Scotland has long been a popular destination for wilderness lovers and whisky drinkers, but there’s a lot more to this country than gusty highlands and Glenfiddich. Scotland is also a haven for foodies, thanks to the abundance of quality, local produce and the quintessentially Scottish dishes that they go into.
Take a road trip from Glasgow to Oban and you’ll get the chance to sample these delicious dishes (and more!) along the way – trust us, you won’t be disappointed.
Glasgow – Haggis
A trip to Scotland just wouldn’t be the same without a bit of haggis, and Glasgow is full of places that serve up this age-old symbol of Scottish gastronomy. For those who don’t know, haggis is sheep’s heart, liver and lungs, combined with minced onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, salt and stock, all encased in an animal’s stomach. It tastes a lot better than it sounds, and is usually served with neeps and tatties (mashed swede and potatoes).
Cafe Gandolfi on Albion street serves traditional haggis with neeps and tatties, alongside a mixture of other Scottish fare and Mediterranean dishes.
Edinburgh – Edinburgh Rock
Although you may be familiar with rock, not many people know that the university city of Edinburgh has its own take on this sugary treat, known simply as Edinburgh Rock. Unlike other types of rock, Edinburgh Rock has a soft and crumbly texture, and comes in small brightly-coloured lumps.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with some Edinburgh rock at any one of the many sweetshops that can be found throughout the city. Yum!
Dundee – Scotch Pie
The United Kingdom is a kingdom of pie-lovers and when you visit Scotland you have to try the Scots’ hearty offering: the Scotch pie. Made from minced mutton that has been heavily spiced and encased in a sturdy, double-crust pastry, Scotch pie is designed to be eaten by hand without a wrapper. The lid of the pie sits about 1cm below the side of the pie, leaving room for mashed potatoes, gravy, baked beans or any other accompaniment.
When visiting Dundee you can enjoy a traditional Scotch pie at Fisher and Donaldson, a wonderful bakery that also sells a whole range of delicious pastries and cakes.
Elgin – Cullen Skink
Next stop on your Scottish culinary road trip is Elgin, a former cathedral city on Scotland’s north-east coast. Just a short drive away is the town of Cullen, and it’s here that you’ll find Cullen Skink, a fish-based soup that’s similar to chowder. The traditional recipe calls for finnan haddie (haddock that has been cold-smoked with green wood and peat), potatoes, onions and milk or cream. The flavour is smoky, creamy and totally delicious – the perfect end to a day at the Scottish seaside.
The Cullen Bay Hotel offers traditional Cullen Skink, as well as a more modern version, and a whole range of meat, seafood and vegetable dishes.
Inverness – Tablet
Tablet is best described as fudge’s Scottish cousin. Sugar, condensed milk and butter are boiled together until soft and then left to crystallise, resulting in a more brittle, grainier version of fudge. It is often flavoured with vanilla or whisky, and some variations even include chopped nuts.
You can buy tablet all over Scotland and there are a plenty of sweetshops in and around Inverness to choose from. It’s a great snack to keep you going while scouring nearby Loch Ness for the infamous Nessie!
Oban – Fish and Chips
Although fish and chips is often thought of as an English dish, Scotland has some of the best local seafood in the United Kingdom, making it an ideal place to visit a chippy. Oban is a small town on Scotland’s south-west coast, located in a picturesque, horseshoe-shaped bay. It’s the perfect setting to enjoy some locally caught fish, such as sole, halibut and hake, with a portion of crispy chips, coated in salt and vinegar.
Visit the Oban Fish and Chip Shop for some truly delicious fish and chips, which you can eat in their restaurant or get to takeaway. Be sure to check the ‘fish of the day’ board for that morning’s catch!
If you want to take your very own culinary tour of Scotland, hire a car from Alamo UK at one of Scotland’s major cities or airports and off you go!