Scottish cuisine is often based on very traditional foods.

Arbroath Smokie

A wood-smoked haddock produced in the East coast fishing town of Arbroath in small family smoke-houses.

Bannocks (or Oatcakes)

Barley and oat-flour biscuits baked on a gridle often eaten with cheese.

Black Bun

A very rich fruit cake that takes its name from the very dark colour. It is made with raisins, currants, finely-chopped peel, chopped almonds, brown sugar cinnamon and ginger.


A traditional Irish dish, which is also found in the Western Islands of Scotland. Made from boiled cabbage, carrots, turnip and potatoes, which is drained and stewed for about 20 mins in a pan with butter, seasoning and served hot.


A simple white cheese, made from the whey of slightly soured milk, which is squeezed in a muslin bag to remove excess water and seasoned. After being left aside for two days it is then rolled in oats and served.

Forfar Bridies

Are oval delicacies, similar to the Scotch Pie, but unlike the pie, the filling is crimped into either a plain or flaky pastry case. Minced Beef is placed in the centre of the pastry with a little suet and a sprinkling of very finely chopped onion. The pastry is then folded over along its longest side, brushed with milk and cooked until the pastry is golden brown.


Perhaps the best known Scottish delicacy is discussed in a separate article.


Made of boiled oatmeal, porridge needs to be boiled slowly and stirred continuously with the traditional spirtle to avoid lumps. A small plate at breakfast can keep the hunger away until lunch, but the porridge should be thick and wholesome, not thin like gruel. To obtain the right flavour salt must be used not sugar or syrup, as often happens outside Scotland. The tradition of Highland crofters was to make a large pot at the start of the week and once cooled, cut it into slices to take for lunch each day.

Scotch Broth or Hotch-Potch

A traditional rich stock made by boiling mutton neck, beef, marrow-bone or chicken. Vegetables include carrots, garden peas, leeks, cabbage, turnips and celery with a handful of barley. For best results, add hard vegetables to the boiling stock first. The final consistency should be thick and served piping hot.

Scotch Pies

Made without using a pie tin, these self-contained round crusty pastry pie, are filled with minced meat, much of which is often replaced with offal. The traditional meat is mutton, although nowadays beef is usually used and some variations may contain onion. Traditionally the ordinary pie as one hole on top, whilst the onion variety has two.

Scottish Beef

Reknown for their rich and tasty meat, the Aberdeen-Angus breed of beef cattle are now widely reared across the world. Although rare there are some good butchers that will still hang and prepare meat in the traditional manner.

Scottish Salmon

Since Victorian times the rivers Tay, Tweed and others have hosted wealthy fishing parties on the estates of the aristocracy. There is much more information on fishing on the River Tweed. Salmon poaching is an equally traditional activity. Many major fish farms have been established in the Sea Lochs on the West coast of Scotland, although the quality is considered by many, not to be the same as wild river-caught salmon. Salmon tends to be served as an entrée; smoked and thinly sliced.

Stovied Tatties (or Stovies)

A potato-based dish designed to use up leftover meat and vegetables, which should have the consistency of mashed potatoes with small pieces of potato detectable. Several onions are cut into small pieces, fried in beef dripping and then scraps of meat and left-over vegetables (usually carrots and peas) are all added to the frying onions. Add 6-8 good sized peeled potatoes cut into 3cm pieces with about an inch of water (or beef stock), seasoning and then leave to simmer until the potatoes are soft. If the pan is likely to become dry more water can be added.


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