UK

Mini Empire State Building constructed from shortbread to mark Tartan Week in US

The replica has been made from more than 500 Walker’s Shortbread fingers.

The replica has been constructed as part of Tartan Week celebrations in the US
Highland dancers The replica has been constructed as part of Tartan Week celebrations in the US (David Cheskin/PA)

A replica Empire State Building made from Walker’s Shortbread will go on display for Tartan Week in New York.

The Manhattan festival celebrates Scottish-American heritage, with more than 1,500 bagpipers, Highland dancers, clan members and Scottish-themed dogs due to take part in the Tartan Day parade on Saturday, which this year has Hollywood star Dougray Scott as its Grand Marshal.

The shortbread replica has been constructed from 527 finger biscuits provided by Walker’s, which began exporting to the US in 1976 to target the ex-pat market.

The family business, based in Aberlour on Speyside, sells around 50 million pieces of shortbread across the US per year – with sales peaking in 2023.

The miniature Empire State Building, created by artist Prudence Staite, will be available to visit during pre-parade registration at the Algonquin Hotel in Times Square, while representatives of the firm will take part in the Tartan Day parade on Sixth Avenue.

Miniature Empire State Building made from Walker’s Shortbread biscuits .
Biscuit Miniature Empire State Building made from Walker’s Shortbread biscuits .

The 102-storey Art Deco Empire State Building in Manhattan is celebrating its 93rd anniversary this month, having opened in April 1931 after a one-year construction project.

Alastair Walker, head of international sales at Walker’s Shortbread, said: “Walker’s is a proud Scottish brand, however we always try to create a sense of place through our products in the close to 100 international markets that we export to.

“What is so important to us is that we celebrate our heritage while nodding to the cultures and traditions of the markets in which we’re sold. Our shortbread Empire State Building is the ideal way for us to mark the celebrations.

“When we first started exporting to the US – with so many ex-pats living in the country it was an opportunity to provide many of them with a taste of Scotland.

“For almost 50 years we’ve experienced increased demand for our all-butter shortbread, as people want to indulge in a quality product which is made with care, from only four natural ingredients, in the Scottish Highlands.”