Sunday, October 12, 2014

Urban Glasgow: Glasgow in the 1960s, 70s & 80s

This is a fabulous collection of pictures of Glasgow in the recent past Glasgow in the 1960s, 70s & 80s - Around The City Vol 1

Govan Now and Then was made by the Glasgow Heritage Group and features 1950s footage of Govan from the Scottish Screen Archive.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Oor Wullie's Scots Guide

Oor Wullie is helping children to learn Scots in an online educational initiative developed by the National Library of Scotland.

Oor Wullies Scots Guide

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Will Scotland be free?

They have all had their say from Paul McCartney to the Pope: Obama to Mick Jagger: and of course these other two fantasists; J. K. Rowling and Australia's Prime minister Tony Abbot . All say No. However I don’t know how much influence celebrities have in what has transpired to be one of the most interesting referendum .

Two telly debates later and there is a declared draw with Alec Salmond winning the last one on points, but is the electorate any better informed? Who knows? Still too close to call the final remains remains speculative at this time. To his credit Salmond is a skilled debater and master of performance but shrill exchange and shouting down the opposition may be normal business in parliament but it seems to have far less appeal to the undecided voter, according to the experts.

Asset wise Scotland does Scotland have enough finite mineral resource and thriving array of light industry to offset fiscal commitment to public spending on social policy, defense, pensions, policing and NHS is yet to be seen. As it stands the Scots make a significant contribution into the UK treasury which would be lost if Scotland went independent. The financial outcome for both Yes or No is rather critical for both countries which makes the result of the Referendum knife edge. No wonder then misinformation and lack of information has prevailed throughout the campaigns where claims and counter claims abound.

If Independence comes with full monetary union then The Bank of England would continue to control money supply and interest rates and thus control the Scottish level of national spending. Neither the Conservatives nor Labour currently would agree to full monetary union. A second option is if an Independent Scotland used sterling with but no monetary union. The fear is many banks and financial services would relocate south of the border and only maintain a small presence in Scotland. Should this happen the employment consequences would be devastating for Scotland. If an Independent Scotland were to introduce a new Scottish currency and float the Scottish Pound to find its exchange value it is unlikely to be the same value as Sterling. Scottish currency would not be able to be used outside the country and anything less than parity with the British pound would have a catastrophic effect on the current standard of living. Banks and companies reliant on trade have indicated they will relocate south of the Border.

What incentives have the UK Government given the Scottish No voters to stay with the UK ?

Remarkably little and either suggests there is nothing to give (which would favour the Yes vote) or Cameron and Co have played down separation and feel in their heart of hearts Scotland will remain in the union. At this time the general feel among the voters is Edinburgh and surrounding border area will be a significant No. Glasgow: a Yes , along with Central Belt and Highlands. Aberdeen appears to prefer No at present. This of course also depends on age with the over 50’ wanting to stay within the UK. Between 20 and 35 then there is very significant support for YES. Interestingly the new voters 16-18 seem to be well in favour of NO.

“ If we are better together , why are we not better off now?”

Since the union Scotland (Wales and Ireland) these territories have been a fief of England with their riches taken into the English treasury. That has not changed in 500 years. The Scots do feel aggrieved not only are they relieved of their resources they also have little say in how these revenues are spent. What adds further fuel to the fire are the people of Old Scotia feel the present voting system means the UK government elect currently does not reflect the choice of the Scottish vote. Ed Miliband has come somewhat late with a whimpish claim that Labor will return to Number 10, but I doubt whether that will sway many now.

Is it feasible for Scotland to go it alone?

Yes, but sadly the history of an independent Scotland quickly reveals the Scots are usually their own worst enemies and time after time powerful barons that should have supporting separation sell out their fellow countrymen for English favour. If history has anything to go by, that is likely to happen again.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Festival City In Motion

Festival City In Motion is ione of a series of short films showcasing Scotland's beautiful capital city. The idea behind the film is to not capture the Edinburgh International festival itself, but to capture the atmosphere of the city during the Festival: the streets, buildings and parks. There are some amazing views of Arthur's Seat (very rare and difficult to capture with photography), Edinburgh's beautiful streets and the majestic firework finale to the International Edinburgh Festival.

Festival City In Motion from walid salhab on Vimeo.

Monday, August 4, 2014

An Independent Scotland : The history

Scotland formed as an independent country in the Early Mediaeval Period. Many experts believe it took place under the reign of Kenneth MacAlpin in AD 843. Border skirmishes were common with many English monarchs claiming Scottish territory with varied justification. To verify these claims and military aggression, the English monarchs usually asked the Pope and other foreign rulers to sanction their actions.

