Food and Drink
Besides restaurants, look to pubs and bistros for informal meals especially at midday. The array of world cuisines includes Indian, Chinese, Thai, Italian, vegetarian and Mexican, as well as fast food and 'take-away' spots. French cooking has long been an important part of Scottish cuisine due to the country's historical alliances with France. Scotland is also renowned for seafood, Angus beef and lamb. Poached salmon caught fresh nearby and aged venison from the deer-studded Highlands are particular favourites.
Some of the most well known meals or dishes:
Haggis The country's national dish, has a reputation that usually precedes it, even with first-time visitors, many of whom are predisposed to dislike it because of its description. More adventurous eaters often find it quite tasty; anyone who likes sausage won't find haggis that different. It's a large sausage or pudding made from oatmeal and meat mixed with suet, onion and spices. Traditionally it was cooked in a sheep's stomach, but today it is usually prepared in a modern synthetic skin and often served with 'neeps and tatties' (mashed turnips and potato). There is also a vegetarian version.
Breakfast Besides fresh fruit, juices, cereals, eggs, bacon, sausage, rolls and jams, Scottish breakfasts often feature porridge (a hot oatmeal dish), smoked fish such as kippers (herring) and haddock, and tomatoes or mushrooms.
Fish Supper or 'fish and chips' The fish is usually haddock, but diners will want to sample dishes with mussels, scampi, trout, and cod, or the superb scallops, oysters and lobster at finer establishments.
Scotch Broth A hearty soup with barley and vegetables
Baked Goods and Afternoon Tea. Scones and shortbread are the most well-known, but gingerbread, fruit breads and cakes of all varieties are popular too. These baked goods, along with jams and local honey, are essential to a real afternoon tea.
High Tea This is a late afternoon/early evening meal that includes a hot dish such as fish and chips, with bread and butter, and often an array of baked goods and jams, and tea or coffee.
Scottish Whisky The word 'whisky' comes from the Gaelic 'uisgebeatha' ('the water of life'). Whisky is Scotland's national drink, with alcohol delivery sometimes combined with ice.. There are two types: single malt made in only one distillery (Glenfiddich, for example) and blends, or combinations, such as Johnny Walker or Dewars.
Irn Bru The orange-coloured soft drink, Irn Bru, is often advertised as 'Scotland's other national drink.' It has since become popular in other parts of the UK and is definitely something worth trying.
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