“ Brand: Stockan and Gardens / Type: „
Just lately I have tried to revamp my diet a little as I found I really was eating unhealthy and as I've been rather unwell of late decided that food may play a part in all of that. Instead of buying my favoured white bread this week I decided on getting wholemeal pittas and these oat cakes for a change! The Packaging: What you get is 8 large triangle oaty looking biscuits and they are wrapped in a see-through wrapper with blue, black and white writing on it and on the front of it we are told that they are Orkney Hand Made Oatcakes, Stockan's 'The goodness of fine milled oats with no added sugar' and that my pack weighs 100g and that my option was the thin option. Other information given on the packaging includes ingredients, allergy advice and nutritional information given along with contact details for the manufacturer. Easy to open and dispose of packaging this is and of course it is informative enough too. The Oatcakes: Well like I touched on earlier these are triangle in shape and they are thin and dry to the touch and cream in colour. They have a slightly rough texture to them and a natural pleasant aroma of oats to them. Taste wise these are simply fabulous. They simply taste of oats and only oats really. They are crispy and crunchy and go moist in your mouth as you eat them. They taste slightly salty and have no sweetness to them at all and are really savoury. Best to add some spread on them of some kind just to moisten them up a bit and I love them with cheese and pickle on them! Not greasy, strong enough to top generously I love these and find them nicely filling too and at only 57 kcal and 0.8g of saturates they are great for my hips too! I paid 79p a a packet for mine in Asda though they are widely available in a variety of supermarkets etc.
Tesco had sold out of Nairns Oatcakes, my preferred choice, so instead I purchased a 10g pack of Stockan & Gardens Original thin Orkney Oatcakes. They're minimalistically packed in just a layer of plastic film, much like florists film which is folded round the biscuits and sealed at the rear. The front features a the manufacturers name within a circular tartan band, a blue banner across the centre bears the legend "Orkney Oatcakes" and between the two is sandwiched a line drawing of The Old Man of Hoy, a 137m high red sandstone stack protruding from the sea off the island of Hoy and clearly visible from miles around. The oatcakes in question are 66% oatmeal with vegetable oil, wheat flour, rasing agents and salt. Most unusually they're handbaked at The Granary in Stromness. A 100g pack contains 453 calories. As there are 8 biscuits in a pack this makes them 57 calories each, about a third less than a McVities Chocolate digestive. The packaging is easy to open although no matter how carefully you do it it tears and cannot be reused so you'll either need to eat the entire packet or find somewhere airtight to store them as they go soggy after a few days in the open. Each biscuit is a quarter circle, triangular with a curved edge, making them rather pretty to look at and very practical too as you can put four on a small plate without any overlapping or falling off. They're very thin and very very crumbly and they smell delicious. Buttery but with a hint of oats. No surprise there. What comes as a surprise after the coarser Nairns Oatcakes is these melt on your tongue without the need to chew. Usually you masticate much like a cow to eat any oatcake. The downside to this is that if you add sloppy toppings like cottage cheese the biscuits become very soggy and collapse rather easily mid bite which is potentially very embarasing in company. With cheese though they're lovely. Unfortunately after an entire pack I don't feel like I've eaten anything substantial, perhaps thats down to the lack of chewing required. A 100g pack retails for 25p in larger branches of Tesco.
If you set off from Essex and drive north for about 2 solid days you will eventually reach the top of the north coast of Scotland- you'll need an overnight stay though and then it's a short sea crossing over to Orkney. If you can't manage that you could cut the drive short and board a ferry from Aberdeen or you could just fly from Glasgow. All that driving and all that time is well worth it just for the experience of visiting a place which is not only one of the most beautiful but also one steeped in history. The islands are situated where the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet, and there are 70 islands in the chain, about 21 currently inhabited. The islands have a population of 20,000, 7600 live in Kirkwall, and another 2100 live in Stromness where the famous Stockan and Garden oatcakes are made. I had the joy of visiting these islands recently and was so in love with the wild coastlines and the way these people make their living on the land and in cottage industries which flourish. The land is flat and fertile and cows graze on lush pastures and provide milk for the famous Orkney cheese and ice cream making it a very different place to the Western Isles which would not support agriculture on this scale. However for this review I want to tell you about some of my favourite Orkney oatcakes made by Stockan and Garden. I don't know about you but I have a love hate relationship with crispbreads and all manner of bread alternatives. I stock up on them thinking I'll have them for lunch, and they often languish in my dry cupboard always taking second place to a nice crusty loaf. However these oatcakes and some I have also found from Shetland are different because they are large and substantial. They are shaped in a large triangle which gives them plenty of room to be adorned with lovely toppings. I use cottage cheese if I am feeling like being slimming (not very often!) hummus works well and if you are not veggie you could use Salmon-the possibilities are endless. The oatcakes come in 5 different options-Thick, Thin, Cheese, Garlic and No Sugar. I don't personally like smelling of garlic but many people would like these. The thin ones are lovely and they have a good flavour but I do prefer the thick variety and often buy these as they are more earthy. One of the main reasons I like to buy these is also because supporting industries in remote areas has always been of great importance to me, and you can make such a difference to companies like these by purchasing their products regularly. Made in Stromness these oatcakes are all hand baked to a traditional Orkney recipe and they contain no hydrogenated fats at all. The history of the company dates back 100 years to 1912 when a gentleman called Gilbert Archer, who was the grandfather of the present chairman, purchased the Kirkwall bakery and gardens. In 1986 it amalgamated with the Stromness Oatcake Company and the outcome was the present brand of these delicious oatcakes. Another interesting fact is that during the war in the building where these oatcakes are made, this was the broken bulk store which supplied many of the stores for the army camps. Pepper would have to be weighed out in pounds which no doubt caused a few sneezes! Availability of these is quite good and Asda is the cheapest place you will find them where for just 34p you can buy a 100g packet of the thin ones. The thick sell for 88p for 200g. I also buy mine from the local farm shop here in Essex and they are very widely available of course in Scotland. Calories they are 453 per 100g for the thin and slightly more 476 for the thick ones (though the thin ones are 100g packets so it would require you to eat them all to consume all of these which I doubt you would.) Of course oats are great for helping to mop up cholesterol so these are a healthy snack and full of fibre. If you would like to buy them mail order you can do so here. www.buyorkney.com/shop/food/biscuits The Orkneys are an Aladdin's cave of goodies and you can also sample their delicious ice cream made from the rich creamy Orkney milk, and their cheese and fudge is also out of this world. So if you would like to try these delicious oatcakes then I can highly recommend them. I eat mine and can see the waves and the beaches lying peacefully up there and think of their idyllic life away from the rat race..