Scottish Cuisine Facts and History

Scottish Cuisine: Delicious Simplicity

Scottish cuisine is simple both in its preparation and presentation which is what makes it distinctive and unique. Dishes are hearty and nutrient filled being filled with fish, meat and a lot of vegetables from the land. The main reason that explorers settled in Scotland was because of how efficient living off the land would be.


Access to fertile soil, rolling hills and plenty of bodies of water meant that there was a plethora of food sources. Since all ingredients could be sourced locally, the Scottish had an easy time in making items like bread from oats and wild barley that they could gather.

There were also animals such as wild boar, mussels and sheep that they could hunt. Throughout the centuries, Scotland was influenced by the Scandinavians, French and British, but to this day their food remains simple, hearty and delicious.

Scottish Cuisine Facts and History


Scotland is a small country that has an abundance of water in the forms of lakes, streams, rivers and the sea which surrounds it. It is believed that the first people to arrive to Scotland were the Picts, around 800 – 1000 BC. With the fertile soil, natural resources and warm climate it was a prime place for hunting, fishing and raising animals like sheep and cattle.

Oats, barley and soft fruits as well as root vegetables like potatoes and carrots were easy to grow here because of the nutrient dense soil. Towards the end of the 8th Century, it is believed that the Vikings arrived to the northern isles of Scotland, bringing with them Scandinavian methods of smoking and salting food. It is believed that the Viking raids of the northern isles is what brought the famous Aberdeen Angus cattle to the lands.

During the late middle ages (16th Century), cultural exchange began to take place and with it the Auld Alliance during the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots. With her reign came French cuisine and the incorporation of French cooking terms like “collop,” “Gigot,” and “Ashet,”. Finally, new foods were introduced during the 20th and 21st centuries when large scale immigration to Scotland from places like Italy, India and Pakistan took place. These too had a dramatic influence on what type of spices and fresh produced were used.

Scottish Cuisine Menu


• Sausage links,
• Bacon,
• Eggs,
• Potatoes,
• Sautéed Mushrooms,
• Grilled tomatoes,
• Baked beans,
• Buttered toast,
• Cereals
• Bacon and Maple Syrup Pancakes
• Scotch Eggs
• Black pudding (pigs’ blood, fat, oats, barley, spices stuffed into intestine),
• Tattie Scones
• Porridge and kippers (cold smoked herring),
• Tea/Coffee
• Oatcakes,
• Fresh Fruit



• Cullen Skink (smoked haddock, potato and onion soup),
• Fish and Chips,
• Smoked Salmon,
• Kippers,
• Cabbie Claw (Cabelew),
• BLT with parsnip crisps, sweet potato and carrot,
• Oysters,
• Smoked Haddock,
• Stovies,
• Arbroath Smokies
• Rowies (bread usually spread with jam)
• Curry



• Haggis,
• Cheese topped fish pie,
• Udon Noodles with Thai spices and smoked tofu,
• Confit pork belly with leak mash and cider
• Neeps (turnip)
• Fillet steak with caramelised onions
• Risotto cake topped with poached eggs,
• Sesame chicken with hot peppers and mango


• Blueberry coconut scones,
• Raspberry meringues with cream
• Deep fried mars bar,
• Fruitcake
• Shortbread cookies
• Scones


• Cranachan (whiskey-soaked oats, raspberries, honey, cream),
• Pudding
• Banana Parfait
• Dundee cake,
• Scottish tablets
• Black bun (dark fruitcake),
• Clootie dumpling (steamed fruitcake),
• Coconut bread with butter pudding and ice cream,
• Vegan chocolate orange and cardamom cake with soya ice cream


• Hot chocolate,
• Whiskey
• Ginger Wine,
• Breakfast Tea,
• Sugarellie,
• Ale,
• Beer,
• Scotch Mist,
• Water

Scottish Recipe Cuisine Food

Holiday Menus



• Soup,
• Roasted turkey,
• Roasted potatoes,
• Roasted parsnips,
• Stuffing,
• Scottish Rolls,
• Sausages,
• Carrots,
• Peas,
• Salmon,
• Chicken,
• Venison,
• Steak pie,
• Roast pork,
• Roast goose,
• Bread sauce,
• Red-wine gravy,
• Cranberry sauce,
• Brussel sprouts,
• Scotch Trifle,
• Cloutie Dumpling,
• Christmas Pudding.


