Caboc, Oatcake, and Tea

still life with Caboc

Still life with Caboc

Happiness is discovering local foods, local specialties, local ways.

My four year habit of not buying food (preferring to scavenge, cultivate and steal) left my shopping chakra ….flaccid . Atrophied “Errand Faculties” are satisfied with mere Minstrels (M&M’s on steroids) and Hobnobs (delicious digestive crackers with a chocolate top).

Enter LongshanksBigLeggy, a woman with a knack for Just The Right Thing.

She pedaled across town the other day, and came into Helen’s swinging an orange plastic sack.

“I couldn’t help picking up a few treats for you” she said, pulling out bananas, clementines, and a pair of mysterious boxes. One said “Nairn’s” and the other said “Caboc“. To me, Nairn is the town where I sent a fan-mail to Tilda Swinton. Caboc, well, didn’t ring a bell.

Caboc was the find of the day…possibly the oldest cheese made in Scotland (invented by a chieftain’s clever daughter, if you’re to believe the wiki), a silky, buttery white cloud that melts into the dry herby crumb of the oatcake (that was the Nairn’s thing…a dry dry round of crunchy oaten goodness (well, I love oats). To my tongue’s lipidometer, it felt like a double cream. The little Caboc log of cow’s milk cheese was rolled in oats like a christmas log.

Nairn’s oatcakes are splendid, but please don’t eat them dry, and especially not while lying down reading. You’ll aspirate a vicious crumb and die a horrible death.

Which brings us to the tea. Leggy’s selection included a fine Kenya tea that reminded her of her Malawi childhood and a rose pouchong that reminded me of the gallica roses lining the cycle path to Portobello.

A pot of each, plus the cheese, Nairn’s, and some oranges….the core of the unpretentious Scottish palate. Only whisky was missing, but I have to wait until Tom Morton turns me onto that…I require expert advice in these matters.


One thought on “Caboc, Oatcake, and Tea

  1. Heard on the radio yesterday that the producers of the gorgeous Caboc are experiencing a surge in sales and can’t keep up with demand. Perhaps you were responsible for this. 🙂

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