The Scottish junk food dare

17:00, Jul 08 2013
Deep fried pizza
Swimming in grease and ready to please, the deep fried pizza.

Most Kiwi travellers will make it to Scotland, if only to see what rain and grey skies look like on the other side of the world.

Kiwis should know that Scotland has a lot more to offer than castles, scary Glaswegians, whisky tours and cheeky photographs with kilted Scotsmen.

But this isn't a guide to Scotland's hidden gems, rich history, stunning scenery or cultural highlights.

It's more a warning for those who've woken up hung-over after a night bar-hopping along Edinburgh's Rose Street (the only place to hit after the All Blacks have thumped Scotland at Murrayfield).

You see, you can learn a lot about a country's character from its cuisine, and Scotland is no different.

Most of Scotland's food is based on a dare, its junk food doubly so. Here's a taster:



This is what happens when you let Scottish people be creative: macaroni and cheese in an open pie. It should come with its own cardiac surgeon, it's that stodgy.


Both these solid slabs of toffee could have been sold as torture devices. Hard enough to split molars in two, they were instead sold across counters to children. The company that made them, McCowan's, went into administration a few years ago, although the Wham Bar - a pink, sherbert-encrusted version - was saved from extinction, possibly by a consortium of dentists.


This is the number-one-selling soft drink in Scotland; a can of sickly sweet battery acid that many a drunken native has sworn can cure hangovers. The slogan for this drink used to be "Made in Scotland, from girders", but it may as well have been "Made in crazy land, by crazy people". One sip and you'll feel the enamel on your teeth slowly dissolving into mush. The can is bright orange, which should be a warning to most sensible people.


Visit a fish and chip shop in Edinburgh and you'll be assaulted by this unintelligible noise. Don't worry. The shop owner doesn't want to harm you; he is in fact inviting you to take part in an Edinburgh tradition. Everyone else in Scotland puts salt and vinegar on their fish and chips, but Edinburgh folk lather their suppers with a brown tangy sauce. Tasty and addictive.


Sausages in Scotland are different to the sausages most Kiwis would know and love. The Lorne sausage, or square sausage, is a square slice of sausage meat that's hard and knobbly on the outside and mincy on the inside. Best eaten on a baker's roll and lathered in HP sauce.


Every Kiwi knows about the deep fried mars bars, but those are old hat now. Why not give your heart a scare and try a deep fried pizza instead? It's a whole pizza dunked in boiling fat and deep fried. It soaks up everything. In 2004 a Glasgow chip shop sold deep fried doner kebabs, which were a whopping 1000 calories.

It's possible the UN intervened and shut the joint down on humanitarian grounds, so if you want to risk it, you'll have to go searching. Good luck.