You may assume that Scottish food is the same as its English and Irish neighbours – but it really is in a league of its own. Hearty, filling and regionally diverse, Scotland has a lot to offer when it comes to the dinner table. From stuffed sheep pluck to ancient creamy chowder, here are seven traditional Scottish dishes to try.
Traditional Scottish Dishes To Try
Haggis is Scotland’s iconic national dish and easily its most famous. It’s made up of sheep intestines, beef, and oatmeal. The sheep intestines or ‘sheep’s pluck’ is minced with beef fat and oatmeal then stuffed into a sheep stomach. Afterwards, it is slow boiled and usually served alongside ‘neeps and tatties.’ You’ll either love it or hate it; either way, it’s definitely worth trying.
2. Neeps and Tatties
As mentioned above, neeps and tatties are generally (but not always) served with haggis. Neeps and tatties are really just a really cool way of saying boiled root veggies. This side dish is made up of any variety of root vegetables that have been boiled and mashed into two smaller sides. Potatoes and turnips are the usual suspects and make for a filling and healthy side to any Scottish dinner.
3. Cullen Skink
Don’t let the strange name sway you from trying this deliciously authentic Scottish fish soup. The name ‘Cullen skink’ derives from Gaelic. Cullen refers to the town in Moray and ‘skink’ to the Scots word for shin of beef which has a double meaning of soup. This speciality chowder hails from Cullen and is made up of smoked haddock, potatoes, and onion. It’s creamy, hearty and undeniably Scottish.
4. Black Pudding
Scots have been making black pudding for centuries and are dang good at it, too. Black pudding, or blood sausage, is traditionally a blend of thick oatmeal, pigs blood, lard, onion, and spices. It’s not actually a pudding, but a sausage patty. Sound appetizing? Despite being made with some arguably strange ingredients, black pudding is delicious.
5. Cock-a-Leekie Soup
If there is one thing Scots get right, it’s the naming of their dishes. Cock-a-Leekie soup is the Scottish version of chicken soup and famous for its incredible aromatic flavours. The stars of the show are chicken stock, leeks and sometimes a grain such as barley or rice.
6. Scotch Pie
Scotch Pie has a long and complicated history. In fact, in the Middle Ages, this double-crust meat pie was a no-no for the Scottish church who considered luxurious and, well, English. However, as the centuries went on, Scots made the dish their own, and it became a working-class food. Nowadays it’s made up of mutton, loads of nutmeg and gravy. Regardless of its past, scotch pie is savoury, delicious and all-around Scottish.
7. Black Bun
Black bun is a Scottish spiced fruit cake wrapped in pastry and usually eaten during Hogmanay. It’s chock full of the best spices like ginger, cinnamon and black pepper that give it a unique range of flavour and make it more than just a fruit cake.