The Scottish teacake is a very different cousin to its English relative just as your favourite blogger is very different from my very own Little English Teacake.
The Scottish teacake is a semi-circular chocolate-covered cake with a marshmallow filling and biscuit base.
While the English equivalent is a sweet bun with dried fruit, typically served toasted and buttered.
And us Scots celebrate our teacake as an important culinary and cultural part of our identity.
Glasgow is my cup of tea
So that when Glasgow hosted the Commonwealth Games, dancing teacakes jumped around the track as part of the Opening Ceremony.
But while we all agree that we love nothing better than eating a teacake with our tea we will often spend the time arguing about how to ear them.
So are you a gobbler or a nibbler?
Apparently according to a survey of 100 Scots conducted by onepoll for the Chester Hotel in the Granite City of Aberdeen one in four of us eat the filling first and then the biscuit base.
While the second most popular method is to strip the chocolate first.
And it seems my age group, the 35-54-year-olds, are ten times more likely to be chocolate strippers than the next generation.
Where are you from?
One in ten of us are nibblers with more women than men going that way.
And 13% of us whack it down in a oner.
Even within that there are regional variations with some surprising conclusions.
While Edinburgh is seen as the refined capital of Scotland its citizens like to munch big mouthfuls of their teacake while Highland and Islanders will stick the oil’ teacake in their mouths in a oner.
On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond they like to eat the biscuit base first.
Don’t eat with your mouth full
I’m not sure how my fellow Glaswegians eat them, but outside of genteel Kelvinside I’m afraid that loquacious lot that they are they probably eat them while they’re still talking!
I know Aberdeen is in temporary lockdown but when you do get back out you should book yourself an afternoon tea at the Chester Hotel in Queen’s Road from €26.50 while a Champagne afternoon tea is also available.
Takeaway afternoon tea – provided in the Chester Hotel take-away tea caddies – are available to book online
And if you’ve felt too silly to ask what it is, the food that gives its name to Liverpudlians as in Liverpool scouse, this week’s Hungry and Thursday is all about Liverpool scouse and stews around the world.
Scousers have been getting their voices heard (and what’s new there?) these past few weeks, culminating in their fireworks party as they lifted the Premier League title at Anfield yesterday.
But seeing this is a food and drink post, and I already give you a sporting post, My Sporting Weekend every weekend, I’ll stick to scouse.
In a Stew
Which will stick to you teeth or in them. Because it’s really just stew with extras.
I first had myself a plate of scouse in Albert Dock, Liverpool, as I waited for my interview at the Liverpool Daily Post back in the 1990s.
I had pulled a sickie to attend and was to go on and stare inside the studio where the British morning magazine programme This Morning was televised, only for the camera to turn on me.
Just the job
Which is when I got a shiver down my back as I thought of my boss’s wife watching from up in Aberdeen and reporting to Jim that I was really down on Merseyside when I should have been at my desk.
Still, I got the job so it wouldn’t have mattered.
Back to the scouse and the word derives from ‘lobscouse’ which was a Scandinavian and Northern German stew brought to Liverpool by sailors.
The Liverpudlians, of course, reciprocated and sent exports of their own to these parts… The Beatles. And you can hear all about that in the city they made their home, Hamburg.
Hamburgers… and stew
On Stefanie Hempell’s Beatles tour (and you won’t get better).
Scouse consists of mutton, lamb (often neck), or beef with vegetables, typically potatoes, carrots, and onions. Serve with pickled beetroot or pickled red cabbage and bread.
Ethiopia and the world
While I leave my Liverpool-born son to make his way back from the festivities to Scotland, or indeed the phone call to bail him out of jail, I’ll take you on a gristlestop tour around the world of stew.
Meat of Africa
Ethiopian chicken stew: And I’ll miss those Ethiopian New Years in Dublin which I shared with my friends Carole, Lorcan, Tony and my Queen of Ethiopia Meseret.
Because Enkutatash runs to the old calendar which means that you actually lose time. I, of course, lose all sense of time when the wine starts flowing which I only do to soak up the Ethiopian stew which you eat with your hands soaking it up with bread.
Bosanski Ionac, Bosnia & Herzegovina: And they love their homely food in the Balkans and it unites the different cultures and traditions.
Carbonnade, Flanders, Belgium: And the brave soldiers who went to the Front in the First World War would take their pleasures where they could.
So that meant wine, women and song… or in Ieper, dark beer (there’s lots of it in this dish), women (they’re the same the world over) and drinking shanties. All right up a Tommy’s street and the best people to go with are GTI Travel and Visit Flanders.