Cultured Palate: Dishes from Scotland

Scotland, with its long and storied history – from its mythological founding to the tragic ending of the Highland way of life at the Battle of Culloden in 1746 – has long inspired visitors. Once you arrive in Scotland, it’s easy to see why people are drawn there. The staggering beauty of the landscape, the history, and the culture all beg for people to return again and again.

While you’re there, you may be surprised to learn that Scotland has a culinary history quite separate from the rest of the United Kingdom. Sure, you’ve heard of haggis, but read on to find out what other dishes you should be searching for on your next trip.

Porridge

Porridge (or as it’s commonly known in Scotland, parritch), is one of the most ancient of foods in the world. Oat porridge was found in the stomachs of thousand-year-old mummified skeletons unearthed in peat bogs all over northern Europe. Oats grow well in Scotland, which has led to centuries of oats being one of the only options available during times of food shortage or famine.

In Scotland, porridge is traditionally stirred clockwise, using a wooden tool called a spurtle. Porridge is so beloved that national poet Robert Burns memorialized it in a poem, calling it the “chief of Scotias’ food.” You can always tell real Scottish porridge, because it will be made with steel cut oats.

Gita Kulinitch Studio / Shutterstock

Bannock

Bannock is another dish that the Scottish people have been eating for centuries – and it has stayed on menus for all that time not only because Scottish people are superstitious and traditional (which they are), it’s also delicious.

Bannock is a simple flat bread made with whole-wheat or oat flour, which is cut into slices and eaten either plain or with butter and jam. It’s usually cooked on a griddle, rather than in an oven. It’s the perfect snack for teatime, or as part of a traditional Scottish breakfast spread.

Baiajaku / Shutterstock

Cullen Skink

Cullen skink is a delicious soup that’s a perfect belly-warmer on a cold day – and in Scotland, there tend to be many. It’s one of many Scottish dishes with names that sound a bit funny to our ears, but Cullen is simply the town where the soup originated, and skink is a Scottish Gaelic word for soup made with meat.

Cullen skink is made of smoked haddock, potatoes, and onions. It’s similar to an American seafood chowder. If you want to sample authentic Cullen skink, head to the tiny town of Cullen, along the North Sea coast.

Joerg Beuge / Shutterstock

PAGE 1 OF 5
SHARE ON

Advertisement

Top 7 Family-Friendly Summer Vacation Rentals in the U.S

Many people who are traveling with their immediate or extended family choose to book a vacation rental home or apartment rather than stay in a hotel. If you’re still struggling with booking the right vacation rental, here’s some inspiration. These family-friendly spots are perfect for an all-ages holiday.

Beginner’s Guide to Vacation Rentals

Booking a vacation rental property has never been easier, and there are so many websites out there to help guide your search. Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO all get millions of inquiries every month, and have hundreds of thousands of properties to choose from. You don’t need to be shy about asking your host for help since they’re there to assist you. Plus, the messaging features on these websites make inquiries simple and easy. In fact, many websites even use in-app translation to make sure that both parties, regardless of their language, can understand each other.

Read This Guide Before Your Next Hawaii Vacation

Millions of people travel to Hawaii each year. They’re drawn to the islands by the warm weather, the stunning natural beauty, and the prospect of outdoor adventure. They’re also enchanted by the culture, including the music, dance, and food. There are many locations and activities you can choose from on your Hawaiian vacation. To plan your trip, it’s important to first develop a general idea of what to expect when visiting the islands.