• Cream of carrot and coriander soup,
• Scottish tablet,
• Roasted turkey,
• Roasted potatoes,
• Roasted venison,
• Roasted lamb,
• Cullen Skink,
• Crannachan,
• Tipsy Laird,
• Profiteroles with Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.

Most Popular Dishes

Traditional Scottish dishes that are popular include:
• Haggis: Which is the national dish of Scotland. It is a savory pudding that contains sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, salt and spices.

• Scottish Oatcakes: Which are flat oat cakes that are quick and easy to make. They work well as a snack or can accompany many dishes with cheese on top.

• Scottish Tablet: This is a sweet Scottish candy that is similar to fudge but much sweeter. It contains sugar, butter, and condensed milk.

• Scottish Arbroath Smokies: These are haddock that is smoked over hardwood. It must be made within five miles of town.

• Scottish Tattie Scones: These are a big part of the Scottish breakfast. They are a potato scone that is made by using leftover mashed potatoes.

• Scottish Cullen Skink: This is a hearty soup that is traditionally made with smoked haddock, potatoes and onions. It is rather thick and is served with bread and made with milk and cream.


Most Used Ingredients

Meats/Fish: Salmon, beef, lamb, mutton, wild boar, venison, pheasant, grouse, partridge, Pidgeon, hare, rabbit, haddock, trout, mackerel, herring, lobster, crab, prawns, scallops and mussels.
Vegetables: Potatoes, turnips, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, peas and leaks.
Fruits: Raspberries, strawberries, slaes, tayberries, brambles (blackberries), apples, rhubarb.
Other: Oats, barley, almonds, sugar, maple syrup, flour, cheese, salt, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, wheat.

Travelling Foodies: What to Eat When You Travel to Scotland

For those who are interested in travelling to Scotland, there are some foods that are must haves! You can get them at pretty much any café or restaurant that you visit. First and foremost, you have to try out the national dish which is the haggis. Although it may be a required taste, it is definitely a dish you want to try as the experience will always stick with you. Other then that, you should definitely try out the oatcakes if you want a potato snack and if you want to try something sweet then the Scottish tablet is a must. Overall, you are going to be eating a lot of either hearty soups, potatoes, breads and dishes that use parts of animals that you wouldn’t normally eat, like the liver, heart and lungs.


Are you from Scotland? Maybe you visited there? Please feel free to comment and add your own thoughts on Scottish ethnic food.

J. MacColla


British Cuisine Facts and History

British cuisine is both exciting and varied, with an eclectic mix of tradition, innovation and influences from around the world. Each part of the United Kingdom – Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland and all the various regions within these countries, offer a fascinating flavour experience for anyone who loves food.


British Food Cuisine

British Cuisine Facts and History


In ancient times, it is believed that seafood and plants made up a large part of the daily diet of the British people until livestock was introduced into the country and meat and dairy began to replace fish on the menu. Farming became a necessity to keep up with the demand for food and animal by-products. The Romans and Vikings brought with them new foods such as cabbages and peas as well as new techniques such as smoking foods and winemaking.

In the meantime, Britons discovered the benefits of using herbs and spices during cooking. During the two world wars, the British people had to learn to become frugal with their rations. Food needed to be edible for as long as possible but it also needed to be filling as people never knew when their next meal would be.

Foods such as Yorkshire Pudding, dumplings and a lesser known, savoury suet and bread-based food called Season Pudding were created at a time when meat was scarce, expensive and families needed something else to provide which would feed and nourish on a tight budget. More recently, British cuisine has seen an influx of cultural influences both from migrants and from the increase in popularity in travelling overseas. Alongside these new creations, traditional dishes are still much loved and very much a part of today’s modern society.


British Cuisine Menu


If you go to a British food outlet and ask for a traditional English breakfast, you will most likely receive a plate filled with bacon, sausage, fried eggs, fried bread, mushrooms, baked beans and possibly a serving of black pudding (a black sausage which is made from pork, dried pig’s blood and suet). Cereal is a more commonly used, healthier option although toast does make an appearance on many a breakfast table.


