If you are visiting the Highlands, then you are no doubt going to want to try some of the best treats available in local shops. From lovely bakery items to savoury delicacies, we have it all covered!
8. Minger Cheese | Highland Fine Cheeses, Tain
This distinctive and well-known (locally) cheese is a stunning addition to a cheeseboard. Top with a spicy chilli jam and pair with a rough oatcake and this is one to remember! Minger is a soft washed rind cheese with a pungent aroma that you'd expect from this type of cheese. The texture is soft and silky with a satisfying ooze when the cheese is cut, giving way to a strong, yet not aggressive flavour.
7. TradeWinds | Cairngorm Brewery, Aviemore
For a non-beer drinker, I was pleasantly surprised to come across TradeWinds, a lovely light golden ale with wheat which has a fresh taste and quite a full body. The elderflower provides citrus flavours which is especially enjoyable after a summers day in the garden.
6. White Pudding | A&I Quality Butchers, Inverness
While you can pick up various puddings, white, red and black in most butchers, the A&I white pudding has a lovely crumbly texture which pairs particularly well with a chicken dish. The traditional pudding recipes are exclusive to A&I and are some of our most popular products – for good reason!
5. Potato Scones | JP at the Strathdearn, Tomatin
Potato Scones are a must-have on a breakfast roll here in the Highlands. With a floury exterior, once cooked you will have a crunchy yet soft texture. Alongside your bacon, on top of your sausages or under your fried egg, pick up a breakfast roll from JP and add in a potato scone and you won't be disappointed.
4. Farm Fresh Eggs | Daviot
Sticking on the breakfast theme, what is better than some farm fresh eggs. From a farm in Daviot, you can pick yourself up a dozen beautiful eggs and pop £3 in the honesty box to keep the hens happy. Your breakfast will as a result be significantly upgraded!
3. Smoked Venison | Rannoch Farm
Found in most quality deli's, smoked venison is a lovely way to try venison for those who do not want to commit to having it as their main course. Alongside a cheeseboard, or topping a salad with goats cheese and rocket, this is a lovely cured meat and with venison not farmed heavily, a bit lighter on the conscience.
2. Dream Ring | Harry Gow Bakery
Harry Gow Bakery, the famous local bakery in Inverness, have one unique product that has locals and visitors hooked; the dream ring. A doughnut ring, filled with cream and topped with an icing glaze...one sugary hit... what is not to love! You can pick one up in one of several Harry Gow bakery stores or you'll find them stocked in most Scotmid stores.
1. Tomatin Legacy | Tomatin Distillery
Could the top spot go to anything but our local dram? We think not. One of the smoothest whiskies you will try, Legacy spends time in Bourbon barrels and Virgin Oak casks which brings it a light sweetness boasting aromas of vanilla bean, white chocolate and cinnamon. On the palate gentle waves of fresh fruit peppered with ginger emerge ahead of a light, clean finish. Pick up a bottle in the local visitor centre or in the village shop and mind to take a bottle home with you so you can have a sip and be transported back to the tranquility of your holiday home.
As always, please do share your culinary experiences with us by tagging @melfortestatecottages in your social posts.