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A Taste of Scotland

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Scottish culture is steeped in history and tradition.  We have plenty of things to celebrate – and celebrate we do! One thing worth shouting about is our delicious food. Whether you’re passing through our beautiful country and trying our cuisine for the first time, or you’re a Scotland native wondering about our food traditions, here are some of our Scottish foodie favourites.

Haggis

Plenty of Scottish pubs and restaurants serve up a delicious dish of haggis, neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes). You’ll find it proudly displayed on our café menu just below the scrumptious Scottish Beef Burger.

Haggis is a savoury dish containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver, and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and cooked. It is our national dish and can be traced as far back as 1430. In fact, haggis is so popular in Scotland that there is a rather famous Robert Burns poem (Ode to a Haggis) and a whole night in which it takes centre stage.

A Burns Supper is a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796), the author of many Scots poems. The suppers are normally held on or near the poet’s birthday, 25 January, feature a whole host of quirky traditions and are known as ‘Burns Night’.

Cranachan

This traditional Scottish dessert was originally a celebration of harvest and was historically served in the summer during the June raspberry harvest. The mix of cream and fresh seasonal raspberries is bolstered by Scottish oats and whisky, and is known as ‘the uncontested king of Scottish dessert’.

Cranachan owes its origins to crowdie – which was a popular breakfast of crowdie cheese with lightly toasted oatmeal, cream, and local honey. Raspberries, when in season, could be added to the breakfast. Now, Cranachan is celebrated in Scotland and served all year round, typically on special occasions.

Black Pudding

No full Scottish breakfast is quite complete without a serving of black pudding, and our ‘Hubmade’ brunch is no exception. While we can’t claim this as entirely ours, Scotland has become famous for its black pudding, and it is considered a particular delicacy in Stornoway.

Considered as one of the oldest forms of sausage, some black pudding recipes can be traced back to the 15th century. It can be grilled, fried, baked or boiled in its skin. It can also be eaten cold, as it is cooked in production. In Scotland, you’ll find many chip shops sell deep-fried, battered black pudding – yum!

Smoked Salmon

Smoked salmon is Scotland’s biggest food export and we are renowned for our excellent smoked and fresh salmon across the globe. So of course, while you’re in Scotland you would be mad not to indulge in some of the many delicious salmon dishes we have on offer. There are plenty of ways to eat salmon, and you’ll find some form of it on most restaurant menus throughout the country.

If you’re stopping by for a spot of breakfast at Cafe Hub on your way to the Castle, you’ll have to try our Shetland smoked salmon and scrambled eggs! Or if you’re popping in for lunch we offer seared Shetland salmon with potato galettes, Beetroot Chutney and salad. 

Shortbread

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Not to be confused with the delicious American Shortcake, Shortbread is a Scottish biscuit traditionally made from one part white sugar, two parts butter, and three parts oat flour.

Shortbread originated in Britain, with the first printed recipe, in 1736, from a woman named Mrs McLintock. It is widely associated with Christmas and Hogmanay festivities in Scotland, although nobody really knows why. You can find the Scottish brand, Walkers Shortbread, all over the world, sometimes packaged in a tartan design to give it that extra Scottish feel.

Shortbread makes a great gift to bring back from Scotland for friends and family to enjoy – and you’ll find plenty on sale in the tourist shops on the Royal Mile, close by.

You’ll also find plenty of Scottish dishes to try out on our menu at Cafe Hub. However, if you’re thinking of hosting a gala dinner or event with a distinctly Scottish taste, you’ll find traditional local food included in our menus.  Check out our Taste of Scotland package which is ideal for a Scottish themed event.

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