With the eyes of the world directly on Glasgow, let’s reflect proudly on the healthy, sustainable diet of our Scottish forebears. Pre-industrialisation, with no access to modern importation, transport, and artificial food preservation, they ate only what they could grow, hunt and harvest in the area and in climate in which they lived.

The way of life was sustainable, self- sufficient and overall, hardy and healthy. It was not romantic, and there were of course extremes that caused hardship and hunger, but surely there are lessons to learn. We are blessed with such a rich natural larder; we should do all we can to preserve it and celebrate it.

Mara Seaweed is harvested sustainably from the pure, wild waters around Scotland. The air-dried seaweeds are a mineral rich, natural flavouring that enhances our traditional recipes. Kombu is a type of Kelp we would all recognise on a walk along the sea- shore. Dried and flaked, it is easy to use. Very high in Iodine and Magnesium it is a healthy addition to any soups or stews. It expands once added to liquid so use sparingly to begin with.


1 undyed smoked haddock

200g smoked salmon or trout trimmings, organic if possible

250ml milk

1 fresh bay leaf

25g unsalted butter

1 large onion, peeled and finely sliced

2 sticks celery, peeled and finely chopped

250g floury potatoes, Maris Piper or King Edward

500 ml hot water

150 ml double cream

white pepper

Mara Kombu seaweed flakes or sea salt

finely chopped flat leaf parsley


Rinse the fish and remove any bones.

Place in a shallow pan and cover with the milk.

Break the bay leaf to release its flavour and add it.

Gently bring the milk to a simmer, take the pan off the heat, and allow to infuse.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.

Add the onions and celery, stir to coat well with the butter and with the lid on, gently simmer until the onions are soft and translucent.

Add the diced potatoes and cover with 500ml of boiling water.

Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are just cooked, but still firm.

Remove the bay leaf from the milk.

Break the fish into pieces and add with the milk to the saucepan.

Bring to a simmer.

Stir in the cream.

Add more hot water if it is too thick.

Add plenty of freshly ground white or black pepper.

Taste and complete the flavouring with a scattering of Kombu seaweed flakes, or sea salt if needed.

Serve piping hot with a scattering of finely chopped flat leaf parsley.

Mary Contini OBE is a writer and Director of Valvona & Crolla ltd. We are happy to welcome you in our CaffèBar and shop again, open all day. Book and order online: www. valvonacrolla.com Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. www.richardsonsofwhitehaven.co.uk