and plenty; and no killing;
Beef at a groat, and meat at a shilling.
Whisky for nothing, beer at the same.
A bonnie wee wife; and a cosy wee hame.
of the pleasures of visiting a country is sampling its native
dishes. And in Scotland, despite its northerly latitude, our
hills, rivers, forests, farms and seas provide one of the richest
and most varied menus in Europe. Until the middle of the eighteenth
century, communications in
Scotland were sparse and most communities lived in a degree
of isolation unthinkable today. Thus many of their dishes assumed
a local character, based on the ingredients available to them.
Bawd Bree to Partan Bree, a distinctive culinary repertoire awaits
the traveler to Scotland, and those who associate Scottish cooking
with such deadly sounding dishes as haggis and black bun is in
for a pleasant surprise. Blessed with a wealth of natural produce
from its rich land and teeming waters, Scotland has developed
a culinary repertoire of exceptional quality and variety. Partridge,
grouse and pheasant from the rolling moorlands, venison from the
red deer running wild in the mountains, salmon and trout from
Highland rivers, succulent beef from the Aberdeen Angus herds,
shellfish of all kinds - with ingredients like these, only a truly
lamentable cook could fail to come up with a feast.
folk tend to look back to bygone days when the streets of the
larger Scottish cities rang to the cries of oyster wives
and vendors of everything from hot peas to Het Pints, a brew of
ale, eggs and whisky flavoured with nutmeg and sold from a steaming
copper kettle. Those were the times when a fish dinner, including
ale and perhaps a dozen oysters, cost little more than one cigarette
does now. As far back as the thirteenth century, salmon was so
plentiful that it was pickled for export to London to be fed to
the poor, and only a hundred years ago servants in big houses
had contracts stipulating that it was to be served to them no
more than three times a week.
those are bygone days indeed. The allure of traditional Scottish
fare, however, has carried through to modern times in all but
price. Breakfast and tea have a special place in Scottish cooking,
and the visitor who might think of these meals as something light
has another think coming. It was Dr. Samuel Johnson who wrote:
If an epicure could remove by a wish in quest of sensual
gratification, he would breakfast in Scotland. Oatmeal is
still a staple of the national diet, and certainly most of the
older people start the day with a bowl of porridge, flavoured
with salt, not sugar, please. Then come the soft warm rolls known
as baps, kippered herring from Loch Fyne or smoked haddock (smokies)
from Aberdeen and Arbroath, scones and oatcakes with heather honey,
jams, jellies and marmalade, claimed by Scots as their own invention.
Tea is the occasion for another mammoth spread of cold meats and
eggs, potato scones, crunchy shortbread and such delicacies as
Dundee cake, a fruity concoction strewn with almonds.
has long been a great tradition of soup making
and eating in Scotland. There are many reasons for this.
Before people started to live in large cities it was usual
for everyone to own a small garden and to grow
sufficient vegetables for the household needs. It was
typical of the Scottish housewife, who has always been
thrifty and able to make much out of little, to make a
pot of soup out of a little meat or a bone and her own
vegetables, and feed a family on good nourishing fare.
A century ago in the Highlands and outer isles, where
the wind and the rain made gardening very difficult, the
industrious housewife would use young nettles or wild
sorrel or kail to replace the cultivated varieties of
vegetables so common in Scotland today.
is much advice around on the making of tea from this nation whose
"other" national drink it has been for more than two
centuries. The only thing to be repeated about the making of tea,
is the adage from the side of the Victorian teapot:
who love good tea
Must please remember me
Be sure allow the water to boil
Then the tea you will not spoil'.
which can be added - use freshly drawn water. Water re-boiled
is only fit for washing up. The following advice is also worth
remembering about keeping a pot of tea going and producing more
not drain the pot dry and then fill it up again; fill half the
cups at a time and replace in the teapot the water you have taken
from it; always with boiling water'.
elaborate dinner or late supper will bring out the smoked salmon,
rich dark venison or feathered game, roast beef or tender mutton,
perhaps lobster from the Firth of Forth. Auld Alliance, a savoury
of creamed cheese laced with whisky and served with hot buttered
toast, can be a superb climax to the meal.
whisky is all right; two is too much; three is too few.
visitor who comes across haggis or black bun should not be put
off by the unappetizing names. Haggis consists of the heart, liver
and lights of a sheep, cooked with oatmeal and onions inside its
stomach bag. Hard to believe, but its delicious. And you
must try it!
One often yearns
For the land of Burns.
The only snag is
bun, also known as Scotch bun, is a cake made with raisins, currants,
almonds, ginger, cinnamon and brandy.
favourite tea-time Scone is the Scots name of a species of cake
made of wheat or barley meal and baked on a griddle. The cakes
are round and are usually cut into four pieces, thus giving the
familiar shape of a wedge with circular edge. The broad lowland
bonnet was called a “ scone “ or “scone-cap
“ from its shape. The word appears to have been a shortened
form of a Low German word Schonbrot, i.e. fine bread, explained
in the Bremen Glossary (1771), quoted in the New English Dictionary,
as a sort of white loaf with two acute and two obtuse angles.
Essential British Cookbooks Collection
names of many Scottish delicacies are nothing if not colourful.
A few examples: Bawd Bree (hare soup), Bubblyjock (roast turkey),
Cock-a-Leekie (chicken and leek soup), Inky-Pinky (beef and carrot
stew), Stovies (sliced potatoes cooked with onions and lamb) and
Melting Moments (biscuits in rolled oats).
US cup is equivalent to 250 ml or 8 fl. oz.
A level teaspoon equates to 5 ml;
a level dessertspoon equates to 10 ml
and a level tablespoon is equal to 15 ml.
U.S. pint is 16 fluid ounces, and not 20 fl.oz like the British
U.S. cup = 8 fl.oz = 250 ml
1 British cup = 10 fl.oz = 300 ml
The teaspoon and tablespoon measurements are the same.
1 teaspoon = 5 ml
1 tablespoon = 15 ml
1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons
of Speyside are famed for their soups
rural districts in Scotland candy-making is a regular adjunct
to courting. . . . It draws together all the lads and lasses round
about for miles, and the fun and the daffing that go on during
the boiling, pulling, clipping, cooling, are, both lads and lasses
declare, worth the money. ... A few of the lasses club their sixpences
to-gether, a night is set, a house is named, and, of course, the
young men who are specially wanted are invited to lend a hand
and a foot too, for dancing is not an uncommon adjunct to such
From an old book on Scottish cottage cookery.
and Their Oats
and Their Fish
Cooking Literary Anecdotes
A Round Of Drink.
A Skye Kitchen
Butchers Of Glasgow
Aberdeen High Tea
Lunch Edinburgh Way
Have you got your porridge?
Scottish Life 1n 1730
Scottish Christening Meal
Scottish Fishing Towns.
Ancient Highland Cookery.
Scottish Cooking Facts and Fancies
A restaurant manager in Edinburgh with a sense of humour put this notice in his window:
SCOTCH HAGGIS with CHIPS!
These timorous wee beasties are freshly shot daily in the Highlands for visitors (with ye olde bows and arrows).
Skinned alive, heads and legs removed before cooking.
A dish fit for a king. We deport them to all parts of the world!