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Scottish Food & Drink Primer

January 18, 2017


Black Pudding-If you’ve ever visited Scotland, you’ll recognize this as a familiar item on your breakfast platter. It’s a type of blood sausage made from pork fat or beef suet and oatmeal.

Scotch Pies-You’ll often see people roaming the streets in Scotland munching on these pies. Also known as shell or mince pies, they’re small, double-crust meat pies filled with minced mutton or other meat.

Haggis-Scotland’s national dish, it’s an intriguing mix of a sheep’s lungs, intestines, liver and kidneys with oatmeal and spices.

Fish and Chips–This hugely popular meal is available at small shops around Scotland. For those visiting St. Andrews, take a short 10 minute drive to the fishing village of Anstruther and feast on some fresh, batter-dipped haddock, with chips and mushy peas at Anstruther Fish Bar, a highly rated place to enjoy the meal.

Arbrouth Smokies-A type of smoked haddock.

Smoked Salmon-Considered a Scottish delicacy, the filet is cured then hot or cold smoked.

Lorne Sausage-One of Scotland’s most loved breakfast foods, it’s also known as slice, square or flat sausage. It’s made from ground meat (pork and beef), rusk and spices.

Rumbledethumps-A baked dish made with mashed potatoes, cabbage, onion and butter.

Birdies-A pastry filled with minced steak, onions, butter and beef suet.

Dundee Cake-A famous fruit cake- favored by Queen Elizabeth at tea time- made with currants, sultanas and almonds.

Clootie Dumpling-A dessert pudding made with breadcrumbs, flour, dried fruit, sugar, spice and milk.

Cranachan-A traditional Scottish dessert made from a mixture of whipped cream, honey and fresh raspberries, with toasted oatmeal soaked overnight in a small portion of whisky.

Shortbread Cookies-Simple, melt-in-your-mouth cookies made from sugar, flour and lots of butter. The most popular brand is Walkers, which come in fingers, rounds and triangles.

Peppermint Creams–Mint cream coated with dark chocolate.

Tea Cakes-The most famous are by Tunnock’s. They’re made of marshmallow on a biscuit base coated in chocolate.


Belhaven–Established in 1719, Belhaven Brewery, located 20 miles from Edinburgh, is Scotland’s oldest working brewery. You’ll find their products in most pubs and grocery stores. They have a wide range of traditional ales, stouts and specialty craft beers. Belhaven Best, a sweet malty beer with toffee and caramel notes, is Scotland’s best selling ale.

Tennent’s-Made by Wellpark Brewery in Glasgow, which was founded in 1740, this clear and golden yellow beer is Scotland’s leading brand of pale lager. It has been dubbed “Scotland’s Favorite Pint”.

Caladonian Brewery in Edinburgh-A traditional Scottish beer brewed since 1869. Some of their most popular brews include Deuchars IPA, Flying Scotsman, Edinburgh Castle and Three Hop Lager.

BrewDog-This Scottish craft beer maker has won a slew of awards. Popular brews include Punk IPA, Dead Pony Club, Jet Black Heart, 5AM Saint and Kingpin. It’s available in many bars and grocery stores like Sainsburys and Tesco.


Scotland is home to more than 100 whisky distilleries in five main regions–Campbeltown, Highland, Islay, Lowland and Speyside. According to Whisky Advocate Magazine, the single malt whiskies most popular with Americans are:

1 . Glenlivet

2. The Macallan

3. Glenfiddich

4. The Balanvie

5. McClelland’s

6. Glenmorangie