatoes with its soils enriched by sea air and seaweed-based fertillisers. It’s worth keeping your eye out for rarer Scottish types of heritage potatoes, and their wonderful names, such as Mr Little’s Yetholm Gypsy, Kepplestone Kidney, Shetland Blacks and the rare Dunbar Rover.
This versatile vegetable can be enjoyed boiled, mashed, baked, creamed, roasted, pureed or made into chips, wedges, rostis and croquettes. Tastes and texture range between varieties, from the light and floury Estima to silky smooth Arran Victory. While in Scotland, try potatoes as part of the traditional dish haggis, neeps and tatties, commonly eaten on Burns Night or sample freshly prepared fish and chips in the open air, best enjoyed with a sprinkling of salt and a splash of vinegar.
Scottish wild mushrooms are famed for their distinct ﬂavours and textures. Across most regions you can find fungi on woodlands floors with common types including cep and chanterelle while morel, although less abundant, are sought-after delicacies. Why not head out on a foraging trip with experts who will take you to the best spots, such as Galloway Wild Foods? If you plan to dabble in a bit of edible mycology (the study of mushrooms) yourself, make sure you properly identify the species before eating it as some wild mushrooms can be poisonous.
Look out for samphire in fishmongers, markets and on menus of restaurants. This sea vegetable grows in marshy shallows and salty mudflats of shorelines and is sometimes called ‘sea asparagus’. With its crisp and salty, citrus taste, it works well with a variety of fish and shellfish.