What Kind of Food Do Scottish People Eat?

Updated April 17, 2017

Historically, Scottish cuisine has been based on the fish from its "lochs," or lakes, and the surrounding sea, as well as long-lasting storehouse items created to last through the long, cold winters. Smoked fish can be stored longer than fresh, and smoked salmon, smoked herrings or "kippers," and smoked haddock are Scottish traditions. Farmers try to use every part of the animal in dishes like haggis, a spiced mix of oats and organ meats cooked in a sheep's stomach, and black pudding, a sausage made of pig's blood. Oats appear again, salted, as a traditional breakfast, and with honey and whisky in the sweet drink Atholl brose. Whisky is Scotland's great beverage.

Regular Everyday Eating

Scotland is now a modern European country with two lively cosmopolitan cities, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Restaurants feature cuisine from all parts of the globe--Indian food is especially popular--and Scottish families are probably more likely to serve pasta or curry for dinner as any of the country's more traditional dishes. Although Scotch whisky is a matter of national pride, it is no more popular than imported lagers.

Bottom Line

As a member of the European Union, Scotland is no longer just a remote part of the British Isles. Haggis served with mashed swedes and potatoes, or "neeps and tatties," and a dram of whisky is increasingly an option for tourists or reserved, along with the kilt and sporran, for special occasions. Scottish people eat and drink in much the same way as people in the rest of the United Kingdom.

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About the Author

Kim Davis began writing in 1977. His articles have appeared in "The New Musical Express," "The Literary Review" and "City Limits," as well as numerous Web sites. Davis is the consulting editor for the "New York Times"/New York University collaboration, "Local: East Village." He has a Doctor of Philosophy in philosophy from Bristol University.