“ Brand: Hebridean / Type: Toffee „
If you looking for a new and different present for Christmas this year, or maybe you are partial to a little treat yourself, well I think I can recommend something which is tasty and delicious.
Way out west from the Scottish mainland there is an island called Barra, an area of just 23 square miles it is a wildlife paradise. The west of the island is fringed by magnificent sandy beaches which have wildflower meadows backing them called machair and in the summer these are a blaze of colour.
The population of this island is just over 1000 and despite connections to Oban and Eriskay (a small island off the coast of South Uist) and flights to Glasgow, the island is still remote. These connections are totally weather dependant and are frequently cancelled in the winter. The ferry trip is 5 hours long and you need Quells!
The flight is out of this world. The small twin otter plane takes off from Glasgow, there are no flight attendants and the joy is you can watch the pilots fly the plane. Best of all it lands not on a runway but on a cockle beach and the walk to the terminal is not on tarmac but on shells and sand! It's magic!
The main town is called Castlebay and here there is a castle in the bay totally surrounded by water which dates back from the mid 16th century. It was abandoned in 1838 when the island was sold and the castle fell into disrepair. In 1937 the castle was purchased by Clan MacNeil who made efforts to restore it and in 2001 it was sold to Historic Scotland for 1000 years for the annual sum of £1 and a bottle of whisky!
It is in the heart of Castlebay in a factory overlooking the historic Kisimul Castle that Hebridean Toffee is made. One of my favourite treats this is divine!
Hebridean Toffee is a relatively new business dating back to the early part of this century in 2000. If you have never tasted Hebridean Toffee before you may imagine it is going to be like those evil disc shaped Quality Street ones which I have to say my husband adores! I don't because two years ago whilst spending Christmas in the Western Isles I decided to try one, and in a moment my gold inlay popped out which had stood proud for 18 years. With no dentist available to fix it I spent a very sad Christmas eating round the affected tooth dreading the appointment I faced at the dentist to repair it. No Hebridean Toffee is actually a form of Scottish tablet which is a soft texture not dissimilar to fudge so for anyone with expensive dental work it is great.
The toffee contains no additives preservatives or colourings and it is made all by hand. There is no automation used in any stage of the process. Shipped to delicatessens and even to Fortnum and Mason this is a product of quality. It has even been consumed in the House of Lords and in Balmoral castle
When you place an order the toffee is made to order so it is fresh and will then keep for 6 months. They ship world wide too so I often send some to my son who lives in Arizona. He has a special bond with Barra and I spent a wonderful holiday with him just before he left to emigrate so this toffee has special memories.
To give you an idea of the cost it is £8 for a box of 350g and £11.99 for worldwide delivery. They are also making a delicious sticky toffee pudding as well which you can mail order. I haven't tried this yet but when I do I will review it on here. The company also prepare wedding favours which look beautiful. These can be ordered and prepared to coordinate with your wedding colours if requested.
In this economic climate where the preservation of small business is so important there is no more deserving than companies who are based and operate entirely from remote places. They provide jobs for local people and help to preserve our rural way of life.
Not only is Barra a beautiful place on the edge of the UK but it is home to a very special company producing a very special product. I hope you will enjoy some soon.
Handmade Scottish Toffee