Food Culture and Tradition

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Glossary of Foods and Food Terms in Scotland


Arbroath Smokies: tiny haddocks smoked slowly to a dark color and strong flavor. A specialty from the east coast near Dundee.

Ashet: an oval or rectangular baking dish with high sides and spout, especially used for pies.

Atholl Brose: a dessert made of honey, cream, and oatmeal moistened with Scotch whiskey and served in glasses.

Bannock: an original Scottish bread made of flour, water, and fat, leavened with baking powder and traditionally baked on a griddle (or girdle) as a flat round cake. When cut into farls (wedges), and then baked, the result is called scones. Sometimes milk or buttermilk as well as soda is added to the basic ingredients. Other variations include the addition of spices, molasses, currants, raisins or even cooked, mashed potatoes.

Baps: small dimpled oval rolls of yeast dough. Traditionally a breakfast bread.

Biscuits: this term may refer to the baking powder biscuits known in North America, but the term is mainly used to refer to cookies.

Black Bun: the traditional cake for Hogmanay, a rich very dark fruitcake baked in a dough crust.

Black Pudding: a mixture of oats, suet, and onions plus fresh animal blood cooked by steaming in a cloth.

Blenshaw: a beverage made by blending hot milk or hot water with a small amount of oatmeal.

Brambles: blackberries.

Brose: a very thick porridge made with oatmeal, hot water or milk with added fat.

Cabbie-Claw: cod.

Caboc: a soft, buttery cheese formed into a log shape and crusted with toasted oats. Served with Baps.

Caithness: a soft aged cheese for spreading.

Cake: may be taken to mean cake or cookies.

Car Cakes: a batter of oatmeal, milk or buttermilk and leavening dropped onto a griddle and cooked as pancakes.

Carrageen: also called “Irish Moss,” a purplish, edible seaweed, gathered and dried and used to thicken gelled desserts, puddings, and custards.

Chicken Stovies: a baked casserole made of layered, sliced chicken, potatoes and onions seasoned with salt and pepper.

Clapshot: a popular side dish or supper dish of equal amounts of cooked mashed potatoes and turnips seasoned with salt and pepper and served with butter.

Clootie Puddin’: a steamed dessert pudding made mainly of bread.

Cock-A-Leekie: a rich chicken broth made with leeks. Sometimes rice or prunes are added.

Colcannon: a combination of shredded cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and turnips all cooked together in water then drained and mashed and served with salt, pepper, and butter.

Collops: thin slices of meat, generally referring to beef or veal.

Cranachan: a dessert of sweetened whipped cream and toasted oatmeal. The addition of fresh fruit is optional.

Cream Cruddie: a bland dessert similar to junket, served in a round mold accompanied by crisp oat-cakes.

Crud: curds.

Cullen Skink: a cream soup made with mashed potatoes and flaked, cooked, smoked haddock (See Finnan Haddie)

Dundee Cake: a light fruit cake.

Dunlop: a type of Cheddar cheese long popular in Scotland.

Feather Fowlie: a rich, creamed chicken broth seasoned with herbs and garnished with slivers of ham.

Finkadella: likely a corruption of the Danish frikadiller. Small meatballs made with ground meat and seasoning.

Finnan Haddie: fillets of fresh haddock prepared according to the traditional style – said to have been first used in Findon, Kincardineshire – brined then smoked.

Forfar Bridies: small pastry turnovers filled with ground meat, oatmeal and onions, seasoned with salt and pepper. Often these are garnished with cooked peas.

Girdle: a griddle.

Grosset or Crosert: gooseberries.

Haggis: the traditional Scottish dish to be served at special banquets, especially for Robbie Burns’ Night or Hogmanay. A carefully blended mixture of finely ground sheep’s heart and liver, beef suet and toasted oatmeal, onions, salt and pepper is stuffed into a well-cleaned sheep’s stomach and then well steamed. Traditionally served with Neeps and Nips and mashed potatoes.

Hattit Kit: a freshly made cream cheese made from scalded milk and buttermilk allowed to stand about 20 hours at a temperature between 80°-90°F. The mixture is placed into a cloth-lined colander and allowed to drip to separate the whey. The resulting cheese mold is chilled and served with fresh fruit and cream.

Hodgils: poached dumplings made of suet and oats.

Hotchpotch: a very thick soup usually made with a variety of the first garden fresh vegetables cooked in a lamb stock.

Hough: broth.

Howtowdie and Drappit Eggs: a stewed chicken dish finished by garnishing with poached (drappit) eggs.

Jittet: a leg or haunch of veal or lamb.

Kilkenny: a mixture of cooked shredded cabbage and cubed cooked potatoes seasoned with salt, pepper, and fresh cream.

Kippers: smoked herrings.

Lemon Butter or Lemon Curd: a type of custard made with fresh lemons, eggs and butter sweetened with sugar. It is eaten as a spread on breads or toast or used as a filling for tarts or pies.

Lights: lungs.

Mealie Pudding: a mixture of oatmeal, onions, and suet steamed in a cloth.

Mealy Candy: a taffy candy made from sugar, molasses, water, and oats flavored with ginger.

Mince: ground meat, usually heel.

Mungo Chocolate Tablet: an uncooked chocolate fudge cut in squares.

Musselburgh Pie: oysters wrapped in strips of beef, placed in a pan and covered with stock and pastry and oven-baked.

Neeps and Nips: the traditional accompaniment to Haggis. Mashed turnips and “nips” of Scotch whiskey

Nettles: another name for thistles. The young shoots are plucked, well washed and cooked and served much like spinach.

Oatcakes: very thin crisp rounds or fads (wedges) of a mixture of fat, oats and water toasted in the oven or on a griddle (or girdle).

Partan Bree: a creamed soup of crab meat with rice. “Partan” is the Scottish name for crab.

Potted Hough: a jellied aspic mold of cubed beef and veal.

Raasey Cheese: a teatime dish made of a thick sauce of eggs, milk and cheese served on toast.

Rumbledthumps: similar to Kilkenny, a mixture of cooked cabbage and potatoes, but oven-baked and topped with grated cheese.

Scotch Barley Broth: a well-known soup of lamb or mutton broth simmered with vegetables and barley.

Scotch Crumpets: small dessert crepes served with cinnamon sugar.

Scotch Eggs: peeled hard-boiled eggs wrapped in sausage meat, then coated with crumbs or oatmeal and deep-fried.

Scotch or Irish Oatmeal: unlike the familiar rolled oats commonly used in North America this is more like a coarse mealy flour made from oats.

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