Scotland isn’t just a beautiful country loaded with history and natural splendor, it is also a great place for a culinary adventure. So, if you are more inclined to savor the delicacies a country has to offer, here are some of the local delicacies not to be missed.
While there are numerous ways to sample the beef of Scotland, nothing will capture the amazing quality of the local meat as a steak will. The Abdereen-Angus beef breed originated from this country and is renowned for its rich and tasty meat. So, where better to try this beef then straight from its homeland?
Scotch broth is a hearty traditional dish that is rich on the palate. It is created by boiling mutton, beef or chicken. To this, the cook adds whichever vegetables will complement the meat choice. This typically includes carrots, peas, turnips leeks, cabbage and celery. This is then complemented with a handful of barley. The result it a piping hot broth that is hearty and will fill you right up.
Haggis is probably the best known and most daunting delicacy to try in Scotland. The description of the historical dish, as a dish composed of cooking sheep offal with oats in a sheep’s stomach, can leave a little to be desired to the experimental foodie. Still, it is a culinary ride that you can’t miss out on when in Scotland.
If it is the idea of the sheep’s stomach is the deal breaker for you, be assured that the stomach isn’t a consumable part of the dish. Furthermore, think of the sheep’s stomach as a big, natural sausage casing for the haggis dish, because that is essentially what it is.
Before one begins conjuring up imagery of ovine offal, which is lung, heart, liver and such, you must remember that these meats will be ground and minced beyond recognition. The result is a meat dish that is akin to a very crumbly meatloaf. Coupled with the oats, pepper and spices, the dish is rich and flavorful. And partnered with neeps (mashed swede) and tatties (mashed potato), haggis is a great comfort food for cold winter nights.
The scotch pie is a round pastry covered pie that tends to be about 4 inches in size, which makes it hand- or pocket-sized pie. It is the perfect size for old time labourers to eat from their hand, rather then needing cutlery to have a slice.
Notably, it is made without using a pie tin, therefore lacks the traditional pie plate appearance. Then tend to be filled completely with meat but can have the addition of potato or other vegetable. The presence of onion within the mix was traditionally conveyed by the number of holes on the top pie crust (one for onion, none for no onion). Traditionally, the meat within the pie is mutton but in modern times beef is sometimes found in its stead. This is another example of hearty food from the Scottish cuisine that would be filling and rejuvenating in the cold or after a long day of working.
While the bridie is similar to the Scotch Pie, it does differ in both its shape and contents. The bridie tends to be more ovoid and shaped like a pasty or calzone, rather then having a pie appearance. This pie-pasty hybrid delicacy is made by crimping the filling into the pastry. These hearty delicacies are exclusively made with minced beef, with a touch of suet and onion. Again these are another example of hand-friendly foods, that even now are filling and good for people on the go
Perhaps you might think its silly to list whisky as a Scottish delicacy. Yet amid the plethora of distilleries and the cultural celebration that surrounds whisky, I didn’t dare leave it out. Also known as Scotch, though this tends to be an American term for it, whiskey is as diverse as we are to one another. There are varieties of whisky from other countries, but Scotland prides itself on making some of the best.
The alcoholic beverage is made by distilling barley liquor and flavoring it with peat infused water. The result is this so-called “Water of Life” (Gaelic: Uisge-Beatha). There are two different whisky categories: malt whisky and blended whisky. Malt whiskys tend to be a pure draught from a single distillery. Blended whiskys can be the combination of numerous distilleries or malts, creating a standard flavoured beverage.
If you are keen to try a taste of the whisky right from the source, then you are in for a beautiful trek through Scotland. Some of the best whiskys are produced in the most scenic locales Scotland has to offer. These include the Scottish Highlands, the Abdereen countryside and the Islay, and island off the west coast of the country.