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My year of travelling continues, this time closer to home with a long weekend in Glasgow. I was there both for work and to see family and old friends, so I didn’t have a huge amount of time for culinary planning. (Please feel free to translate this as ‘I didn’t do anything in my spare time except drink terrifying quantities of gin’.) Luckily, I know the city well and even on autopilot can steer myself toward deliciousness. Glasgow is a pretty good food city, especially in the West End where I was based. There’s a strong emphasis on new Scottish cuisine, in which traditional dishes are reimagined and local ingredients blended with the flavours of the city’s South and East Asian immigrant cuisines. You can have amazing local seafood, game, and vegetables here but we never forget the importance of a good curry. As my friend D says, the nan bread up here is giant and pillowy. I did have a proper old-school Glasgow curry but, unsurprisingly, I was far too drunk to photograph it, so you’ll have to take my word on that one. After the jump, a walk through some of the highlights both Scottish and cosmopolitan.
I came across this article about Burns night crossed with Chinese New Year in Vancouver and couldn’t resist. Apparently, Chinese-Canadian Todd Wong founded Gung Haggis Fat Choy to bring together the two major ethnic groups who emigrated to British Columbia: the Scots and the Chinese:
Wong, or “Toddish McWong” as he is known in the Scottish community, invented a new holiday by combining the Chinese New Year with Robbie Burns Day, the holiday that celebrates the birthday of Scotland’s most famous poet. The two holidays fall close together in the calendar year, making it convenient to combine the celebrations, notes Wong, a fifth generation Chinese-Canadian. On Jan. 31, Vancouver’s Chinatown will host the 12th annual Gung Haggis Fat Choy festival where deep-fried haggis won ton will be served alongside single malt whiskey.
Scottish people and Chinese people…eating innards together. Could there be a more splendid version of multiculturalism in action?