Scotland is a northern country with cold winters and its cuisine is traditionally dense and heavy. Scottish puddings should therefore be an occasional treat for those watching their cholesterol or waistlines. During the Christmas and festive season, traditional Scottish puddings feature on many menus. Scots also make the most of their home-grown soft fruit during the summer period, and Scotch whisky frequently plays a part in the list of ingredients.
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Definition of Pudding
The Oxford English Dictionary defines pudding as either a cooked sweet dish served after the main course of a meal, or a sweet or savoury steamed dish made with suet and flour. In Scotland, both definitions apply to the range of puddings eaten in many regions of the country
Christmas and Festive Puddings
Traditional Scottish puddings are often eaten during the Christmas period and tend to feature a variety of dried fruit. Clootie (or cloutie) dumpling takes its name from the cloth--"cloot"--in which it is boiled. The ingredients include mixed dried fruit, spices, shredded suet and oatmeal. For Christmas, cooks incorporate small coins in the mixture for children to find. Any dumpling left over the following day can be fried and eaten for breakfast. Black bun is traditionally eaten over New Year. It's essentially a fruit cake baked in a pastry crust and is usually made in advance so that it has time to mature.
Soft Fruit in Puddings
Raspberries and brambles grow wild in Scotland and as a result many traditional summer puddings feature these fruits. To make a crumble, lay soft fruit in a baking dish, cover with a coating consisting of flour or oatmeal, butter and sugar and then bake in the oven for approximately half an hour. Cranachan is a lighter dessert made from whipped cream, raspberries, honey, oatmeal and whisky. It was voted Scotland's favourite in a survey of the top ten national dishes by the Food Trust of Scotland.
Whisky, Scotland's national drink, is a key ingredient in many Scottish puddings. Scotch trifle (sometimes known as Tipsy Laird) is a favourite at Burns suppers in January each year. To make Scotch trifle, spread sponge cakes with jam, soak in whisky and top with soft fruit, custard and cream.
Scottish savoury puddings usually include oatmeal as an ingredient. Black pudding is a variation of sausage and is typically served at breakfast. It is a blend of onions, fat, oatmeal and pig's blood. White pudding is made from oatmeal, onions, beef suet and seasonings.
Deep-Fried Mars Bar
The deep-fried Mars Bar originated in fish-and-chip shops in Scotland. To make the dish, cooks chill the Mars Bar, coat it with batter and then deep fry it. According to the medical journal The Lancet, the deep-fried Mars Bar contains more than 420 calories.
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