A well-stocked larder
The best-known product from the Shetland field or garden is probably the Shetland Black potato, a delicious variety that has, as the name suggests, a black skin. It’s also distinguished by purple markings in the flesh. It cooks very well, baking beautifully and making wonderfully crisp and floury roast potatoes.
Carrots, cabbage, kale, leeks, beetroot and turnips are also widely grown. Given Shetland’s cool climate, there are obviously some limits on what is possible, but small quantities of such crops as strawberries, tomatoes and peppers are grown under glass.
One of the things that visitors appreciate is the survival of small, truly local bakeries around the islands. Each offers its own range of bread, rolls, cakes, biscuits, pies and oatcakes. For those with a sweeter tooth, Shetland has a surprisingly wide range of fudges, toffees and chocolates, produced by a small number of specialists. Puffin Poo is one of the less familiar delicacies on offer.
Shetland also produces beer and gin. There are two small, family-run breweries, one in Lerwick and one in Unst, our northernmost island.
In their delicious ranges, you'll find ales, lagers and stouts that have won the admiration of enthusiasts well beyond Shetland’s shores. Shetland Reel gin comes from a distillery at Saxa Vord on Unst; soon, it will also produce Scotland’s most northerly whisky.