The arrival of warm weather seems to send everyone running gingham blanket and basket in hand to the nearest park or patch of grass. There’s an art to planning the perfect picnic menu though; the food should be simple to prepare and pack, sturdy enough to withstand the trip and ultimately, delicious! To get you inspired, we’ve picked out a selection of brilliant picnic food and drink combos from Scottish brands and businesses that will cater to all tastes and help you make the most of the Scottish summer.
Twelve Triangles - Baguette (£2.40), White/Wholemeal Sourdough (£4)
Working entirely with cold, slow fermentation sourdoughs, all breads and pastries are made and shaped by hand by their in-house bakers. A hearty foundation for a good sandwich!
East Coast Cured - Red Wine & Garlic Salami (£4.20), Fennel Salami (£4.50), (£6.50), Rare Breed Air Dried Ham (£3.50)
The Fennel Salami was shortlisted for best artisanal product at the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2019. Beating the Fennel Salami however, was the triple-award winning Porcini & Truffle Salami – a rich, earthy, and indulgent salami, and a talking point in any charcuterie. The Rare Breed Ham can be enjoyed as part of a charcuterie board or sandwich. It is a special however, so not always in stock.
Wonky Pickles - Perfectly Posh Pickle (£5.95), Proper Piccalilli (£5.95), Tangy Tom (£5.25)
Wonky Pickles endeavour to use locally sourced produce where possible – the wonkier the better, each one taking pride of place in any picnic basket.
IJ Mellis - St Andrews Farmhouse Cheddar (from £5.90), Auld Reekie (from £5.51), Clava Brie (from £5.72), Hebridean Blue (from £5.98)
The St Andrews Farmhouse Cheddar is made in Anstruther, 12 months aged, providing a nutty and creamy flavour. Auld Reekie is made in Aberdeenshire and smoked over whisky barrels for a creamy and smoky taste with a cheddar-like texture. The Clava Brie is an organic Brie-style cheese from Inverness, aged for 6-9 weeks with a nutty flavour. The Hebridean Blue is a well-balanced blue cheese made on the Isle of Mull, with a creamy subtle flavour and a crumbly texture.
Balgove Larder - Scotch Egg (£2.50)
What constitutes a good scotch egg? In Balgove Larder’s books it’s simple, local free-range eggs boiled but still soft in the middle, their own sausage meat fresh from the butchery, and a generous coating of breadcrumbs fried until perfectly golden. Ideal with a bit of chutney or pickle.
James Pirie & Son - Scotch Pie (£1.65 each)
James Pirie and Son, situated in Newtyle, were recently crowned the first ever ‘World Scotch Pie Champion of Champions 2020’, so if you’re planning on adding a pie to your picnic it only makes sense that it be the best pie in the world.
Scotty Brand - Strawberries, Raspberries, & Cherries (from £1.79)
Scotty Brand raspberries and strawberries are grown by the Bruce family in Perthshire’s rich soil, whilst cherries are grown in one of Scotland’s first cherry orchards by Rowan and Jennifer Marshall. Pair Scotty Brand strawberries with lashings of Graham’s Gold Top Jersey Double Cream (£1) and you’ve got a stellar summer pudding.
Mackie’s of Scotland - Crisps (£1.25)
A picnic essential, available in a range of flavours. There are few combos better than crisps and dip.
Borders - Lemon Drizzle Melts (£1.75)
Delicate, light, and zingy – excellent for a warm summer’s day.
Lee’s - Mini Snowballs (£1.60)
The ultimate coconutty bitesize goodie.
Eden Mill St Andrews - Hop Gin & Watermelon (£2 each), Berry Bramble (£2.50 each), Citrus Fizz (£2.50 each)
Truly summer in a can. Light and refreshing, these are the perfect cocktails on-the-go.
Highland Spring - Fruit Flavour Sparkling Cans (£3.25)
Available in two delicately balanced flavours – Blackberry, Plum & Hibiscus, and Pear & Elderflower, a win for those not imbibing.
Bon Accord Sodas (£18 - 12x275ml)
This healthier alternative to your usual soft drinks is made in Edinburgh using real fruit juices and naturally sweetened with coconut nectar. Bon Accord also have sustainability in mind, opting to use 100% recyclable glass bottles instead of plastic.
Rapscallion Soda - Ginga Ninja, Burnt Lemon, Dry Lime, Rhubarb (£29-£32)
Specialists in fresh fruit low calorie sodas handmade in Glasgow, using raw ingredients sourced from local markets with no concentrates, preservatives, or artificial flavours or colours. Rapscallion currently offer three core flavours, with limited edition seasonal flavours on sale at various points throughout the year – the first is rhubarb.
Whatever’s in your picnic basket this summer, seek out Scottish produce wherever you can and feel extra satisfied that you’ll be helping Scotland’s food and drink industry to flourish.