Restaurateur discovers Scotland is home of original ‘surf and turf’

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IT IS often thought the combination of a meat and seafood in one dish was first served in the steak houses of America.

But as with many world firsts, Scotland can now lay claim to the unusual culinary combination of ‘surf and turf’.

The inclusion of both seafood and meat on the one plate has often been regarded as an extravagant display of wealth for indecisive rich people, while some dismiss the dish as nothing more than kitsch.

However, the East Lothian seaside town of Musselburgh can now lay claim to be the home of ‘surf and turf’ following a literature discovery made by local restauranter of The Dogs, David Ramsden and his Head Chef James Scott.

The inquisitive pair found a historical recipe for a Musselburgh Pie tucked away in the 1980s book ‘A Caledonian Feast’ by Annette Hope.

The book was found in a second hand bookshop and its content details Scottish cuisine from the 9th century onwards focusing on dishes that maximise the use of local ingredients.

In honour of Musselburgh and its new historical relevance in the culinary world, The Dogs has included the Musselburgh Pie on its menu.

The pie is a hearty dish of sliced steak rolled round mussels topped with pastry.

The recipe came from housewives who sourced mussels from the River Esk in the early 1800s when they were in abundance, as an economical way to bulk out their pies.

David Ramsden, said: “When we came across Musselburgh Pie, we knew it had to be celebrated, especially since it originated on our doorstep. We’ve put our own dogs twist on the original recipe, like we do with all of our dishes, and welcome customers to try it.  All of our ingredients are locally sourced, so we are proud to offer the people of Edinburgh ‘the world’s first surf and turf’ directly from their hometown.”

The Musselburgh Pie is on sale for £5.95 at The Dogs restaurant, Musselburgh.

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