Desperately seeking ‘real’ Scotch ale

UNITED KINGDOM – Back home in Washington state, one of my favorite beers has been “Scotch Ale” from Bellingham’s Boundary Bay Brewery. Another favorite (which seems to be no longer available) was Jenny’s Scotch Ale from the Skagit River Brewery in Mount Vernon. Both are quite sweet, with just enough hops to add body, but not so much that they cross over into “bitter beer” territory.

So when Melanie and I set out to visit Scotland, I looked forward to drinking a lot of similar brews. After all, where else would one expect to find real Scotch ale?
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Pounds, pence, meaty money and more

British coins from one pence to two pounds
British coins from one pence to two pounds

UNITED KINGDOM – We’ve been traveling around the United Kingdom for just over two months now, and I have to say…

Thank God for the metric system!

And thank God for decimal-denominated money.

Luckily for us, we haven’t had to deal with guineas, crowns, shillings, farthings or any other extinct denominations of British money. Continue reading “Pounds, pence, meaty money and more”

Baked beans for breakfast… and other quirks of Scottish cuisine

The full Scottish breakfast
The “full Scottish” breakfast

SCOTLAND – One of my most curious first impressions of Scotland was the so-called “Full Scottish Breakfast.”

The ‘full Scottish’ includes such typical morning fare as smoked bacon (mostly meat, unlike American bacon where it’s mostly fat), a savory link sausage, a fried egg (just one) and toast (white or brown).

Uniquely Scottish additions to the menu include a wedge of potato scone (more like a potato pancake than the scone I’m familiar with in the States), a slice of black pudding (another type of sausage – very salty – made from pork fat or beef suet, pork blood and oatmeal or barley), sautéed mushrooms, a couple of grilled tomato halves, and finally…
Continue reading “Baked beans for breakfast… and other quirks of Scottish cuisine”