One of the greatest American influences on Scottish diet was the
potato. Tatties were introduced into Scotland during the 17th century
and interest in this new crop was so great that when Robert Graham of
Tamrawer planted a field of potatoes near Kilsyth, people came from
far and near to marvel at this fabulous new food novelty and to find
out how it was grown, Potatoes quickly found themselves planted in the
humblest kitchen garden and became an essential part of the Scottish
diet, particularly in the Highlands. The potato blight which afflicted
Ireland in the 19th century also affected Scotland, but compared to
Ireland Scottish deaths were few. Churches and private charities
formed a well-endowed Fund for the relief of the Destitute Inhabitants
and many individual landowners more than did their bit. Indeed Norman
MacLeod of Dunvegan bankrupted himself in providing relief for his
tenants. Relief was provided into the 1850s. The potato famine in
Scotland may have led to few deaths but it did lead to further
clearances and mass emigration. Many Americans and Canadians can trace
their ancestry back to the Scottish potato famine.
150 years on Scots still continue to enjoy potatoes in all shape and
sizes and a plate of Tattie Soup is just the ticket to combat the
continuing cold weather. Our thanks to Kenzie (9) and Caitlin (7)
Wallace for this recipe which can be made by bairns of all ages!
Ingredients : 3 pints (1.75 l) strong beef or chicken stock - stock
cubes are handy; 2 lbs (850 g) floury potatoes, peeled and sliced; 1
large onion, peeled and chopped; half a turnip, peeled and chopped; 1
large carrot, peeled and chopped; 3 teaspoons salt; 3 pinches pepper
Prepare the stock. Make 3 pints of stock in the soup pot. Place the
pot on the cooker and heat stock until it is boiling. Add all the
vegetables and the salt and pepper. Mix in with wooden spoon. Simmer
for 1 hour until the vegetables are soft. Remove from cooker and mash
all the vegetables until soup has a rough, porridge-like consistency.
Taste, flavour with salt and pepper if required. Serve piping hot
- goes well with a goodly supply of oatcakes.