A wacky, cooked breakfast ice cream proved a surprise hit among day trippers at one of Scotland’s biggest summer shows.
Staff from Mackie’s ice cream were left stunned by the demand for the frozen treat – flavoured with chunks of bacon – and sold out their entire supplies in just two days.
However, even adventurous Scots foodies couldn’t be persuaded to fall in love with another cooked breakfast flavour - black pudding and apple – which proved to be more of an acquired taste.
Both were exclusively available at the annual Royal Highland Show and were among 30 different flavours being offered at the event by Mackie’s of Scotland to help the firm celebrate its 30th anniversary.
Cathie Fraser, who has been with the family-owned business for 28 years, said she was amazed by the public appetite for the bacon, maple syrup and pancake ice cream at the event which ran from Thursday to Sunday.
The sales and events manager added: “We know visitors are happy to taste test small samples of just about any interesting flavour, whether they think they will love it or loathe it.
“But what amazed us about the bacon, maple syrup and pancake flavour was that people loved it so much they were then ordering tubs or cones of it. In fact we sold hundreds of scoops and were completely sold out by the Saturday.
“Of course, the maple syrup made it a sweet ice cream while pancakes are very trendy at the moment, so it went down much better than we could have expected.”
However black pudding and apple, proved less popular. Both were made using Mackie’s traditional ice cream as a base, with black pudding and bacon from Scottish producers. As part of the production process the meats were dried out and crumbled into small pieces.
Among the rest of the 30 flavours on offer at the four day show were Gin and Tonic, Toffee Fudge, Rocky Road, Banana and Smarties, Blue Bubblegum and Scottish favourite, Cranachan.
The wide range of freshly made flavours was made possible by investment in a state-of-the-art gelato machine for the Mackie’s of Scotland development kitchen.
It produces smooth and luxurious ice cream in just six minutes before adding swirls, sauces and delicious bites, enabling production of small batches. That means Mackie’s can be more creative in producing artisan ice cream for events and small orders.
Cathie added: “There is no doubt the public loved the sense of theatre which went with the breakfast flavours and some of the other wacky options and that helped make it one of the most successful ever shows for us.
“The weather wasn’t particularly sunny, but it was warm and humid and even when it rained everyone headed into the food hall and we were constantly busy.
“I’d say the most popular of the test flavours was probably Gin and Tonic which went down a storm. The public loved it because it was so refreshing. I’d say that is probably the most likely to make it into production. Certainly, I’d hope we can do something with it.”
Yet despite the range of unusual flavours treat-loving Scots still stuck to the reliable favourites which Mackie’s is renowned for, with sales of its Traditional flavour outselling everything else. The next most popular flavours were Honeycomb, Scottish Tablet, Salted Caramel and Lemon Meringue.
Firmly established as one of the UK’s most popular take-home ice creams, Mackie’s diversified into making crisps in 2009, and chocolate bars in 2014. The firm opened a dedicated £600,000 chocolate factory in March this year.