Food & Drink in Dumfries And Galloway
The south west of Scotland plays host to a variety of places to eat and drink:
A Culinary Tour of Dumfries & Galloway
Despite being in the northern part of Britain the climate in Dumfries and Galloway is surprisingly warm. Due to warm currents from the Gulf Stream the far western coast boasts sandy beaches with palm trees. Couple this with plentiful rainfall and you get an area with a wide variety of quality farm produce.
The hills of Galloway are famous for their rolling grassy terrain. In John Buchan's 39 Steps the hero Richard Hannay is chased across the Galloway hills which, though he understandably finds this a chore, he derives no little pleasure from the experience.
Where there are grassy hills there are sheep and many of the towns throughout Galloway have small independent butchers which deal directly with local farms, a relationship stretching back many years.
The same butchers also sell fine Galloway Beef which is grazed on open pasture land all year round.
Any trip through the region will reveal not just herds of dairy cattle but also the famous Belted Galloway (pictured) famous for its unique black and white markings.
Some butchers specialise in Pork products, once again locally farmed. These unique suppliers sell their own cured Bacon, Sausages, Ribs, Pies and Potted Meats a far cry from what is available on most supermarket shelves. Butchers as butchers used to be.
The good grass also produces good milk and much of this is put to use making high quality dairy products such as Cheese, Yoghurt and Butter. The produce of The Cheese Company, Lockerbie is renowned around Britain for the consistent quality of its cheese and butter a reputation gained from several awards for its continuous quality output.
There are also smaller concerns which produce top quality cheeses and yoghurts from organic milk from either cows or goats. This includes the Loch Arthur Creamery where you can see the production of award winning cheddar cheeses, soft cheeses and yoghurt in the village of Beeswing.
Grass is not the only fruit of the climate. Large amounts of strawberries, raspberries and tomatoes are shipped all round Britain as well as sold in the many small specialist fruit and vegetable shops which proliferate the area. Any visit to a town in Dumfries and Galloway will reveal at least one shop which sells produce direct from the farm. Roots crops such as potatoes, carrots and turnips (swede) as well as leeks, onions, brussels and cabbage can all be found in plentiful supply, when in season. These are also supplied to the many restaurants and cafes in the area ensuring good quality food to locals and visitors alike.
You may like your food on the hoof, or fin more like. Where there's rain there are rivers. The Region boasts several good fly fishing rivers: the Annan, Nith, Water of Milk and Cairn are all good locations for Salmon and Trout fishing. Shops and markets often boast fresh salmon caught in the Solway Firth, the area of water which runs along the south coast of the Region. There are several trout farms too where fish can be bought and caught. Local fish shops also sell venison, much of which is farmed here or lives wild in the plentiful forests.
This plentiful supply of quality fresh produce is just one of the contributory factors that makes Dumfries and Galloway the best place to live, as confirmed in a recent comprehensive survey of British regions.
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