traditional scottish food

7 Traditional Scottish Dishes You Need To Try

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

1. Haggis

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.

image: Celtic Bard Jeff/Facebook

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.

image: Stewart’s Scottish Market/Facebook

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.

traditional scottish food
image: Christina’s Cucina/Facebook

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.

traditional scottish food
image: Stewart’s Scottish Market/Facebook

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.

traditional scottish food
image: The Toledo Blade Food Page/Facebook

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.

traditional scottish food
image: Three Williams/Facebook

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.

traditional scottish food
image: Scottish Country Dance of the Day/Facebook
Melanie Hamilton

Melanie is an avid traveller with a passion for history and global foods. She is currently based in Tbilisi, Georgia where most of her time is occupied with qvevri wine and Soviet history. Having do-si-do'd her way across Europe and Latin America, she's enjoyed some of the world's most exciting places firsthand and can't wait to tell you about them.

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