Traditionally on Burns Night, haggis, neeps (swede/turnip, let’s not get into the difference here, just eat one of these) and tatties (potatoes) are served, washed down with whisky, or Irn Bru if you’re ‘aff the drink’. The meal is usually finished with oatcakes and cheese.

Despite the jokes about deep fried Mars bars, I have never tried one, nor have I ever seen one. They’re basically an urban myth, but I believe some fish and chip shops started to produce them for the novelty factor.

Scottish foods aren’t known for their health benefits (chips/fries are jokingly referred to as a Glasgow salad), but they’re certainly unique – and often very tasty.


Lorne sausage (square/sliced sausage)
Unfamiliar to any shop south of Berwick, Lorne sausage is a peculiar thing. It is made of pork and is part of the full Scottish breakfast, but is also enjoyed in a roll or a sandwich at the start of the day. It looks wholly unappetising but tastes pretty good – like a normal sausage but with a hint of spice.

Stornoway black pudding
Stornoway (the capital of the Isle of Lewis) is renowned for its black pudding, and has PGI status. It is said to be one of the finest in the world due to the addition of Scottish oatmeal. Black pudding is essentially congealed animal blood but you need to look past the basic description. It’s very rich, quite spicy and partners excellently with apple sauce. If you like haggis, you’ll probably like black pudding.

Cullen skink
Cullen skink is a thick fish soup with an odd name. Cullen is a fishing town in the Moray Firth, but the origins of the word ‘skink’ are a bit more conflicting. Cullen skink consists of haddock, onion, milk/cream and potatoes, and is a popular starter in Scottish restaurants.


Clootie dumpling
A very traditional ‘cake’ closely resembling a Christmas pudding. It’s a rich dish, chock-full of dried fruit and spices. It is steamed in a piece of rag or ‘cloot’, hence the name.

Cranachan is a grown-up dessert comprising Scot’s oats, whisky, fresh raspberries, honey and whipped cream. It’s a simple dish but with a lot of flavour. Sort of the Scottish equivalent to the Eton Mess.

Macaroon bars
Not to be confused with the frou-frou French fancies, Macaroon bars consist of a thick brick of fondant (made using potato), covered in chocolate and sprinkled with coconut. They were first manufactured in 1931 by Lees and are extremely sweet yet delicious.

A staple in any Scottish guiser’s Halloween haul, tablet is similar tasting to fudge but with an entirely different texture. It is usually made in either hard or soft form – the soft being melty, sugary, tooth-coating goodness. The hard type starts with a tough bite but the finale is the same. Tablet is thought to date back to the 18th century.

Edinburgh rock
Entirely dissimilar to the standard British seaside rock. Edinburgh rock is typically served as small pastel-coloured chunks, is crumbly and soft, and is fruit-flavoured. Ubiquitous on the capital’s Royal Mile and on Prince’s Street.

NB Scotland is the only country in the world where Coca Cola is not the top selling soft drink. Irn Bru holds that fizzy crown.