Each of the 14 main areas of Scotland, including the Highlands, uses some distinct local ingredients in food preparations. Most of the dishes of Orkney or Shetland and the Western Isles use fish meat as a base ingredient. The reason for this is that fishing is a major source of food for people in these areas.
Besides fish, the regions of Clyde Valley and Greater Glasgow consume large quantities of beef and pork. Today the restaurants in different parts of the country offer greater diversity in food. Besides the traditional dishes, they have a variety of Mediterranean, Greek, Indian, Mexican, Chinese, and Japanese delicacies.
History of the Scottish cuisine
You’ll find influences of the Britannic cuisine in the Scottish dishes. They have also been influenced by the culinary habits of the people residing in the Scandinavian Peninsula. The history of the cuisine of Scotland is quite long and interesting. It is the result of several cultures.
One is the Celtic culture, which makes a generous use of oatmeal and girdle or griddle. The Scandinavian culture uses some unique methods of curing and salting pork and fish. It is believed that the original Aberdeen Angus breed of cattle came from the Vikings.
The Scottish cooking methods
There have been many influences on the way the people of Scotland cook. The methods of cooking used in Scotland is similar to most of the American and European cooking. It is mostly noticed when you compare restaurant cooking and home cooking. Today, the emphasis is more on meeting the demands of a healthier diet while adapting the traditional Scottish cuisine.
It comprises starchy carbohydrates, meat and fish, milk and milk products, oils, and fruits and vegetables. The methods of Scottish cooking may vary depending on the ingredients and recipes. Beacon, pork, lamb, fish, cabbage, leak, and seaweed are the basic ingredients in the dishes of Scotland. The ability of the Scottish people to mix meat, spices, and vegetables provide the special flavor to these dishes.
Equipment used for Scottish cooking
The preparation of food in Scotland requires a diverse cooking equipment. Of course, like all the other cuisines, the basic kitchen equipment is needed for the Scottish cuisine. Among the common ones are soup ladles, food containers, mugs, food scales, and cruses.
Serving spoons, forks, spatulas, scrapers, turners, and tongs are also a part of the cooking equipment. Additionally, the cooking instruments like cake pans, egg rings, and can openers bring greater efficiency in the kitchen. No special cooking equipment is required as the cuisine of Scotland is simple and adaptable.
Festivals and traditions associated with Scottish food
One of the best festivals to enjoy some of the finest dishes from the Scottish cuisine is Christmas. Scotland’s New Year, also called Hogmanay, is also an excellent time to enjoy the best dishes of the country. Halloween is mostly celebrated by fasting in this part of the world, but there’s always a presence of food.
Besides all the traditions that are observed nationally, the people of Scotland also celebrate various local and regional holidays. It is the diverse local customs and some unique dishes that draws millions of tourists to Scotland.