The Taste of Home: How to Build the Perfect Scottish Food Hamper to send to Expats
With millions of Scots living across the globe, the nation’s expats are bound to miss their favourite home comforts. Here’s what to put in a Scottish food hamper for expats who are missing their favourite Scottish foods.
Building a hamper for an expat who’s missing a taste of their home is a fun gift idea no matter what time of the year. You already know the finished hamper will put a smile on their face. Here’s how to build a food hamper specially for Scottish expats and what to put in it.
Presentation is the first thing you need to consider. A gift hamper is an experience; if the presentation of the hamper stands out, the recipient will enjoy opening it even more. You can use either:
- A wicker basket: For a more traditional looking hamper, a wicker basket adds a rustic feel to the hamper and is great for the recipient to keep afterwards to use for storing items. These are sturdy baskets, great for heavy items and grubby things like walking boots and trainers.
- A gift box: For a more contemporary style, a gift box in any colour or pattern the recipient would like is a great way to get a stand out presentation. Stationary shops like Paperchase offer a vast selection of gift boxes in different sizes and patterns. These can be finished with coloured ribbon to give a stunning finish to the hamper. In our experience a good quality box is rarely thrown away and is kept for an endless variety of second life uses.
Things to consider:
Before purchasing items for your hamper, there are various points to consider such as:
- Where is the hamper going to? UK, EU or elsewhere, there are certain restrictions for alcohol, and wicker outside of the UK and EU as well as meat products, other natural materials and even products containing honey! If you are sending a hamper to anywhere other than the UK, you may want to consider only having non-perishable items in your hamper.
- Any dietary restrictions? Whether the recipient is a vegetarian, vegan, coeliac, diabetic or halal you would include items to suit their dietary needs.
- What is your budget? Depending on your budget, look for items that fit and allows for any shipping costs and any customs or duty payments; you certainly don’t want the recipient having to pay anything for a gift you’re sending.
Scottish food and drink to include:
After taking into consideration the points above, you are now ready to start looking at items to include in your Scottish food hamper! Here are some products we recommend for your Scottish expat:
- Haggis: You will rarely meet a Scottish person who doesn’t like Haggis. It is a traditional Scottish food often served with potatoes and swede. If you are sending your hamper to someone within the UK we highly recommend sending Haggis. However, elsewhere you do not want to risk the Haggis spoiling and in the US at least, Haggis is restricted from entering the country.
- Whisky: A superb Scottish drink much copied all over the world, but there’s nothing quite like having a whisky from Scotland. We love The Macallan Gold Highland Single Malt, but there are great Scotch whiskies for every taste and pocket.
- Shortbread: The Shortbread House of Edinburgh’s ubiquitous buttery treat from perhaps Scotland’s finest shortbread producer, sure to be a winner for every Scottish expat.
- Scottish Salmon: Often with a milder taste than salmon elsewhere. Great to buy either smoked salmon or salmon fillets, but ensure you can keep it chilled during delivery. If chilled delivery is problematic, then try Krave Salmon jerky which has grown in popularity in recent months and doesn’t need to be chilled.
- Irn Bru: This is considered to be ‘Scotland’s other national drink’. A carbonated drink with a fruity cola taste revered in Scotland. Though hardly an artisan product, it is certainly popular.
- Scottish Oatcakes: A traditional savoury biscuit made from Oatmeal, delicious served topped with cheese or meats or even just butter. We have a soft spot for Duncan’s of Deeside Traditional family recipe oatcakes.
- Jams: Scotland produces some of the finest fruit jams in the British Isles including wonderful raspberry jams from the east coast. We’re enjoying Galloway Lodge Preserves particularly, but there is no shortage of great jam makers in Scotland.
Boxing the hamper
You will need your gift box or wicker basket, some paper shred (to act as padding for the items) and the items you are including. Here are some tips to ensure no items get spoiled during shipping:
- Layer your wicker basket or gift box with a good amount of packing material such as decorative paper shred.
- Place heavy items at the bottom of your gift box or wicker basket. This will include drinks and any heavy jars.
- Ensure everything with a label is facing upright.
- Add some more paper shred to create a second layer.
- Put lighter products on the top.
- Repeat until gift box or wicker basket is full.
- Any fresh produce would be best to keep on the top of the wicker basket or gift box. (Remember to package any products requiring chilling separately in suitable chilled containers).
- Once packaged, close the box or basket and pull out any loose packing material to make the hamper neat.
- When gift wrapping the box with ribbon, we recommend you turn a stool upside down and use the legs to support the hamper. This will give you access underneath the box while tying the ribbon around it. An easy solution to a fiddly task.
- Once the ribbon is tied, trim the cut ends at an angle and sear the edges with a safety lighter so they do not fray.
- If shipping, wrap the hamper in bubble wrap and place it snuggly into a suitable shipping box.
Easy when you know how! But if you want a simpler solution or further inspiration, take a look at our range of Scottish Food Hampers. Our luxury Scottish hampers contain produce sourced from Scotland’s best artisan producers. Much of the content is award winning and all of it is delicious!