If You Go Down To The Shops Today

Today we explore some of the dazzling delights on offer in Scottish supermarkets… Before we begin, some disclaimers:

  1. Picture quality is utterly shite due to use of a cameraphone. After the Ham Man yelled at me in Lisbon, I’m too wimpy to risk anything more than hurried phone snaps!
  2. I don’t claim that these treats are necessarily unique to Britain, they’re merely things that I didn’t know about til I got here. And life is a whole lot richer for having discovered them!

First we began in the meat section. I’m always in awe of the creativity of British fleshsmiths, how they stretch the very definition of meat. On the left is glorious sponge-like Lorne Sausage (previously featured in the Breakfast Pack). On the right is the Pork and Egg Slice – slabs o’ pig with built-in hard-boiled eggs! Both a steal at just 97p.

ohh lordy

Of course, before you tuck into these mysterious meats, you’ll want some solidified animal fat to fry them in.

mmm, lard!

If you’re entertaining, look no further than these cocktail sausages. These shrivelled babies were on sale this week and flying off the shelves.

wee willie

Parents! Are your little brats refusing the flesh? Lure them back into the carnivorous fold with these delicious feats of meat manufacture!


If you can’t tempt them with the teddy, how about a turkey dinosaur or Barbie?


When I heard the word “filler”, I’d think gooey stuff that you use to plug a hole in the wall, like Selleys NoMoreGaps. But now I know that filler is gooey stuff that you put on a sandwich. Here you have a choice of Seafood Cocktail or Chicken and Sweetcorn, both drowning in mayonnaise.


Heinz Sandwich Filler HAM with Salad Vegetables needs no refrigeration, just keep up the back of the pantry in case you ever fancy Spew on Toast.


Now here’s some stuff you can get in tins. First the usual suspects: Slices of Beef in a tin, Hamburgers in a tin, Hot Dogs in a tin and Chopped Pork in a tin. “More taste,” threatens the Chopped Pork label, “Just try it!”.


Beef Pie in a tin! Beef Pudding in a tin!


Haggis in a tin! A&B in a tin! (A&B apparently stands for, “Aberdeen Beef and Belfast Ham”, not “arseholes and bollocks” as Gareth suggested, but then again I didn’t read the ingredients label.)


And one for the sweet toothed, Choco Hoops! Which will only be amusing if you’re an immature Scotsman.


But if you’re too posh for sugar and artifical colourings in the morning, right down the bottom of the vast cereal aisle you will find the designated Healthy area.


About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

Find out more about me and how we can work together – I’m now booking for January 2022.

34 thoughts on “If You Go Down To The Shops Today

  1. I was feeling a little wonky, but the Ham Filler aka Spew on Toast pushed me over the edge.


    Meanwhile, Turkey Barbie is hilarious. Strange, but hilarious.

  2. *snicker* I can’t tell if I’m grossed out or really entertained.

    In America, we have this delightful stuff called Potted Meat Food Product (really). Here’s a link to it, along with all the different brands for sale. My husband loves this stuff. For some reason.


    Though it doesn’t hold a candle to Turkey Barbie.

  3. I actually shuddered when I saw the ham/hard-boiled egg thingie. EWWW. It’s like this one time that I was home sick from school as a kid, watching The Frugal Gourmet, and Jeff Smith made a meatloaf with hard-boiled eggs embedded in the tin….oh the horror.

  4. :(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(

    Ever since I can remember my mum and I have always wanted to visit Scotland because our famuly orininated there… but after seeing THAT…. urgh… I think I’ll stay put in Melbourne…
    I was wondering, is it easier to loose weight over there because the food is so unappealing?
    Thanks for opening my eyes to the harsh reality Shauna!

    –Emily , Melbourne

  5. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

    Q: How do you make haggis even less appealing?
    A: Put it in a tin!

    (my apologies for not being a fan of a national dish

  6. its funny tho… that lorne sausage is actually quite tasty with some tomato sauce on a roll… i think i could eat some turkey barbie (depends which bit!!) but draw the line if they bring a turkey ken out .. nope…*gag* just couldnt

    there are some nice meat products.. try morrison ‘own’ brand beef burgers mmmm… i love them and peppered ham or that ham with the mustard stuff round the edges .. and aberdeen angus sausages are good… its probably not a good idea taking vegetarians on a tour of the meat counter

  7. Now, in the defense of the country, I would like to say that a lot of these products are UK-wide.

    But looking at the weird link from mb…. PORK BRAINS IN MILK…IN A TIN? Now come on, Scotland would NEVER do that…would we?

