As in most countries and cultures traditional foods were composed of foods that were readily available, easily grown, and affordable. Diets included foods based on the environment, and the needs of the people, and Scotland is certainly no exception. Through the centuries they took what they had and created foods that are hearty and varied.

Traditionally, wild game such as wild boar, venison, and fowl were staples of the Scottish diet. Today, cattle, sheep, and local wild game are all still a part of the Scottish diet, and no meal is complete without it. One of the most famous meat dishes is, of course, haggis. This historic dish is made of what is termed, offal, a combination of sheep’s heart, liver and lungs. These are combined with oatmeal, suet and spices and traditionally cooked in a bag made from the sheep’s stomach.

Meat is a staple in most meals, and the leftovers are used to make many varieties of stews when combined with potatoes, and other locally grown vegetables. Root vegetables are easily grown in Scotland, and a popular version of stew called “mince and tatties” includes leftover meat, onions, and carrots, cooked in a rich broth. “Neeps and tatties” is another version made with turnips or rutabagas and potatoes. A vegetable side dish that consists of potatoes and turnips whipped together with cream and pepper is another staple.

In cooler climates soups are always popular. Beef broth, Bawd Bree, a soup made with rabbit, and Cock-a-leekie, a soup made with chicken and leeks are long time favorites.

Because the cooler climate of Scotland did not lend itself well to growing wheat, oats and barley were normally used to make bread and other baked goods. Bannock, a bread or hard biscuit, is one of these. Oats, one of the most common forms of grain used, is consumed as oatmeal and used in porridge, gruel, and puddings. Rich puddings, cakes, and other baked goods always rounded out the meal.

Naturally, any country that lives in such close proximity to the sea and to lakes,  relies, in part, on seafood. Salmon is a popular fish, as is herring and the dish known worldwide as finnan haddie, which is smoked haddock. Kale and Dulse, a form of seaweed are also used, either boiled with meat or eaten raw.

Scottish food is satisfying and normally without frills. Overall, it has a hearty and satisfying quality that puts it in the category of comfort food

1. Scottish cuisine
2. Scottish Recipes –

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