Authentic Scottish Foods

Written by molly carter
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  • Introduction

    Authentic Scottish Foods

    Scotland is home to a wide range of authentic dishes, from soups to breakfasts, and main dishes to desserts. While some Scottish foods, such as haggis and shortbread, are well-known the world over, others are more obscure. In Scotland, authentic meals are often made to celebrate holidays such as Christmas, Hogmanay or Scottish New Year's Eve, St. Andrews Day and Burns Supper, a celebration of Scottish poet Robert Burns.

    Scotland, home to many lakes and castles, offers a range of cuisine. (a castle in Scotland image by richard pigott from

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    Scottish Breakfasts

    In accordance with Scotland's rugged climate, authentic Scottish breakfasts are often hearty. A full Scottish breakfast, which might be served at a bed and breakfast, would likely include eggs and bacon, black sausage or Lorne sausage, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, tattie scones, toast with jam and coffee or tea. Black sausage is a type of black pudding, and Lorne sausage is a traditional Scottish sliced sausage that is square in shape. A tattie scone is a type of scone made primarily of potato and salted to taste. An authentic Scottish alternative to a full breakfast is porridge, which dates back to Scotland's early days.

    Tattie scones, or potato scones, are a common part of a morning meal in Scotland. (buttered scone image by hazel proudlove from

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    Scottish Soups

    Scotland is home to a wide array of soups, from everyday soups to speciality blends served on special occasions. Perhaps the most distinctive soup is known as Cullen skink or stink soup. Made with fish, potato, milk and onion and garnished with parsley and butter, the soup is a Scottish staple. Cock-a-leek soup, which can also be found across Scotland, is traditionally served at Burns Supper. The soup is made from a stock of chicken and prunes, and leeks are added along with rice and salt and pepper to taste. Scotch broth, a hearty mutton broth with peas, carrots, barley, onion and leek, is also one of Scotland's most well-known authentic soups.

    Scottish soups are both hearty and distinctive. (clear soup with noodles image by Maria Brzostowska from

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    Scottish Main Dishes

    Perhaps the most well-known of Scottish foods around the world, haggis is a Scottish main dish usually served at Burns Supper. Haggis is made by mincing the heart and lungs of a lamb and various meat trimmings, adding onions and spices, and boiling the mixture inside a sheep's stomach. Haggis is traditionally served with tatties, or mashed potatoes, and neeps, or turnips. Although haggis is the most famous Scottish main dish, it is certainly not the only one. Fish and chips is a traditional Scottish dish, and scotch egg, a hard boiled egg coated in sausage and breadcrumbs and fried until golden brown, is a beloved dish across Scotland.

    In Scotland fish and chips are often served with mashed peas. (fish and chips and mushy peas on a plate image by MichMac from

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    Scottish Sweets and Desserts

    One of the simplest and most delicious of sweets, traditional Scottish shortbread is prized the world over. There are a variety of recipes for shortbread, but most contain butter, sugar, flour and a pinch of salt. It's butter that gives the shortbread its melt-in-your-mouth texture and makes it the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea or other hot beverage. Other Scottish sweets and desserts include Tipsy Laird, black bun, tablet and clootie pudding. Tipsy Laird, which is usually served as dessert for Burns Supper, is a trifle made of layers of sponge cake, raspberry jam, custard, fresh raspberries and bananas and whipped cream, soaked with whiskey and sherry, and topped with sliced almonds. For Christmas, Scots often serve clootie pudding, a fruit pudding made with oatmeal, suet, dried fruit and spices, and often served with custard. Black bun, a rich dried fruitcake encased in pastry, is usually served on Hogmanay, or Scottish New Year's Eve. Tablet, a simple sweet made of butter, sweetened condensed milk and sugar, is also a distinctively Scottish dish.

    For the sweet tooth, Scotland offers many dishes including shortbread and tablet. (Shortbread on a plate image by C Agoncillo from

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