Tunnock’s and Me: A Marine Biologist’s Love Affair with Scottish Sweets

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Marine biologist Natalie Welden’s love affair with Tunnock’s  products prompted her to ask the family-owned and operated Scottish sweets company to become a sponsor of the 3rd International Marine Conservation Congress, taking place in Glasgow 14-18 August. Welden, a member of the IMCC3 Local Organizing Committee, was unsure of what their response might be (a sweets company and a marine conservation conference?). To our delight, Tunnock’s gladly offered to become an IMCC3 sponsor. Welden was so delighted, she wanted to share her Tunnock’s love story.

Tunnock’s and Me

by Natalie Welden

Tunnock's, a family-run Scottish company, is a sponsor of the 3rd International Marine Conservation Congress. (Photo by Natalie Welden)

Tunnock’s, a family-run Scottish company, is a sponsor of the 3rd International Marine Conservation Congress. (Photo by Natalie Welden)

Some days you find yourself hard at work on a paper, others you find yourself leaving the house at 10pm to take photographs of confectionary in the sunset. Not a bad night for it really. There are sandwich terns foraging just off the headland, the Waverly (our last seagoing paddle steamer) is chuffing past, and there are blissfully few midges. I wish I could say that the otters put in an appearance, but I’d be lying. There is, of course, a very logical reason for my snack-based walk. One of the sponsors of the 3rd International Marine Conservation Congress is Tunnock’s, a Scottish family-run business, who have been making delicious chocolaty snacks since 1890.

However, my Tunnock’s addiction began long before I moved to Scotland. When I was a teenager, my dad used to pack Tunnock’s caramel wafers in our lunch boxes for our hill-walking trips. There’s no better source of energy than a hot cup of coffee and a caramel wafer when you’re half way up a rain-soaked mountainside.

When I swapped cold, damp mountains for cold, damp research boats, the wafers came with me. And on arriving in Scotland, I branched out to include the marshmallow-filled Tunnock’s Teacakes in my snack box. They’ve kept me awake and functioning on cetacean trips in the Hebrides and bird surveys in the Irish Sea. I’ve been soaked, sunburned, and sea sick all in one trip, but I’ve certainly not been hungry. It’s become a little bit of a running joke at my expense; last year I even managed to decorate my Christmas tree using Teacake wrappers – it was my most delicious decorating session to date. In my opinion, Tunnock’s is fieldwork fuel (and they’re welcome to use that as a slogan if they pay off my uni debts).

If you want to try some for yourself, you can pick up a tiny taste of Scottish sweetness at registration, but move fast. I’ll be first in the queue.

 

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