Two sides of the coin

We’ve come to regard some foods as totems of our culinary heritage. We may regard them with reverence. We may hold them in contempt. Almost by definition they’re less than haute cuisine. I explore four of the Scotland’s guilty food secrets and ask how to counter their adverse effects.


As a guy with a figure better suited these days to this medium than to TV I’ve tried every kind of diet you care to mention.  None of them has worked long term and I’ve ended up bigger than I was before I started.

Even after a lighthearted celebration we know this kind of totem food doesn’t do us any favours. Maybe it’s not our fault, though. There might be unavoidable, sub-conscious and environmental  factors that influence the choice of junk over nutritious food. Calories are cheap.  Nutrition is expensive.

I’m joined by specialists from Arran and ask what the alternatives are when it comes to dealing with the adverse effects.

I’ve given up dieting. I’m devoting the energy I used to spend stressing about my weight to getting regular exercise and mindful eating.  I enjoy food more, worry about it less and avoid the shameful urge to pig out.

D’you want salt and sauce on that? The Deep-fried Mars bar has become more than a chip shop novelty pudding.
Haggis Nachos - the guys at Little Rock do make it deliberately. It's on the menu.
Haggis Nachos with restaurant panache? The guys at Little Rock do make it deliberately. It’s on the menu.
Peas. An essential ingredient of Chinese chicken curry.
Peas. An essential ingredient of Chinese chicken curry.


Roll ‘n’ Square. A guilty, 8:20am, brown sauce related, CalMac, indulgence.





Copyright acknowledgement:

“Mars, Bringer of War” (Holst), metal cover.
By kind permission of Joe Parrish, Composer (

“Chief O’Neill’s Favourite” (Trad).
By kind permission of Donàl Boyle and Arran Ceilidh Band.

“Shenyang” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License