Traditional Scottish Food (part 1)

Just as Scotland and The Highlands have a rich culture and heritage, so too there is a distinct and varied fayre of traditional Scottish food. In fact, Scotland has an international reputation as ‘The Land of Food and Drink‘. From the infamous Arbroath Smokies, dairy and beef products, to traditional Scottish Tablet, chocolate and, of course, Scotch whisky influenced recipes.

Traditional Scottish Food and Drink

We are proud to be able to guide you to some of the best, most unique, artisan Highland food and drink producers and suppliers, who we have researched for your enjoyment (and ours!!). There’s something for everyone, to suit every palate and budget. Many of these are right here on our doorstep near Inverness, others involve stunning drives, through amazing scenery to remote and magical destinations – a true Scottish food experience. Let us share with you some of the most magical farms, producers, bakeries, smokeries, distilleries, food festivals, delicatessens, pubs and restaurants.

Which Scottish Food would you like to explore?

Food and drink highlights of your tour might include:

  • Visit a unique distillery, founded in 1838, with a 5-star visitor attraction, described as a hidden Highland treasure. Here you can sample and buy an exclusive, rich, smooth-tasting, well-rounded Highland malt whisky that you cannot buy in the UK, USA or anywhere outside of Asia.
  • A trip to the world’s leading malt whisky specialists, not too far away. Here you can choose from over 1,000 whiskies, including 300 own-bottled single malts, aged up to 70 years old, not to mention over 500 wines, a selection of champagnes, other spirits, Scottish micro-beers and a delicatessen with handmade local chocolates.
  • The multi-award winning local pub that serves Scotland’s best selection of gourmet beers, and more than 260 single-malt whiskies, many of which are hard-to-find without being hard-to-afford. Plus, it serves up acclaimed food to match its drink credentials.
  • Afternoon tea in the country house hotel where Bonnie Price Charlie stayed before the Battle of Culloden.
  • Savour langoustines, crabs and lobsters landed just yards from the kitchen door at a Michelin recommended, award-winning family restaurant offering Scottish seafood, seasonal menus and wood-fired pizzas. Traditional artisan pizzas made with homemade dough baked in a traditional wood-fired oven. Edible flowers, foraged mushrooms and herbs are incorporated into dishes as and when they are in season.
  • Sample locally caught and/or produced smoked and cured specialities: salmon, trout, kippers, herring, mackerel, haddock, beef, venison, bacon, duck, chicken, goose, cheese, forest mushrooms and vegetables.

As you might expect, much of the diversity and tradition in Scottish food reflects the Scottish landscape, which supports varied ecosystems and a rich biodiversity. Biodiversity Scotland says:

Scotland produces an amazing range of foods – soft fruits, vegetables, cereals, meat, fish, mushrooms and many more. Food production makes a big contribution to Scotland’s economy.

Talisker gift set2 - product photographyFood and drink manufacturing in Scotland is growing rapidly. Said to be worth £14.4 billion annually (for 2017), a new strategy dubbed ‘Ambition 2030’, led by industry body – Scotland Food & Drink, will push to establish food and drink as Scotland’s most valuable industry, looking to double turnover to £30 billion by 2030. Scottish Development International agree, stating:

Scotland is blessed with a fantastic larder of some of the best produce in the world. A heritage and reputation for producing quality products means that Scotland is known, around the globe, for its iconic premium food and drink products.

Scotland is most famed for its smoked salmon, seafood in general, whisky, beef, lamb, grouse, haggis and shortbread.

There are indeed ‘many more’ local Scottish delicacies to add to the list of things to try while on your vacation. Read part 2 of this article to learn more about traditional Scottish ingredients.

If you’d like to take a Highland Culinary Sightseeing Tour with us, then contact us now to get the ball rolling.

Protecting Scotland’s Biodiversity

Scotland’s biodiversity, which supports the rich variety of foodstuffs is protected by a number of organisations to keep it sustainable. These include:

  • The Scottish Government, and The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, who publish The Scottish Biodiversity Strategy
  • The Scottish Government provides around £48 million of annual funding for agri-environmental research via the Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment (RAFE) Strategic Research initiative and is one of the largest funders such research in UK.
  • Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH)
  • Forestry Commission Scotland
  • Scotland’s forests cover 17% land surface, which support a high share of Scottish biodiversity.
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