The Delicacies of Scotland

Blog 29 May 2013

More than just deep-fried Mars Bars and Irn Bru, Scotland is well-known throughout the world for it's high quality produce, such as salmon, venison and beef. Here are some delicacies that are so loved they've become part of Scottish culture.

Haggis, Neeps and Tatties

Arbroath Smokie

The Arbroath Smokie originated in the small fishing village of Auchmithie, 3 miles away from Arbroath. It is a type of smoked haddock and a Scottish speciality. Legend states a store caught fire one night, resulting in barrels upon barrels of preserved haddock ruined. The following morning after the disaster, locals found the burned barrels had a pleasant aroma, and upon opening the barrels, they found a tasty new delicacy inside.

Today around 15 local businesses produce the Arbroath Smokie, where they are sold in major supermarkets and specialist shops around the world.

Cullen Skink

If you've read our Driver-Guide interviews, you'll certainly know Cullen Skink is a popular dish in Scotland. It is a thick, fish soup and consists of haddock, potatoes and onions. Traditional Cullen Skink uses Finnan Haddie (a type of cold, smoked haddock), but it can also be prepared with any other undyed smoked haddock.

Cullen Skink is a local speciality in the town of Cullen on the north-east coast of Scotland. It is often served as a starter and is widely available as an everyday dish across Scotland.


Depending on who you talk to, haggis could be a Scottish delicacy, or a small furry animal with four legs; two shorter than the other, perfect for pottering around the Scottish Highlands(!).

The ingredients of haggis certainly don't sound appetising; sheep's heart, liver and lungs,  minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices and salt. The mixture is cooked with stock, traditionally encased in a sheep's stomach and simmered for 3 hours. Nowadays, modern haggis is prepared in a sausage casing, rather than a sheep's stomach, and although it's description is not appealing, it has a remarkable nutty texture and delicious flavour.

Traditionally served with neeps (turnip), tatties (potatoes) and occasionally whisky sauce, love it or loathe it, the dish is hard to avoid and if it's your first time in Scotland it's tradition to give it a go!

Black Pudding

Black pudding, or Marag Dubh (Scots Gaelic) is a world-renowned delicacy. It comes from humble times as a good way of using all of the parts of the pig when slaughtered. The mixture of congealed pig's blood, fat, oats, barley and a blend of spices certainly doesn't sound appealing, but it is a popular dish throughout Scotland and often seen in Michelin Star restaurants. 

Stornoway's black pudding recipe has recently been granted a protected status, putting it alongside delicacies such as champagne and the Cornish pasty.

From the smokies of Arbroath to the world-famous black pudding of Stornoway, Scotland has a wide variety of culinary delights to please even the most fussy of palates. We urge all of our customers to experience the best local products Scotland has to offer.

Why not take a foodie holiday in Scotland and discover its award-winning restaurants, sample the local cuisine and taste its delectable dishes! Join us on one of our tours and we'll help you experience the real taste of Scotland.