Traditional Scottish Food

Traditional Scottish Food

Being married to a beautiful Scottish lassy I can firmly say that I know quite a lot about traditional Scottish food. I have spent quite some time in Scotland and of course eaten quite a lot of food up there. Instantly when you think of Scottish food the first thing that spring to mind is haggis. Most people turn up there noses even before they have tasted haggis because of all the rumours of what its made from. You should try haggis at least once in your lifetime. As with all countries it is the food of the poor and what they eat in Edinburgh they may not In Glasgow. The Scots are as fierce about their regional cuisines as the rest of the world.

So please keep popping back as I compile this list of traditional Scottish food. I do have my wife grandma handwritten cookbook but. It is quite delicate and hard to decipher so it will take time to extract the information from that one. I will also add recipes and expand on each section in time.

What Is Haggis Made From

It is made from the live, heart and lungs of the sheep. I know what your thinking that doesn’t taste good at all but wait. They also add to it oats, spices (each butcher has their very own secret spice mix). Then it is encased in an animals stomach to be cooked. What is traditionally served with haggis you may ask. Haggis is traditionally served with neeps and tatties on Burns Night. What are neeps and tatties. Well neeps are sweeds, some people call them turnips, mashed with butter and pepper. Tatties are simply mashed potatoes seasoned well.  If you haven’t tried haggis then a good place to start would be haggis bon bons.  Small little nibbles of haggis  deep fried.

traditional Scottish food
Haggis Bon Bons

A great recipe for Haggis Bon Bons from Suzy Homemaker.

Scottish Steak Pie

This is a Scottish traditional usually served on New Years Day. It is a big event for the the Scottish, I presume its because they have been up all night celebrating the New Years Eve they need something substantial for the next meal. What is so Scottish about a steak pie you may ask. Well the traditional Scottish steak pie has sausage in it as well. Let me say it is a very nice addition to the Steak pie indeed. Very often though they will buy the Scottish Steak pie from their favorite butcher and all to often you can see them queuing down the road to get theirs.

Lorne Sausage Square Sausages

What is Lorne Sausage ? Well its a mixture usually of pork and beef with rusk and spices. Also as the name suggest the shape of the sausage is square. It is typically eaten for breakfast in a full Scottish breakfast or simply in a bap by itself. We always have some in the freezer ready for the wife at a moments notice. Her mum buys it ready for when we go to visit. The true Scotts are very adamant about where they get there square sausage from. Typical a Scots family will buy their Lorne sausage from one butcher. Each butcher has their own secret recipes and generations of the family will remain loyal to that butcher, exactly as they do with their steak Pie.

I have eaten my fair share of square sausage but I don’t like to eat more than two in a week. Why ? because there is quite a high fat content in it and I can feel the arteries thicken as I eat it.

What does square sausage taste like?

it is very meaty chewy in texture, there is usually a quite peppery taste. You have got to try a square sausage in your life time trust me.

Scottish Salmon

Walk into any high end supermarket or restaurant across the world and look for Scottish salmon. It will be there. Why? Because it is the best. Scotland is a prime breeding ground for salmon, with water that is as fresh as can be. One of the best ways to eat salmon and preserve its goodness is to have smoked salmon. There is a wonderful array of different smoking techniques to bring out and enhance the salmon. To start with there is cold smoking and then there is the hot smoke.

Cold Smoked Salmon

The old smoke process starts firstly with a salting process. This ensure that any it draws the moisture out of the salmon and prevents any new bacteria growth. The salt also enhances the flavour as well. The actual smoke process takes place after the salting cure. As it suggest it is just the smoke from the fire that further cures the fish. The heat box (fire source) is separate from where the salmon is.

The smoke produced from the fire is draw off into the curing box which in turn then flavours the salmon. It is the choice of the wood or woods that give each curing house their distinct flavour and texture. This procees can take from one day up to 3 weeks. The temperature for the cold smoke is between 70°F to 90°F. The longer the process the more expensive and luxurious the salmon

Make your Own Cold Smoke Salmon:   Bourbon Cold Smoked Salmon

Traditional Scottish food
Cold Smoked Bourbon Salmon

Hot Smoked Salmon

Hot smoking as it suggest is an increase in temperature and involves direct heat. The texture of the hot smoked salmon is much firmer due to the direct heat. With the hot smoking technique I believe that much more flavour can be imparted not the salmon. A wide variety of woods can be used to enhance the smoke, cedar wood, apple wood, cherry wood, the list is endless. You can also add woody herbs to the fire to enhance the depths of flavours more.

Hot Smoked Salmon VS Cold Smoked Salmon

Personally I have no preference over the other. It completely depends on what food I will be serving at the time. I like to have cold smoked salmon with my scrambled eggs. I use hot smoked salmon in my quiches, they both taste great it just depends on the needs and taste at the time. Of course it depends as well how good the price is, as we always love a bargain on Cheap Dinner Ideas.