Sandwiches are probably the most popular lunchtime choice with a huge range of options including a wide variety of breads and fillings. Other options include soup and a (bread) roll or a jacket potato filled with anything from baked beans to chilli con carne.

Dinner & & Desserts

Some examples of traditional dinner options include a roast joint of meat with roasted potatoes, vegetables and gravy; hotpot; Scottish haggis with mashed potatoes; Dublin Coddle; Welsh Rarebit and of course, not forgetting desserts such as apple pie, rhubarb crumble and jam roly poly, all served with homemade custard.


Snacks vary from person to person. There is a plethora of packaged options in the shops such as chocolate bars, bags of crisps and nuts, flapjacks and ‘healthy’ bar options. Some people prefer a piece of fruit or some vegetable sticks dipped into hummus.


As for drinks, tea and coffee are probably the most popular choices. Traditional tea is made with boiling water, milk and sugar to taste but there are also many other varieties including green tea and herbal options. Milk is a favourite, especially for children, with many schools offering schemes where young children receive a drink of milk and some fruit for their morning snack.


British Cuisine Food

Holiday Menus

Christmas & Easter

Christmas dinner often consists of turkey, potatoes (mashed, roast or both) several different vegetables, pigs in blankets (cocktail sausages wrapped in streaky bacon) cranberry sauce and gravy. Some prefer a twist on the traditional with an (up to) six bird roast which consists of, for example, partridge, pheasant, chicken, duck, turkey and goose, all stuffed inside each other. Sweet treats include Christmas cake – a rich fruit cake topped with marzipan and icing; mince pies (sweet mincemeat encased in pastry) and Christmas pudding – a rich fruit pudding which is often soaked in brandy and set fire to before eating.

Some people hide a coin inside it which brings luck to the finder (unless they break a tooth finding it!). Easter food is often similar to Christmas dinner in that a turkey dinner is often on the menu. This is followed by Easter Simnel cake and of course, chocolate eggs.
Most Popular Dishes and Ingredients

Interestingly, the most popular food in the UK is curry. However, traditional foods such as fish and chips; roast dinners; haggis; potato-based dishes, meat and potato pies and the English Breakfast are still offered in many British food establishments.

Most Used Ingredients

Although there has been a growth in the numbers of vegetarian and vegan food establishments available, meat, fish and dairy are still some of the most popular ingredients used in cooking. Chicken, beef, pork and lamb are the staples of British meat-based cuisine. Potatoes and pasta are used regularly as accompaniments. Salads, vegetables and fruits are all available both direct from farmers and in shops and markets. Whilst most are available all year round now in the larger supermarket chains, many shoppers prefer to buy produce in season to improve their carbon footprint. Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, celery, beetroot, sweetcorn, peas, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots are all common items in the baskets of British shoppers. Common British fruits include strawberries, apples, plums and rhubarb.


9 Must Try British Dishes


Traveling Foodie – What to eat when you travel to UK

Restaurant Food:

Most British towns and cities are inundated with greasy spoon cafes, fast food outlets, coffee shops, chain restaurants, fine dining and pubs serving food. There really is something to suit all tastes, but if you are looking to try some traditional British cuisine then roast beef and Yorkshire puddings is a must, as is stew and dumplings, haggis and for the brave, black pudding. If you are going to try fish and chips then you absolutely must visit the coast for the freshest, tastiest offerings. A trip to Wales is not complete without tasting a traditional Welsh breakfast which includes laverbread and cockles, whilst the Irish offer dishes such as Irish stew, Barmbrack (bread with sultanas and raisins) and Colcannon (mashed potato with cabbage).

Street Food:

If you find yourself sightseeing and roaming one of the many beautiful cities and towns within the UK, why not try some of the exciting street food available. Whether that be a hog roast sandwich, a tray of cockles and whelks, a Melton Mowbray pork pie, a deep-fried Mars bar or a hot Cornish pasty, you can guarantee that you will find something tasty, exciting and probably a little bit quirky but most importantly, enjoyable and filling.