When you’re thinking about Scottish foods, there’s a world of choice beyond haggis. Let’s face it, haggis is an acquired taste and while many rave about it, you can make your mind up later while you explore some of the other Scots delicacies on offer. Get ready to feast your senses as we look at some of the best foods – and drinks – coming out of Scotland.
With the Tay, the Tweed and other major rivers, it’s no surprise that fish is big on the Scottish menu. In particular, the country is known for a wide variety of smoked fish which are delicious at any time of day. Arbroath Smokie hails from the east coast and is a tasty wood-smoked haddock. But if you want something more traditional, check out the delicious smoked salmon, which makes a nice entree and is served worldwide.
When you live in Scotland, you need a winter warmer. In fact, you might need one all year round, so it’s no surprise that Scotland is also famous for its soups and broths. From chicken and leek soup, called cock-a-leekie, to Scotch broth, with barley, meat and vegetables – to the haddock-based Cullen Skink, there’s a rich, nourishing soup for almost every taste.
It’s back to haggis again, as we celebrate Scotland’s prominence in preparing game-based dishes. Grouse, partridges, pheasants and wood pigeons are some of the choices. While we’re on the subject of meat, let’s not forget Scottish beef, renowned for its quality, and a selection of meat pies.
When you’re ready for dessert, there are plenty of Scottish favorites to choose from. Cranachan includes whisky, honey, raspberries, whipped cream and toasted oatmel – a yummy traditional dessert. Then there’s the Clootie Dumpling with suet, flour, sugar, spices, sultanas and other dried fruit, and you can’t beat a nice, rich Black Bun. Let’s not forget the chees board, either. Some Strathdon Blue, Dunlop Bonnet goats cheese or Black Crowdie will go nicely with traditional oatcakes.Â And how could you end a meal without a piece of Scotland’s deservedly world famous shortbread?
Finally, you’ll need something to wash down your meal. If whisky is your bag, you won’t be sorry to try some Glenfiddich, Laphroaig, Glenmorangie, Macallan or Famous Grouse. Beer drinkers can take their pick of everything from the offerings from Innis and Gunn and Harviestoun to BrewDog’s Trashy Blonde. Prefer something soft? No problem. End your meal with a glass of mineral water, ginger beer or IrnBru – all made in Scotland, of course!
Sharon Hurley Hall enjoys a nice bit of smoked salmon. She writes for Scottish Hampers who provide hampers for Christmas.