Food Culture and Tradition

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Foods Commonly Used in Scotland


Hearty soups, fish dishes, and a great variety of quick breads and cakes (leavened with soda or baking powder rather than yeast) are the staples in a Scottish kitchen. Fish may be considered one of the most important staples, but dairy products are also used in abundance. Fruits are used mainly in season and in the form of jellies, preserves, and marmalades rather than fresh fruits to satisfy the Scottish sweet tooth. Garden vegetables are popular but kale and seaweed, cabbage and potatoes are the favorites. Thistle leaves may be used as a food but usually only in times of necessity.

North Americans tend to think of oatmeal as a breakfast cereal and perhaps occasionally as a component of breads and cookies. But the Scottish use of oatmeal has stimulated an astonishing array of recipes including beverages, soups, meat and fish dishes, puddings, dumplings, stuffing and many desserts and baked goods. There is even a popular cheese which is sold coated in oatmeal.

Though Scottish food may be prepared with a minimum of seasonings and a maximum of cooking, it is nonetheless substantial and filling.

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