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Food in Scotland

Are the fish and chips in Scotland just as good as you find in England? Where would one find the "best" fish and chips around the area of Dundee and Edinburgh? Also what other specialties would one recommend to eat in Scotland - I know about haggis already and will be excited to give it a go.

Posted by
8975 posts

The real question should be "are the fish and chips in England just as good as you find in Scotland":) It's been a few years since I've been to Edinburgh, but every opportunity I had I sampled what was on offer at the various take-away establishments in the city center...it was all delicious!

Posted by
9110 posts

I'll bet you don't get very far on the haggis. When I had kids around, the deal was they could order anything they wanted and if they didn't like it, I'd swap with them. I went hungry that night. Later I asked a Scottish friend about it and she said they don't eat the stuff - - it's just for tourists.

Posted by
1831 posts

Theere is no such thing as bad fish and chips in Scotland. Sometimes the fish lays across your plate like a plank and it comes with chips and peas. Haggis comes in several forms, the traditional, as a sausage, and canned. We have had the kind that comes in a sausage casing and it tastes like, well, sausage. Its usually found in traditional Scottish breakfasts, and he or she that doesn't try it is missing a treat. Or, I could say whomever doesn't try it is a weenie.

Posted by
3428 posts

I love the roast chicken at the Caringorm Hotel in Aviemore. I know, roast chicken is not "traditional" Scottish- but they serve it with skirlie. This is a mixture of oats and onion, fried in butter. It looks a bit like stuffing or dressing and tastes marvelous. They also serve a "kilted soldier" with the chicken. That is a link sausage wrapped in bacon! My hubby swears their fish and chips are the best. Their roast lamb and roast beef are also excellent. Cock-a-leekie soup is supposed to be very good - this is a traditional chicken, potato and leek soup. Tatties and neeps are a traditional side dish- potatoes and turnips.

Posted by
5668 posts

Two words- Fresh Seafood. The salmon, the mussells, the Arbroath Smokies (Alright those aren't fresh!), haddock, prawns, Langoustines, herring and more. The traditional dish is Cullen skink (Haddock, Cream, potatoes, onions and parsley). Finn and Haddie is another tasty haddock dish. I like Haggis and I have Scottish friends who eat it. You have to get it from a proper butcher. The most popular time to have it is Burn's Night in January. Also, they have good cheese. Check out this website. http://www.taste-of-scotland.com/cheese.html Of course Scotland is famous for oats, in oat cakes and oatmeal. I like the latter, but not the former. Their most famous soup is Cock a Leekie, which I have made at home and it's great, particularly on a cold day. Scottish beef is pretty good too. Then, there all the deserts and whisky dishes. Don't forget much of the marmalade was made in Dundee. Have fun and eat well! Pam

Posted by
241 posts

Re: haggis - we do eat it - by the ton ESP burn's night (but only the good quality stuff). Don't eat it in a pub or deep fried ... Taste of Scotland website is good. Try Cullen skink, Aberdeen Angus beef, crannachan. Scotland is very famous for great natural produce. Loads good seafood.
S

Posted by
993 posts

Susan, Thank you for your remarks on Haggis. I quite like it..but only the good stuff.

Posted by
709 posts

I eat haggis every year on Burns Night. Sort of a tradition... Never had bad fish and chips in Scotland, although had some GREAT seafood in Leith, but I can't remember the place. right on the wharf, about 4 shops up... Anyway, you'll have a great time. Try the haggis.

Posted by
31433 posts

Wes, I enjoyed a fine meal of Fish & Chips with mushy Peas (along with a pint of Guinness of course) when I was in Edinburgh this fall, and they were definitely as good as any that I've had in England. At the time I was in a small neighborhood Pub just off Dalkeith Road (just happened to walk by it on the way to the Laundromat). I may be able to find the name of the place if you're interested. You could also try some of the Pubs near the Royal Mile, such as Sandy Bell's or Greyfriar's Bobby/ As I recall, the food was good in Greyfriar's (although I didn't have Fish & Chips there). I didn't have time to sample the Haggis in Edinburgh (perhaps next time). Happy travels!

Posted by
27402 posts

Most of the English, and Scottish, fish for fish and chips is fished by Scottish ships, especially from Peterhead. Good luck with haggis. I'm surprised that nobody mentioned Kedgeree. Its a seriously yummy fish and rice breakfast, lunch, or dinner dish.

Posted by
1068 posts

Everyone has had such good suggestions! And no one has mentioned deep fried Mars Bars! They are truly an abomination.... and they are DELICIOUS.

Posted by
629 posts

We found good food all over Scotland in May 2011. Had an especially tasty fish & chips in a pub on the waterfront in Oban. I myself quite enjoy haggis with breakfast or dinner. I feel that the name/description seems to put people off before they have even tried it. Steak & kidney pie has a much stronger flavour to me.

Posted by
4528 posts

Also recommend most any seafood fresh from the North Atlantic or North Sea. I've had great roast lamb too. And good haggis is good, but not for everyone. It's not an everyday kind of meal for Scots anymore than a roast turkey is for Americans.

Posted by
5668 posts

How could I have forgotten the lamb! It's great. My friend Carol raises lambs a and her brother is livestock auctioneer. BTW just as in England you can often get a good curry. Pam

Posted by
52 posts

Definitely try the lamb. I also really enjoyed the oatcakes (kind of a cross between a cookie and a cracker) that they serve with a cheese course.

Posted by
3551 posts

I was there in July 2011 the seafood has improved alot from my previous 3 trips. Fish n Chips are generally a fast food type meal and it hit n miss and sometimes a little greasy since it is deep fried. However if you go to a better type restaurant I find the f n chips is much better than ther take away places. Do not limit yourself to f n chips the variety of seafood is wonderful and well prepared not always fried anymore. Culinary prep has come aloing way in recent yrs in UK.

Posted by
932 posts

Along the same lines as Pamela said (curry)... We tried Indian for the first time in Edinburgh at Tippoo Sahib. I found it on some website before we went. It was delicious, and now we're hooked in Indian food. I knew that Britain was supposed to have good Indian food, so that's why I sought it out. We actually had great Chinese food while there as well (at a sit down restaurant -- not take-out.) And I was able to try haggis for free at a souvenir place by the castle, and I really liked it!

Posted by
557 posts

Hi! I'm surprised no one has mentioned dessert! Try the millionaire shortbread and the toffee pie (that may not be the exact name). Yum!

Posted by
241 posts

Gretchen, May be sticky toffee pudding, less likely banoffee pie or (no bake) toffee cheesecake. All found freq on menus.
S

Posted by
11798 posts

I'm not a foodie but don't mind haggis. I'd describe it as like meatloaf but greasy - not outstanding but certainly edible. Fish and chips in both England and Scotland seemed similar - swimming in grease. The fish was much better than what you get here but I like to let the grease soak up a little before eating it.