There are many dishes from that are known around the world. The country has a wide variety of landscapes that, as well as producing a different range of soils, are located in different climates which has enabled Scotland’s farmers to produce a wide range of agricultural produce.

This, along with the fact that the country has over 6000 miles of coastline, meant that there has never been a shortage of ingredients for Scotland’s cooks to work with. From medieval times, oats were grown around the country and they became a staple of the diet. Scotland had a feudal society and there was a great difference between what the rich ate and what the poor consumed.

Oatcakes being cooked on a girdle

The most obvious dish to be eaten was porridge and it has been on menus for as long as people can remembers. Oats are simply mixed with water or milk and heated. Nowadays, porridge is served with a number of different ingredients such as sugar, syrups and even fruits, and served mainly at breakfast.

The dish became so popular in British prisons that the term “doing porridge” meant that someone was serving a sentence in prison. Today the dish is eaten around the world, but often oats are replaced by other ingredients such as maize, rice or millet.

Another way that oats have been utilized in Scotland has been in the making of Scottish oatcakes. Wheat was never easily grown in the country and the oatcake was a simple way for the population to get a regular source of carbohydrate.

The oats would be moistened and shaped into cake. They would then be baked on a “girdle” and this would produce a biscuit type product. This was very popular among the general population who could not afford meat and needed something to fill their stomachs.

One of Scotland’s most famous dishes is the haggis. This type of meal people either love or hate, and there appears to be no middle ground. It is produced by mixing offal, the lowest cuts of meat, with onions, oatmeal, spices and gravy. The tradition way to serve the savory dish was within a sheep’s stomach lining, but today people use an artificial lining.

The haggis is mainly eaten at celebratory occasions such as New Years and wedding ceremonies. It is an over generalization to claim that at every Scottish ceremony there are many people wearing kilts, eating haggis and drinking whisky, but it does tend to happen.

The haggis tastes better than it looks

Another popular food that was enjoyed by the masses was black pudding. Whenever a cow or sheep was slaughtered, the poor in Scotland farmers to make use of every bit of the animal. The blood was taken and stirred, adding oats and seasoning. The mixture was then packed in lining and boiled to be stored and served at a later time.

Today it is served with cooked breakfasts and there are many varieties, such as the white pudding. The white pudding does not use the blood but instead utilizes pork and suet which mix to give it its paler color.

The cooked breakfast is very much a Scottish dish and the pudding plays a big part of it. This also includes Lorne sausages, tattie scones and other ingredients that are found in an ordinary cooked breakfast, such as eggs bacon and mushroom.

Tattie scones are made by mashing potatoes with butter salt and flour. The mixture is then cooked on a “girdle” and can be served either hot or cold. Lorne sausages are made from minced meat rusk and spices and taste similar to sausages. They do not look like them as they are square and do not have a casing.

There are many foods produced in Scotland that have been created to take advantage of the ingredients that were available.