It’s enough to get the taste buds a-tingling, as CalMac introduces the likes of cullen skink pie, smoked salmon bagels and vegetarian haggis nachos to its ever popular menu.
Served in the Mariners cafes on board its major ships, the food has become a firm favourite with customers – regular travellers and excited tourists alike – as offering great taste, value for money and supporting Scottish produce. The cullen skink pie features Scottish smoked and unsmoked haddock in a creamy leek sauce topped with mashed potato, while the Macsween’s of Edinburgh vegetarian haggis nachos bring a bit of fusion to this firm favourite. A variation on a popular breakfast dish, the Scottish smoked salmon and Argyll free range scrambled egg bagel makes a nice treat and, for the more health conscious, the newly introduced banana bagel is a healthy option with its natural yoghurt accompaniment. And continuing the healthy eating options, the company has introduced a cottage cheese jacket potato to its selection, using cheese from Yester Farm in East Lothian. Complementing CalMac’s well-kent curry of the day – all varieties of which are now gluten free – is the introduction of a mixed pakora platter, while a piri piri chicken burger marks a spicy addition to the burger selection. Two perennial favourites have had a tweak – the Scottish beef burger now features Puffer chilli jam from Easdale Island near Oban, while Mull of Kintyre cheddar becomes the foundation for the famous CalMac ‘n’ Cheese. And customers with particular dietary requirements can now identify products more easily with the addition of symbol notation to various items and a handy key. At the heart of the menu, though, CalMac continues its commitment to Scottish ingredients, whether that be the small-batch, artisan chilli jam from Puffer for the burgers, all the way through to much higher volume items like the Mull of Kintyre cheddar for the macaroni cheese and the Argyll free range eggs. All of which maintains the company’s Taste Our Best accreditation from VisitScotland across all Mariners cafes – in 2015, CalMac was the first ferry company to achieve this accolade and has continued to expand its range of local and Scottish produce, underpinning support to quality and home-grown suppliers. Ships which feature the Mariners menus serve the Isles of Lewis, Harris, North Uist, South Uist, Skye (Uig and some Armadale sailings), the Small Isles, Barra, Coll, Tiree, Mull, Colonsay, Islay and Arran.