Scotland Travel Series - Scottish Cuisine

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Scotland is full of lochs, lakes to the non-scot, and surrounded by seas that are full of all variety of seafood. Not only is there seafood but there are also a huge number of local delicacies that you must try on your tip to Scotland. Below I will highlight some of my particular favourites and hopefully you can try some, feel free to comment of your experience with these delicacies.


By far the most renowned Scottish dish, for both positive and negative reasons. The dish is a traditional Scottish pudding which consists of a blend of sheep’s heart, liver and lungs blended with oatmeal and range of spices. This is then combined into a sheep’s stomach and can be boiled or oven cooked. A lot of people are put off the dish due to its rather unusual ingredients but if you consider that you have probably eaten sausage and hot dogs before this are tame compared to what goes into them. Robert Burns the famous poet son of Scotland wrote a poem entitled Address to a Haggis which is often read out before serving this dish on Burns Night. Attending a Burns night supper is a spectacle you have to enjoy at least once in your life, with traditional dress, bagpipes and poetry you will wonder why you don’t serve dinner like that every night. Haggis is usually served with mashed potatoes and neeps which are swede, a potato like vegetable that is sweeter than the traditional potato. You can also order these in deep fried batter from most chip shops in Scotland however I would advise you try this with your breakfast or started before leaping into a main dish.


If you are a fan of shellfish then you will adore this dish. Cooked in shell which open up to reveal large morsels of chewy and tasty shellfish they are not an easy dish to eat without creating a mess. Often served in a broth of fresh cream and white wine, they appear in a large pot with side plate for your empty shells. If you visit any coastal town in Scotland you are sure to find fresh mussels served in the local restaurants and you will not be disappointed.


Salmon is one of the tastiest fish the world has seen and in Scotland you will find they have the best quality. My preference is to have the fish smoked and to eat with some nice home-made bread. Smoked salmon is full of rich flavour and is often served as a lunch time meal or as a started. If you wish to try some freshly cooked salmon then you will find an array of different ways of serving. This is a great alternative to the traditionally heavy meat based main course meals you find in restaurants.


Scotland has many deer across its highlands and it provides a good source of venison which is the A class of all the meats. Traditionally very expensive you will find the flavour to be unique whilst the texture is very similar to steak. This dish is a meat eaters delight, it is said that the special flavour of this meat comes from the wild deer that are hunted in Scotland to provide it.


There are many different cuts of lamb to try but the best is a slow cooked lamb shank. Served on a bed of mashed potato with some gravy the meat should fall from the bone with ease, giving you a mouth-watering experience. This dish is very filling and some restaurants around Scotland pride themselves on having the biggest lamb shanks available.

There are many other traditional Scottish dishes to try but if you want to try the best give these a go next time you come over, or find them locally via a delicatessen and give yourself the taste of Scotland in your own Kitchen.

Steven Hill

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