Welcome to Companies Catering and caterers in Scotland. We set up our website a few years ago when it became apparent that there was a gap in the market for an online catering service. Like the majority of people, when we were looking for caterers in Scotland to cater a party we were hosting, there was very little to go on and we were forced to use someone that we found in the yellow pages. Previously using this approach you could strike gold, more through luck than judgement, and find a true gem of a caterer, but with the UK food service sector set to be worth £56.3bn by 2019, pot luck is not good enough. In an age where you can find almost anything you want online, finding a good caterer, (who has been peer-reviewed) should not be as challenging as it is. Now, with Companies Catering, you can find caterers in Scotland at the click of a button. These caterers in Scotland come reviewed by previous clients and using our website you can easily compare them to other local caterers.
Scottish cuisine, like all cuisines, is a set of practices and traditions that are associated with Scotland. It shares common dishes and ingredients with the rest of the UK, but draws its main influences from its rich past. It is believed that the first people to arrive in Northern Scotland (between 800BC and 1000BC) were the Picts and they ate very well. With its relatively temperate climate and natural abundance of fresh water, indigenous game, dairy, seas full of fish, fertile lowlands capable of producing fruit and vegetables, food in Scotland was plentiful yet traditionally very simple.
Having said that rich men of the realm (as it was throughout the rest of the UK), feasted on both hunted and domesticated meat, whereas for the average commoner’s meat was expensive and considered a rarity. For the common folk, the products of their animals provided them with sustenance, rather than the meat of the animal itself. The main foods consumed would have been stews, broths, soups, haggis, fish and porridge; food that would have provided sustenance as well as giving energy.
When the Vikings arrived in the 8th Century they brought with them new ways to cook and preserve food, and started the tradition of salting and smoking. Some of these traditions still remain; it's interesting to think that the food created by caterers in Scotland today will still share some traits and elements of food prepared many hundreds of years ago.
With the introduction of agriculture so began Scotland’s love affair with oats. It is understood that porridge and oatcakes have their origins in the mobile nature of medieval Scots - it was common to carry a bag full of oats (that wouldn’t spoil quickly) and whip up a filling meal easily. It is thought haggis originated in a similar way, with the bag being the cheapest available: a sheep’s stomach. As it was then so it still is today: authentic Scottish cuisine is wholesome and filling, easy to prepare and flavourful, even without spices (they were too expensive, food was just flavoured with salt and pepper).
Porridge. Even though porridge, in some form, has been around for thousands of years, it has only been in Scotland since the middle ages when oats were first introduced into Scottish agriculture (wheat wouldn't grow due the wet weather). Oats are not just filling but they are a slow burning energy source, cheap and easy to prepare. How the porridge is made though is still a bone of contention - true die hards insist oats should be mixed with hot water and seasoned with salt, whereas others prefer theirs made with milk thus making it creamy and sweeter. Caterers in Scotland will of course be able to prepare oats in a variety of modern and traditional ways.
Cullen Skink. This thick Scottish soup consisting of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions is a local speciality from Cullen in Moray, although you will see it grace menus throughout the whole country. It is considered to be a smokier and bolder version of the American seafood chowder. Even though it is incredibly tasty and very heavy, it is mandatory that it served with thick slices of bread and butter.
Aberdeen Angus. OK, not necessarily a dish, more an ingredient, but this is one of the most famous types of cattle in the world. Rumour has it that the Vikings brought the breed over with them in their original raiding parties. Many caterers in Scotland will use Aberdeen Angus in a variety of their dishes.
Arbroath Smokies. A type of smoked haddock originating from the town of Arbroath. The Vikings brought with them the preserving method of smoking and it is now prevalent in much of Scottish culture.
Smoked Salmon. A fillet of salmon that has been hot or cold smoked in order to preserve it. It is a delicacy. Be wary when buying smoked salmon if the label says it is Scottish Smoked Salmon as more often than not it is not Scottish salmon, just salmon that has been smoked there. Look instead for Smoked Scottish Salmon.
Shortbread. A crumbly, buttery biscuit that originated in Scotland with the first ever recorded recipe coming from Mrs McLintock in 1736. It is made simply from three ingredients: sugar, butter and flour which when combined are baked at a low temperature to prevent browning. It should be very short and melt in the mouth.
Haggis. Great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race, haggis is considered to be Scotland’s national dish and makes its annual outing for Burns Supper. Whilst it may not win awards for beauty, it certainly makes up for its ugliness in flavour. Haggis is a savoury pudding that is traditionally made of meat, oatmeal, onions, salt and spices. You will hear people talk of haggis with neeps and tatties (neeps being turnips and tatties being potatoes), these are the normal accompaniments to the pudding. Originally haggis was cooked in a sheep’s stomach, which served the purpose of being a cheap and easy way of preserving the precious meat. It has a soft, crumbly texture, similar to stuffing, with a fiery kick of pepper. The mince meat consists of the sheep’s offal - its liver, heart and lungs, minced up, but don’t let that put you off.
All caterers in Scotland will tell you that Scotland’s cuisine is vast. It isn’t all deep fried mars bars and fish suppers washed down with Irn Bru and whisky. It encompasses everything from traditional dishes to dishes influenced by mass Polish and Italian immigration (it is also the proud owner of 16 Michelin star restaurants). With the plethora of ingredients so close to hand, you can understand why eating locally is so important in Scotland. Whatever type of caterer in Scotland you are looking for you are bound to find one that serves dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. Begin your search for caterers in Scotland by reviewing the Scottish caterers above, or by searching for more local areas within Scotland itself.