  8. I was quite happily amused by the whole of that post until I followed the link and found the description of mechanically separated chicken. I don’t know why I should find that even more disgusting than pork brains in milk gravy…

  9. Even with all the disgusting meat products found in Scotland and England, I did have some of the best beef of my life right from the shops in Laggan – all natural highland long-haired bovine. They’re so cute and so yummy!

  10. In answer to all who are shocked at our Scottish cuisine: YES, Shauna is telling the truth, in fact that is only the tip of the iceberg, our supermarkets have entire aisles of “food” like this!

    On the flip side though, once you get past all the crap, we also have food to die for (not just food to die on … ) , like our organic meats, fresh fish (OMG the fish – we live on a small island for pete’s sake, you can’t get any fresher!), the summer fruits – you just got to know what you’re looking for.

  11. hear hear, arjay! there really sooo much good stuff once you know where to look 🙂

  12. I really thought we in the US were on top when it came to vile, processed foods but Heinz Sandwich Filler HAM? WTF is that? Is it like peanut butter, ie.. a sandwich ingredient all its own or more like mayo which would be a condiment? I am so confused. And grossed out.

  13. Those vile Fray Bentos steak and kidney pies in tins were readily available in Goulburn supermarkets in the 1980s. My mother used to buy them and then wonder why we’d rather go to bed hungry than sample a slice of the soggy-pastry pie filled with alleged steak and urine-filters.

  14. well i think american food must be pretty crap to.. tom cruise is waiting for his dinner right now.. well now shes given birth…

    nuff said

  15. I think your opening sentence is misleading, it suggests that all Scottish supermarkets sell the poor excuse for food that you’ve listed which simply isn’t true. If you insist on shopping in Asda then of course you’re going to find low quality food, they cater for low quality people and low quality taste.

  16. “Fleshsmiths” that alone was worth the admission.

    The prepensity in the UK to take anything and drown it in Mayo is an applling thing.

    I actually retch when I think of that.

    Yet Lorne sausage will leane me awash in “pavlovian drool” to quote a certain antipodean wordwright.

    Crispy fried Lorne sausage in a Glasgow roll with a lick of the Houses Of Parliament on it.


    pol x

  17. All I can say is…THANK GOD I LIVE IN AMERICA! I’ll never complain about the selections at my local Piggly Wiggly again!

  18. I like cocktail sausages (he says defensively)!

    As for mayonnaise – in the UK everything seems to be soaked in the stuff. You get mayonnaise sandwiches with tuna, instead of the other way around. I never used to eat mayonnaise but after trying to find sandwiches without it here I gave up – “resistance is futile”.

    British supermarkets are cool though – the quality in M&S is great. I may have to actually “prepare” food if I go back to NZ!

    Mmmmm – foooood.

    Scott F 🙂

  19. jam, i am also intrigued about the ‘meat with…’ products. meat with beef, meat with lamb, meat with chicken… wtf IS the meat? is it horse perhaps?

  20. Hilarious post, Shauna! You can get some great food here in Scotland (and that includes some fab haggis!), but you also come across things that you would have never thought of. Pies in tins, deep-fried Mars bars etc etc.

  21. I worked in a (fairly upscale) kitchen for a while when I first lived in Scotland… I was appalled but sort of impressed that they generally went through one two-gallon drum of mayonnaise per week. The salads alone used up a good couple of litres a day, not to mention the sandwich fillings… I think they consider mayo a sort of basic food that finds its way into pretty much everything.

  22. Anyone ever had that cakey stuff with some kind of glaze on it? It comes in a can and you either boil the can or microwave it. Voila! A nasty-ass dessert. Made by Heinz.

  23. There’s no need to be polite, about 95% of Scots food is truly nauseating, but on the plus side much of it actually improves once it’s been through a digestive tract.

    I now live in Australia, where they have a few atrocities like the dim sim and the battered saveloy, and their apples are like raw potatoes, but mostly they have the best and the cheapest food in the west.

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