Scottish Cuisine

Scottish Cuisine – Scottish Food Typical Dishes 2024

Scottish cuisine , its food and typical dishes, represent an experience in the flavours, traditions and culture of the country, knowing what to eat in Scotland during your trip. Traditional Scottish recipes include dishes that are now popular and widespread throughout the United Kingdom , mainly coming from the dairy tradition , as well as fish , meat and vegetarian recipes. Simple, but full of flavor and substantial recipes that trace the history of Scotland. So let’s discover the best typical dishes and Scottish foods, thus making your trip to Scotland complete and unique!

Scottish Cuisine

If you’re wondering what Scots eat, you’re in the right place. The history of Scotland and the cultural influences that have reached this country have created today’s Scottish cuisine, joining the tradition of British cuisine . The history of Scottish cuisine, its foods and typical dishes are influenced by various factors, including the historical events that occurred here. Furthermore, its geography and climate , humid and cold, have also influenced the ingredients used and cooking methods, as have the numerous invasions and internal wars . Historically, there were two social classes , the higher classes, who could eat meat , and the poorer ones, who exploited simple foods and the fruits of the land.

During the Middle Ages , Scottish cuisine was based on vegetables, fish and cereals, while the wealthy could also afford game . Arriving in the 16th century , potatoes arrived in the country, entering its cuisine as a fundamental ingredient, allowing the population to be fed during population growth. In the 18th century , local recipes were influenced by Italian and French cuisine , introducing elaborate foods, such as cakes . Arriving in the 19th century , today’s typical Scottish dishes were introduced, such as Cullen skink and haggis . Today, Scottish foods also include recipes from England , offering a rich and varied traditional cuisine, as well as more particular dishes. Furthermore, during your trip don’t forget to enjoy a good glass of whisky , the national drink!

So let’s see what to eat in Scotland during your trip!

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What to Eat in Scotland and Where

1. Haggis

Among the most famous and particular typical Scottish dishes we find Haggis, a traditional cured food . This gastronomic preparation is considered worldwide a symbol of the country and celebrated as a national dish even by writers such as Robert Burns in his 1787 poem , Address to a Haggis . This Scottish food is prepared by stuffing the casing with sheep’s liver, lungs and heart, along with minced onion. Oatmeal, spices, salt, kidney fat are also added, all mixed into the broth . This filling, following the traditional recipe, must be stuffed into the stomach of the same animal , then boiling everything for about 3 hours.

The typical recipe of Scottish cuisine has this dish served with boiled potatoes and rutabaga , a tuber-like brassica, obviously accompanying everything with a dram , a good glass of Scotch whisky . This dish, hated and loved, is certainly recommended among the things to eat in Scotland for a true taste experience and for those who love more decisive and strong flavors and custom says that this dish must be cut with a sword ! Furthermore, a legend has it that haggis is a small native animal of the Scottish Highlands, but in truth this dish was born in 423 BC , with the name of exploded sausage .

Haggis - traditional Scottish cuisine - Scottish cuisine

2. Cullen Skink

If you are wondering what to eat in Scotland to warm you up from the cold, Cullen skink is one of the most loved Scottish foods. This thick soup is made with haddock , a saltwater fish also called haddock , onions, leeks and potatoes. Furthermore, in the original recipe of Scottish cuisine, the typical dish includes Finnan haddie , the cold-smoked type of haddock. An ancient regional smoking method that often uses wood and peat typical of the country. The dish is typical of the Moray area , especially of the town of Cullen , overlooking the coast to the north.

Cullen skink is usually served as a starter at formal dinners, but also as a main course throughout the country. A regional difference in the recipe may include the use of water or milk for the soup, or cream. Furthermore, the dish is always accompanied by hot bread or croutons. Other varieties, to make the soup thicker, require mashing potatoes inside . This Scottish food has appeared since ancient times in some traditional cookery books, as well as in restaurants across the country and even the rest of the United Kingdom.

Cullen skink
Cullen skink

3. Black pudding

Another very particular dish of Scottish cuisine that we recommend you take on your trip to Scotland to try its typical foods is black pudding. This typical black pudding is comparable to our black pudding and is a typical sausage of Irish and English cuisine. For its preparation, pork lard , its blood or beef tallow and cereals are used. Usually inside we can also find semolina, barley or oats. Furthermore, the cereals present in this typical Scottish dish allow it to be distinguished from other black puddings in the world, making it truly unique.

