Attn newsdesks / local reporters 

For immediate release Friday 27 January 2017


MP for Gordon, Alex Salmond, has praised North East produce after hosting a hugely successful 'Taste of Scotland' event at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. 

The exhibition, in place during the winter session of the Assembly, was established to promote Scottish history, culture and produce, as well as celebrating Burns Day on January 25. 

Scottish shortbread, cheeses, whisky and haggis were enthusiastically received by the Council members, who represent nations across Europe. 

An official opening ceremony, led by former First Ministerial piper, Conor Sinclair, consisted of Burns' Address to the Haggis performed by Mr Salmond, with speeches from Mr Salmond, Sir Roger Gale and UK Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe, Christopher Yvon. 

A selection of refreshments from Ellon-based brewers, Brewdog were served, alongside whisky from Glengarioch distillery in Oldmeldrum. Aberdeen-based butchers, Chattan Quality Meats, provided the haggis. Millsom and Main Highland Outfitters also contributed, with staff in full highland dress throughout. 

As well as north east produce, cheese from Strathearn Cheese Co in Perthshire, Walker's shortbread and oatcakes and Famous Grouse whisky were also served. 

Following the event, Mr Salmond said: 

"'A Taste of Scotland' was a remarkable success, thoroughly enjoyed by our parliamentary colleagues in Europe. Scotland has a wealth of produce to offer the world, and our culture is renowned across the globe.

"It was a great pleasure to share some of the best flavours our community, and they went down a treat with the Council of Europe members. I extend my deepest thanks to the makers of this fine fayre for their contributions.

"Scotland is a European nation, and the concept of Europe is one underpinned by the enjoyment of the many flavours of cultural interaction and exchange. Our display, without a doubt, served to confirm this."