12 essential Scottish foods and drinks to try

12 essential Scottish foods and drinks to try

The birthplace of Scotch and world-renowned for its seafood, Scotland offers an abundance of fresh and diverse produce. Whether you’re a first-time visitor to the foodie-lovers capital of Edinburgh, or a seasoned explorer of the country, a trip to Scotland is not complete without trying some of these delicious traditional Scottish dishes and drinks.

1. Haggis Neeps ‘N’ Tatties

Scotland’s national dish, a savoury meat fare traditionally served for celebratory occasions such as weddings, Burn’s Night or Hogmany (New Year). Made from sheep’s lung, liver and heart and combined with onion, oatmeal, and spices, this dish is typically accompanied by turnips (‘neeps’) and potatoes (‘tatties’) and dressed with a whisky cream sauce.

2. Scottish Salmon

Scotland is well known for its seafood and thanks to its rocky coastal waters, fresh rivers, and lakes, the country boasts some of the world’s highest quality salmon. Served in a variety of different dishes and styles, salmon is offered in countless restaurants across Scotland.

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Beautiful Smoked Salmon Vertical Cut

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3. Scotch Pie

Served hot or cold, this minced meat double-crust pie is a much-loved Scottish staple. Traditionally sold during half time at football games, Scotch pie can also be found in restaurants and pubs across the country, often served alongside some chips and Heinz beans.

4. Full Scottish Breakfast

The full Scottish breakfast shares the same calorie-dense fried ingredients as the full English but with some welcome additions such as potato (‘tattie’) scones, black pudding, lorne (‘square’) sausage and potentially even some haggis – if you’re lucky! Served all day long in many Scottish cafes, expect to feel exceptionally full and in need of a lie-down when you finish this meal.

5. Potato Scone

Known locally as a ‘tattie scone’, this Scottish favourite warrants a mention of its own. A regional variant to the savoury griddle scone, the Scottish potato scone is made with mashed potato, butter, and salt. It’s usually toasted or fried and served with lashings of butter in a full Scottish breakfast or in a breakfast roll.

6. Lorne Sausage

Another integral part of the full Scottish breakfast, Lorne sausage, or better known in Scotland as a ‘square sausage’ is made from minced meat, rusk, and spices. Expect to find it in a Scottish fry up or like many of the Scottish delicacies, in a breakfast roll – preferably with a ‘tattie’ scone!

7. Stornoway Black Pudding

Made exclusively in Stornoway on the Scottish Isle of Lewis, this savoury blood pudding is certainly not a ‘pudding’ in the sweet sense. Made from beef suet, oatmeal, onion, animal blood and seasoned with salt and pepper, the sausage is served in a traditional breakfast or as an accompaniment to a range of savoury dishes such as chicken, salads, and scallops. You won’t have to travel far in Scotland to find it!

8. Whisky

Scotland’s national drink and the birthplace of Scotch, no trip would be complete without a dram of the gold liquid! With over 120 active whisky distilleries, you can take a distillery tour whilst you’re in Scotland to learn a little more about what goes into making one of Scotland’s biggest exports.

9. Irn-Bru

Commonly known as ‘Scotland’s other national drink’, Irn-Bru is a Scottish staple so popular with the locals that it is one of the very few countries in the world where soft drinks sales outrank Coca-Cola. This fizzy, sweet, orange coloured drink caused uproar among its die-hard fans when the producers were forced to change their secret recipe due to the sugar tax introduced by the government in 2018.

10. Cranachan

This traditional Scottish dessert was originally created to celebrate the start of the Scottish raspberry harvest in June. This simple dish combines many typical Scottish ingredients including whisky, honey, oats, and raspberries.

11. Deep-Fried Mars Bar

Yes, an actual deep-fried Mars bar! Originally created in fish and chip shops in the Scottish fishing town of Stonehaven, this calorific treat has become an infamous staple on many chip shop menus across Scotland.

12. Scottish Tablet

For anyone with a sweet tooth! Made from sugar, condensed milk, and butter, Scottish tablet is boiled and then left to crystalize resulting in a very rich, crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth sugary treat!

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