Today known by the name of black pudding, in around 1450 this Scottish food was identified in historical recipe books as blak podyngs , also present throughout England as bloody or black pot; term very widespread in Somerset . Because of its preparation, this dish was historically associated with the feast of Saint Martin , when livestock were killed annually. Furthermore, since the 1980s , the Pudding Toss has been held in Lancashire in England : a humorous competition. While not a much-loved flavor today, black pudding is a source of zinc, iron and protein , even described as a super food !

Black Pudding - Scottish food - typical Scottish food - traditional Scottish food - scotland food - scotland food - scottish foods - traditional scottish foods
Black Pudding

4. Stovies

Also called stovers, stovocks or stovy tatties, stovies is one of the typical Scottish dishes that we recommend. The term stovies , in Scots, means to stew and derives from the period of French influence with the term étuvé , i.e. braised . Following the original recipe of Scottish cuisine, the dish is prepared with meat, potatoes, onions and vegetables according to personal taste, braising the potatoes inside a closed pan and using fat. Butter, beef lard or lard can also be used, with the addition of a little water, meat gelatin or broth. Charcuterie, pickled beetroot or oat scones are often used to accompany this much-loved traditional Scottish food . When meat is present inside the stovies , this can be called high-heelers .

By cooking all the ingredients together in a large pot, you obtain a stew with strong flavors and very dense, ideal for warming the body and soul. A recipe handed down since ancient times, it was born from wealthy families who gave the leftovers from Sunday lunch, the Sunday Roast , to the servants . Once they arrived home, poor families used those few ingredients to create a tasty and satiating meal, as well as plentiful to last several days. An ancient poor recipe , which has come down to us as one of the things to eat in Scotland during your trip.


5. Fish and Chips

An iconic street food of UK cuisine, Scotland is also one of the ideal places to enjoy an excellent fish and chips among the things to eat during your trip. Always a symbol of the working class , also called cheap as chips , that is, cheap like french fries , it will not be difficult to find this food in Scotland during your trip. Its origins, even today, are shrouded in legend . Unlike French fries, these chips arrived during the 1600s from France and Belgium , seeing the birth of the dish mainly out of necessity , frying fish in winter.

At the same historical moment, battered fish appears in Great Britain , that is, battered fish introduced by the Jews who arrived from Spain and Portugal. Conceived since the past as street food , it was sold by street vendors. It was then the Italian migrants who saw the dish as a product with a lot of potential, also bringing it to Ireland and Scotland. Absolutely among the typical dishes of Scotland, in Edinburgh , but also in the places along the coast, where the catch is always very fresh .

fish and chips - typical Scottish dishes - typical Scottish dishes - typical Scottish dish - typical Scottish dishes - typical Scottish dish - typical Scottish dishes
Fish and Chips

6. Scottish eggs

A dish popular throughout the United Kingdom originating from Scottish cuisine, Scotch eggs are a much loved dish, especially as an appetizer . This typical Scottish food includes boiled eggs , quail or chicken, wrapped in minced pork. They are then coated in breadcrumbs and fried or baked for a lighter version. Furthermore, its origins are still debated today between Scotland and England, with paternity being attributed to Yorkshire’s Fortnum & Mason, a department store, in the 19th century . The name, in fact, would be due to the William J. Scott & Sons restaurant that prepared them.

The first recipe for this typical Scottish dish appeared in 1809 , in Maria Rundell ‘s recipe book A New System of Domestic Cookery . Today, this food that we recommend eating in Scotland is also sold as a snack and street food in supermarkets and many shops, as well as being one of the most loved pub foods. Not to be confused with Manchester eggs : pickled eggs wrapped in minced pork and black pudding. Furthermore, in an ancient Scottish recipe book, this recipe appears with the name bird’s nest , as it contains an egg.

Scottish eggs
Scottish eggs

7. Tweed Kettle

Also called salmon hash , the Tweed Kettle is one of the ideal things to eat in Scotland for lovers of fish-based recipes. The recipe for this typical Scottish dish, in fact, includes poached salmon , soaked in fish broth and accompanied by mushrooms and potatoes. The fish, on the other hand, is cooked over a low heat together with fresh herbs. In the 19th century , this great classic of Scottish food was very popular in the pubs of Edinburgh and takes its name from the River Tweed . In fact, this great Scottish river is popular for salmon fishing .

