10 Traditional Scottish Foods to Try
So much more than haggis!
Known for its rich history and diverse food culture, Scotland has much to offer when it comes to traditional and delicious meals. From savory Scottish porridge to the iconic national dish of Haggis, Scotland offers a culinary cuisine that is unique among its European counterparts. With ingredients like fresh produce and high-quality meats, below are ten different kinds of traditional Scottish foods that will be worth trying during your vacation. If these whet your appetite for Scottish foods, scroll down for a list of CIE Tours guided vacations where you might find a few of these items on the menu.
Small but delicious, Scotch pies are delicious double-crusted meat pies that originated in Scotland. Filled with minced mutton or other types of meat, these savory pies can be served hot or cold, and are baked fresh at Scottish takeaway restaurants or bakeries around the country. Since 1999, the Scottish Bakers trade association has held a World Scotch Pie Championship every year, where people from all over the world can compete to win the iconic Scotch pie trophy.
This traditional and common breakfast dish dates back to the early days of Scotland. Unlike the type of porridge that most people outside of Scotland will know, Scottish porridge is made with salt instead of sugar - making it a savory breakfast rather than a sweet one. Made with fresh porridge oats cooked in milk, this popular Scottish meal is the perfect dish to start off your day before you head out sightseeing in the Highlands.
Originating in the northeastern part of Scotland in a small village named Cullen, this creamy smoked fish soup is another traditional Scottish dish. Cullen skink consists of smoked haddock, cream, potatoes, and onions, and is typically served with a side of toasted bread. While it originated as a local specialty of Cullen, you can find this popular soup on Scottish menus nationwide.
Deep-Fried Mars Bars
Deep-fried Mars bars are a sweet and unique dessert concept that was invented in 1992 by a man named John Davie in the Haven Chip Bar in Stonehaven, near Aberdeen. The famous European chocolate bar is battered with a mixture of flour, eggs, and milk, then deep fried, resulting in melted chocolate enveloped in crispy batter. You can find this delightful snack sold in fish and chip shops (also known as chippers) throughout Scotland.
Scotland’s iconic national dish known as haggis consists of sausage meat made from the innards of the sheep mixed with onions, oatmeal, suet, stock, dried herbs and other seasonings. These ingredients are combined and then boiled inside the lining of a sheep's stomach. While this may not sound appetizing, if you’re feeling adventurous during your trip to Scotland, the delicious Haggis will leave you feeling full and satisfied.
Neeps and Tatties
Often accompanying the national dish of haggis, neeps and tatties are made from root vegetables that have been boiled and mashed into two delicious side dishes. When served alongside Haggis, the meal in its entirety is called a “Burns supper”. Healthy and delicious, neeps and tatties is just another name for potatoes and turnips and can be found featured in many different kinds of Scottish dishes.
Traditional Scottish Tablet
This small, sweet snack is made with sugar, condensed milk, and butter, which is then crystallized creating small pieces of tasty semi-hard candy. Just as sweet as fudge, although not as soft, this delectable confection is often flavored with vanilla or whisky and can be found in shops all over Scotland. For those with a sweet tooth, traditional Scottish tablet will be sure to satisfy your craving.
Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert often served around Christmas time or during other special occasions. With ingredients including whipped cream, scotch whisky, honey, oatmeal, and fresh raspberries, this sweet dish is served in a tall glass can often be found on many restaurants’ dessert menus. It is traditionally served by bringing out a dish of each ingredient and letting each person assemble the dessert themselves.
A common appetizer found throughout Scotland, Stovies is a meat and potato-based dish that serves as a starter, or an accompanying dish in many restaurants and pubs throughout the country. Made by combining potatoes, sausages, roast and minced meat, and spices, and cooking everything all in one pot, stovies is the perfect traditional Scottish food to try during the cold winter months.
Known as Scotland’s national soup, cock-a-leekie soup is known for its pleasant mild flavor and excellent aroma. This traditional dish is made with peppered chicken stock, and leeks, sometimes prunes, and can be thickened by adding rice or barley. This Scottish version of classic chicken soup dates back to the 16th century, and the perfect meal to enjoy on a chilly day in Scotland’s unpredictable weather.