Food and Drink
The Outer Hebrides are home to a unique traditional culture. Locals have produced their own foods since the islands were first settled and that tradition remains today. The traditional crofting way of life on the islands developed a unique range of food items.
With an abundance of fresh local produce, you can follow the Eat Drink Hebrides Trail which is a self-guided journey through the islands. This trail will lead you to the best places to find food and drink and you can download the trail leaflet here. Here is a "flavour" of our fabulous local produce.
Stornoway Black Pudding
A staple food in island crofting communities which is now served in some of the finest restaurants all over. Known as ‘marag-dubh’ in Gaelic, the recipes for Stornoway Black Pudding have been passed down for generations. Now safeguarded by the Protected Geographic indication there is no better place to enjoy authentic Stornoway Black Pudding. Butchers Charles MacLeod and WJ Macdonald produce their own versions of the famous Stornoway Black Pudding.
Each smokehouse dotted through the islands puts their own unique Hebridean twist on their products so our advice is to try each one and pick your favourite! From Uig Lodge set in the stunning parish of Uig in Lewis to Stornoway where you will find one of the oldest smokehouses in Scotland, Stornoway Smokehouse. This family run smokehouse continues the tradition from when Stornoway was one of the fishing capitals of Europe. In Harris, Amhunnsuidhe Castle produce a range of smoked salmon and venison products. Whilst in Uist, Salar Smokehouse are giving a little taste of South Uist with their Flaky Smoked Salmon and unique kilns.
Surrounded by the deep clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean, it is of little surprise that the Outer Hebrides are famed worldwide for the vast array of fresh seafood caught off the islands’ shores. Hebridean salmon and scallops are among the highest prized of the islands’ offerings. Kallin Shellfish in Grimsay, North Uist offer an array of mouth watering shellfish whilst in Uig, Lewis you can get fresh off the boat hand-dived scallops at The Scallop Shack.
The islands can also satisfy any sweet tooth. The shelves of local delicatessens and cafes are stacked with homemade jams and cakes - often made that very morning. Hebridean Kitchen in North Uist create wonderful jams and chutneys made from as much local produce as possible. The Buttery in Lewis produces some fine home-baking, jams and chutneys whilst the family-run MacLeans Bakery in bake by hand using traditional methods.
The Hebridean Brewing Company offers a wide selection of cask ales and filtered beer, many of which have won regional and national brewery awards. The brewery is situated in Stornoway town centre and the ales are sold in many outlets throughout the islands.
The Isle of Harris Distillery opened in 2015 and is the first distillery on the Isle of Harris. Situated in Tarbert, the distillery has been creating the increasingly popular Harris Gin and uses sugar kelp found in our crystal clear waters.
The most westerly distillery in Scotland - and the only one in the Outer Hebrides - Abhainn Dearg produces whisky made to a 400-year-old recipe unique to the Scottish islands.
The Hebridean Tea Store is only tea store in the Outer Hebrides offering classic teas but also unusual blends and infusions. Why not try their Taigh Dubh, the Blackhouse Tea.
Salt and Cheese Producers
We have Scotland's only sea salt producers Hebridean Sea Salt who harvest salt from our crystal clear Hebridean waters, with varieties which include peat smoked salt and seaweed infused salt.
The Isle of Lewis Cheese Co, the only Outer Hebrides cheesemaker, produces hand made artisan goat's cheese from the croft.
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