MAXVILLE, Ontario – You know it is the Glengarry Highland Games when the Maxville fairgrounds are bustling with attendees adorning colourful kilts, fluttering through the fragrance of haggis wafting through humid air.
TASTE the Seaway was on location during the 2019 Games, checking out all of the unique food and drink vendors. We stopped at a few niche spots that were offering traditional, popular Scottish food and/or drink!
Fish and Chips (pictured above)
The TASTE crew relaxed in the grandstands while enjoying Fadi’s Famous Fish and Chips from Fadi’s Fabulous Foods at the Games. The classic, take-out dish first appeared in the United Kingdom (U.K.) in the 1860’s and grew in popularity throughout the 1900’s. Around 2010 it was determined that there were about 25,000 less Fish and Chips restaurants in the U.K. than there were 100 years prior.
Shortbread Cookies (pictured above)
Buttery shortbread cookies of Westie Shortbread were being gobbled up at the Games by many attendees. The traditional biscuit was reportedly first created in Scotland in the 1730’s. Typically consisting of sugar, flour and butter, modern recipes are known to also include granulated sugar and salt. The biscuits are most commonly attributed with Christmas and Hogmanay festivals in Scotland.
Irn Bru (pictured above)
Irn Bru is known as Scotland’s national soda and the second most popular drink in the country, behind whiskey. Simple British Foods was selling regular, as well as sugar free forms of the drink during the Games, as well as Irn Bru freezies! The soda is known for its distinctive orange colour and its peculiar bubble gum flavour. Manufactured in various parts of the country and sold world-wide, the drink has ranked as Scotland’s favourite soda over more commercialized Pepsi or Coca Cola products, and is recognized for its occasional controversial marketing. The name and various competing products were first produced in the late 1800’s, but Irn Bru was popularly commercialized in 1948 after wartime SDI consolidation regulations had ended.
Haggis and Meat Pie (pictured above)
Haggis, first recorded in England c. 1430, is recognized as a pudding dish originally of Scotland. Food similar to the dish, cooked in an animal’s stomach, although unnamed, was known to be eaten in ancient times. Traditionally, haggis is eaten during Robert Burn’s celebrations and follows a recipe of ‘sheep’s pluck’ (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, traditionally encased in a sheep’s stomach and boiled. The dish can also be baked or deep fried and replaced with vegetarian options, such as nuts and lentils. Haggis can take on various forms, as seen at the Original British Baked Goods stand at the Games in a haggis and meat pie.
Taste is excited to attend more food festivals throughout the region and explore various dishes!