Cullen Skink <<
Scotland has long been associated with liquid refreshment of one sort or another. From the nip to the swallie, it always goes down a treat; while from broth to brose it warms the proverbial cockles. Almost as iconic as whisky, Irn-Bru is popularly acclaimed as ‘Scotland’s other national drink’. Though many Scots state they couldn’t live without it, proclaiming it the best hangover cure around, few dentists would endorse its high sugar content (but, to be fair, alternative low calorie versions are available). While the ingredients of Irn-Bru, famously ‘made in Scotland from girders’, were often thought of as the country’s best kept secret, those of this week’s other iconic national liquid, Cullen Skink, are as plain as the fare they represent. Smoked haddock, potatoes, onions and milk have formed the basis of this wholesome soup since time immemorial. Though more adventurous chefs have been known to add ingredients as exotic as bay leaves, chives, fennel and even a poached egg, the traditional recipe remains the all-time favourite. So, whether the approaching New Year hangover is best assuaged with sugary pop or warming soup we at Scotia Extremis HQ leave up to our esteemed readers.
The Declaration of Barrbru
by Rebecca Sharp
by Dilys Rose
The Cullen Skink World Championship
has commenced and the battle for the crown –
contested by more than a dozen hopefuls – is hotting up!
Ye swither atween the deil o a broth
and a deep sea stew o tatties, ingins,
a drappie milk and scraps o smuikit haddie.
And whit a braw and couthie appellation
that tickles outrels and, in locals forby,
boosts pride in thir ain hame-branded cuisine!
Oh skink, oh skink, oh cullen skink,
I love yir skinkle, yir neb-twitchin stink.
On tartanned tables o Balmoral Hotels
fae Edina tae Durban yi scrub up fair perjink,
wi chiffonades o parsley, drizzles o cream
but forget yir airs and graces. Dae yir job.
Cheer the hert and warm the painch o shilpit folk.
Ye wir aye humble fare. And nane the waur o it.
Rebecca Sharp is a writer from Glasgow, now based in Fife. She has a special interest in interdisciplinary and collaborative projects – examples include Unmapped, an exhibition and book of poems and paintings with artist Anna King (2013); and For the Bees, text for musical performance with Mr McFall’s Chamber (2014). In 2016 her play The Air That Carries The Weight was performed at the Traverse theatre in Edinburgh; and she was Poet-Perfumer in Residence with StAnza poetry festival, creating an installation of poetry and scent. www.rebeccajoysharp.com
Dilys Rose lives and works in Edinburgh. She is a novelist, short story writer, poet and librettist and has published eleven books, most recently the novel Pelmanism (2014). A new novel, Unspeakable, is due out in 2017.