Furthermore, the name is also due to the cooking method used, which involves completely immersing the whole salmon in a large pot . After cooking the fish, it is only added later to white wine, chives, shallots and broth. Butter from the saucepan is added and the mushrooms are browned, adding the fish only when almost cooked, garnishing the dish with parsley and serving it accompanied by potatoes or mashed potatoes . Among the perfect traditional Scottish foods, tasty and creamy for an autumn day.

Tweed Kettle - what to eat in Scotland - what to eat in Scotland - Scottish food
Tweed Kettle

8. Tippers

Among the typical Scottish dishes, the kipper indicates herring that has been gutted, completely opened, without bones, marinated or salted and smoked. Furthermore, according to the traditional recipe, oak wood is preferred for smoking . A typical Scottish dish also widespread in Ireland , throughout the United Kingdom and in North America. Furthermore, this dish is very present in the Scottish breakfast, while during the Second World War smoked herring represented one of the most popular dinners among the working class of the country’s hinterland , considering its preservation method.

Herring prepared in this way is very popular, as well as being a locally caught product. They maintain their flavor and color , thanks to the wood with which they are smoked, giving a light flavor and leaving the meat delicate . As well as for breakfast, kippers are also popular served simply with lemon and butter , or with a poached egg , along with tea.


9. Scottish Pie

An absolutely must-try specialty among things to eat in Scotland, don’t miss the tasty Scottish pies. A small meat pie encased in a double crust . Meat, according to Scottish cuisine tradition, is ground mutton, beef or lamb . Unlike other savory pies, such as steak, kidney or potato pies, this one is also known as savory pie to differentiate it. A typical Scottish dish but widespread throughout the United Kingdom, it is a real delicacy also served during football matches , accompanied by the typical Bovril sauce , thus also taking the name of football pies .

The filling is usually very spicy and the pie is cooked in a pan of about 8 cm in diameter . This Scottish food is served hot , both in restaurants and takeaway bakeries or at outdoor events. Furthermore, thanks to the hard crust, it is easy to eat while walking , making it also a perfect street food among the typical Scottish dishes to make you feel like a true local!

Scotch pie - typical Scottish dishes
Scotch pie

10. Ticky toffee pudding

Finally, we could only conclude our guide on traditional Scottish cuisine with sweetness , with sticky toffee pudding. This typical dessert among the things to eat in Scotland that we recommend is also widespread throughout the British kingdom. Made with soft sponge cake, chopped dates and caramel sauce . Often, for an even more delicious version, it is accompanied by hot custard or ice cream . Together with bread and butter or roly-poly jam pudding, it is in first place among the most loved desserts in the United Kingdom. Its origins are still disputed today, as the owners of many pubs in Millington and Aberdeenshire in the 1960s claimed to have invented it.

Patricia Martin of Claughton , however, said she received the recipe from a Canadian air force officer during the Second World War. In the 1990s, a version of this recipe was developed and sold in supermarkets , which could be heated at home, thus reaching the height of its popularity. Furthermore, this food in its Scottish variety also includes a whiskey-based sauce, to be poured hot over the pudding.

Sticky toffee pudding - Scottish cuisine typical dishes Scotland what to eat
Sticky toffee pudding

Visit Scotland along the Ways of Taste

Gone are our tips on typical Scottish cuisine and dishes, with the foods you absolutely must try during your trip. Furthermore, one thing that cannot be missing among the things to eat in Scotland is its rich breakfast : a true taste experience. Furthermore, breakfast in Scotland is very similar to that in Ireland and England, with hearty dishes based on eggs, bacon and potatoes , often also with vegetables. Furthermore, if you love meat, don’t miss the excellent Scottish beef, the Aberdeen Angus: considered one of the best varieties in the world.

But if you want to try the best of typical Scottish dishes, delve into its homemade pastries , from steamed desserts with custard, to steamed marmalade pudding and pudding. Finally, seaweed has also always played a central role in his cuisine, including redware and carrageen , served boiled and seasoned with lemon and butter. Furthermore, a trip to Scotland cannot be considered complete without tasting its excellent Scotch Whiskey and the local beers to be enjoyed in the pubs!

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