Ahead of Global Scouse Day 2017 we find out how this simple stew became a mighty, local legend
Who makes the best pan of scouse in your family? Do you have beef or lamb, blind or pie crust? And the most important question of all, red cabbage or beetroot?
We’re gearing up to eat our body weight in mighty stew on Tuesday 28th February because its Global Scouse Day 2017! After the roaring success of 2016, Global Scouse Day (GSD) returns with more restaurants and organisation here in Liverpool and abroad, signing up and serving up our local signature dish for one special day.
The history of our city’s favourite dish dates back to the high seas of the 1700’s and has connections with sailors, seaports and famous Scots. So while you stock pile the potatoes and gravy salt, we’ve done a bit of research to bring you this little history lesson on our iconic dish.
1 – The first known use of the term “lobscouse” is dated 1706 and Scottish Author and Poet Tobias George Smollet refers to “lob’s course” in his 1750 story, The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle.
2 – Scouse as we know it, is said to have originated in Norway and not from Irish Stew! You can even visit Schous plass (Scouse Square) in Oslo.
3 – Scouse is called ‘Labs kauss’ in Latvian and ‘labas kaušas’ in Lithuanian and they both translate into “good ladleful”. We couldn’t have put it better ourselves!
4 – Nineteenth-century sailors made lobscouse by boiling salted meat, onions and pepper, with ship’s biscuit (flour and water) to thicken the dish. Thank the lord for gravy!
5 – If you google what food is Liverpool famous for, scouse is always top of the list. With more than 100 Liverpool eateries signed up this year, including 60 Hope Street, Filter & Fox, Maggie Mays and Alma De Cuba plus international outlets too, our love for Scouse truly is a global affair.
6 – During times of hardship scouse was still on the menu for lots of Liverpool families. During the 50’s good quality meat was scarce or very expensive and so ‘blind scouse’ became a staple meal in many homes. Substituting meat for crusty bread helped to provide a filling meal for little bellies and burly dockmen alike.
7 – The biggest talking point when concerning scouse is how you make it? Traditionally scouse was made with a scrag end of red meat, usually beef, potatoes and a thick gravy, however over the years there have been countless variations. With veg, different meat, no meat and vegan varieties, and even pie crust added. Which is your favourite recipe?
8 – The second debate where concerning scouse, once you’ve figured out how to make it, is who does it best? Every family has a designated scouse maker (it’s usually a woman, sorry lads) and arguments about who gets that title can divide families and ruin friendships. We’re talking serious rifts! Who makes the best pan in your family?
9 – Who’d have thought that a big old pan of sailor stew would go on to have global recognition and even play a pivotal part in supporting people in need? Global Scouse Day 2017 is supporting Woodlands Hospice, an independent charity committed to delivering Specialist Palliative Care for people with cancer and other life limiting illnesses as participating eateries donate a percentage of their scouse sales on the day. Amazing!
It’s really easy to get involved with Global Scouse Day 2017 and support the official GSD charity, Woodlands Hospice. Simply head over to the official website here and sign up or check out the Facebook page here to find out more and download your official poster.