Scottish Mackerel

No better place in the world to catch the finest mackerel of the coast of Scotland. Simple Mackerel Recipe and a vibrant salsa to liven the flavours even more

mackerel salsa, starters


Whether it’s Scott’s Porage Oats straight out of the box or a gourmet restaurant version, nothing beats the hearty taste of good old Scottish porridge.


A full Scottish

A full Scottish breakfast is just like a full English breakfast, except it comes with black pudding, lorne sausage, and tattie scones. It can also be served with white pudding, clootie dumpling refried.

Scottish tablet

Tablet is a braw choice when it comes to Scottish treats. Imagine sugar, condensed milk and butter that have been cooked together until crystalised.

Bangers and mash

Any British household looks forward to bangers and mash for supper.


Sticky toffee pudding

This delightful dessert is a British staple. Sticky toffee pudding is verging on too good to be true. It consists of a moist sponge cake complete with dates, toffee sauce, and vanilla custard or ice cream. This wee gem can be found in most Scottish pubs and is the perfect pudding option.


Fish supper

There is nothing like going to a Scottish chippy for a fish supper. Walk into a proper chippy and ask for fish and chips and the staff will stare. Honestly it has happened to me, then I remembered what the wife said, 2 fish suppers please. That was it into the fryer they went and the fish and chips went onto the tray.

Now this is where it got complicated, “brown sauce”, what brown sauce on fish. No thank you, however its not your typical brown sauce you would get from the shop. It is rumoured to be made up of a cheap unbranded brown sauce and vinegar to dilute it. The “sauce” is about 50/50 of vinegar and brown sauce. A little different from the Fish & Chips at Rick Steins.

Millionares Shortbread

Covered with a with toffee and then chocolate. The trick with this is dont make the mistake of making the top layer of chocolate to thick on the top. I did once thinking it would taste better but as you bite it the whole thing just crumbles in your hand.



This prize bird inhabits the moorlands of Britain, with many residing all across Scotland.


Black pudding

To those who are unfamiliar with traditional Scottish cuisine,

White Pudding

Yes I love this to and traditional served with the Scottish breakfast.



Shortbread traditional in every way, Sugar, butter, full of calories but so Moorish


Leek and tattie soup

Leek and tattie soup is the sort of food that will be served when you visit grandma for lunch. A great scottish tradition is soup and sandwiches, I did not realise how much they loved this until I spent some time up there. We once stayed at Loch Lomond for New Year and every afternoon soup and sandwiches were served. I actually enjoyed the warm comforting soup and the contrasting cold sandwiches.

Battered mars bar

Only the Scots could conjure up such a delight. Venture to any of the chippies in Scotland and ask for a battered Mars Bar: they won’t even bat an eyelid.


Scotch pie

This wee pie may be small, but that doesn’t take away from its flavour. These little pies made with lard for the pastry are also bought from your local favourite butcher. They even have a World Championship Scotch Pie competition, that’s how serious they take it up there. I must admit that there not my favourite Scottish food. However the wife again loves these and she can eat 2 with a big squirt of tomato sauce in a single sitting. Not to often mind you.

Clootie Dumpling

a strange tale indeed and this recipe comes from Nans cookbook when I find it, We also have a quick microwave method swell. I particularly like it best refried and served with the full Scottish breakfast.


Bridies are more commonly know as pasties, a filling of usually meat and onions wrapped up in one piece of pastry. It is usually folded over and then pinched to join the pastry together. An Italian food version would be calzone with out the cheese.

Bridie – Puff Pastry

Bridie will have a beef filling either minced or cubed and may contain as an addition rusk, seasoning, optional onion, cereal/vegetable or soya binder, water or stock.
Any cereal or soya binder must not be at an added level that is considered a filler. The fillling must be encased with PUFF PASTRY.

Bridie – Pie Pastry

A savoury Bridie will have a cooked shredded or cubed steak filling with ingredients as used for the standard puff pastry Bridie. No vegetable other than onion is acceptable.
The filling will be encased with SAVOURY SHORTCRUST PIE PASTRY

 Black Bun


Smoked Tongue

Aberdeen Angus

Beef doesn’t Gert much better than this. The Breed of the Aberdeen Angus has been around in Scotland since the 16th Century. There is other countries around the world that also breed Aberdeen Angus but the real deal of course comes from Scotland. The beef has excellent marbling qualities with gives it moistness and tenderness when cooking.

So please keep checking back as I compile this list into a customizable cookbook of traditional Scottish food. 

Traditional Scottish Food Game Birds


one of the very traditional game birds of Scotland

Scottish Fruits

Now in the Scottish countryside some of the worlds finest fruits grow in the wild

Scottish Mussels

Mussels, I absolutely love these shellfish and grown in the

Arbroath Smokies

Mince And Potatoes

We in England usually call it mince pie, mashed potatoes on top of a rich mince meat dish. The Scottish do it a little different preferring to have their mashed potatoes on the side and not on the top.

Scotland are of course famous for their mussels, read the complete guide to mussels 

Famous Scottish Chef

Nick Nairns

Master Chef Winner 2017 was of course

of course

Tunnocks Teacakes

Soor plumbs

Sweets and very sour as well.