When King Alexander III of Scotland died in 1286 he left his 3-year-old granddaughter Margaret (the Maid of Norway) as his heir. The Guardians of Scotland signed the Treaty of Birgham in 1290 agreeing to the marriage of the Maid of Norway and Edward of Caernarvon, the son of Edward I. The new Treaty however prevented the two counties from union as Scotland was separate and divided from England and that its rights, laws, liberties and customs were wholly and inviolably preserved for all time. Sadly Margaret died shortly after landing on the Orkney Islands leaving 13 rivals for succession. The two leading competitors were Robert Bruce, 5th Lord of Annandale (grandfather of the future King Robert the Bruce) and John Balliol, Lord of Galloway. Fearing civil war between the Bruce and Balliol families and supporters, the Guardians of Scotland wrote to Edward I of England asking him to come north and arbitrate between the claimants to avoid civil war. Edward I had both Wales and Ireland under his control and desired to expand his influence over Scotland. He agreed to meet the Guardians at Norham in 1291 and brought an army with him.

As part of his role as arbitror he insisted he be recognised as Lord Paramount of Scotland and all the claimants to the crown agreed. This decision was driven mainly because most of the claimants had large estates in England and would have lost them if they had defied the English king. Acting as the Lord Paramount of Scotland, Edward I ordered every Scottish royal castle be placed temporarily under his control and every Scottish official resign his office and be re-appointed by him. Only Balliol and Bruce made credible contenders under the stewardship of Edward I. John Balliol was the weaker of the two, and Edward I named him king and crowned King of Scots at Scone Abbey. He swore homage to Edward I who soon made it clear he regarded the country as a vassal state. Plans were made to defy the orders of Edward I and Scotland negotiated a treaty with France (the Auld Alliance) to invade England if the English invaded France. The treaty was sealed by an arranged marriage of John's son Edward and Philip's niece Joan. As soon as Edward I became aware of the secret Franco-Scottish in 1295 he strengthened his northern defenses against a possible invasion. In response, King John Balliol summoned all able-bodied Scotsmen to bear arms and gather at Caddonlee. The first war of Independence began in earnest with Edward I's brutal sacking of Berwick in March 1296, followed by the Scottish defeat at the Battle of Dunbar and the abdication of King John Balliol. Edward was proclaimed King of Scotland thereafter and the Stone of Destiny was removed from Scone Abbey and taken to Westminster Abbey. Edward convened a parliament at Berwick, where the Scottish nobles paid homage to him as King of England.

Scotland had been all but conquered except resistance continued and several revolts broke out in early 1297, led by William Wallace, Andrew de Moray and other Scottish nobles. To deal with the rebellious Scots Edward send his army which was defeated at Stirling Bridge (The Battle of Cambuskenneth). In the foray Moray was fatally wounded and died soon after the battle. This was followed by Scottish raids into northern England and the appointment of William Wallace as Guardian of Scotland in 1298. Edward invaded Scotland again, intending to crush Wallace and his followers, and defeated the Scots at Falkirk, but failed to subdue Scotland completely before returning to England. The battle of Falkirk might have gone in favor of the Scots, had more of the Scottish nobles decided to fight for the Scots instead of the English. Wallace realized the futility of raising an army of commoners unsupported by the local barons and was eventually hunted down and hung drawn and quartered.

Although a truce was declared in 1302 , Stirling Castle became a stronghold determined to resist English rule and held out until1304. By this time most of the remaining nobles had sworn homage to Edward and Scotland was all but part of the English union. William Wallace was executed in 1305. Robert the Bruce and John Comyn remained the two surviving claimants for the Scottish throne but quarreled over who would prevail. Bruce killed Comyn (The Red Comyn) at Greyfriars Kirk in Dumfries in 1306 and this sparked a new rebellion. Initially Bruce was defeated in battle and driven from the Scottish mainland as an outlaw. On his return in 1307 the Scots thronged to join him and resistance grew with success in a number of battles and after the death of Edward I in July 1307. The Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 was a critically important Scottish victory. In 1320, the Declaration of Arbroath was sent by a group of Scottish nobles to the Pope affirming Scottish independence from England. Two similar declarations were also sent by the clergy and Robert I. In 1327, Edward II of England was deposed and killed. The invasion of the North of England by Robert the Bruce forced Edward III of England to sign the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton on 1 May 1328. This recognised the independence of Scotland with Bruce as King and to further seal peace, Robert's son and heir David married the sister of Edward III. The idea that Scotland could and did stand against England, purely by force of indomitable will, was a source of great national pride in Scotland for generations thereafter. The war did not free Scotland from any further interference by England, nor did it provide her with particularly good government, but it established the Scots reputation as proud and unconquerable people, a legacy they embraced for centuries afterward.

Edward Balliol, the son of John Balliol, was a claimant to the Scottish throne and connived with Edward III, to break the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton. Balliol and a group of Scottish nobles, known as the ‘Disinherited,' were keen to repossess their old lands taken from them by Robert the Bruce. When the Earl of Moray died in 1332 and Domhnall II, Earl of Mar was elected the new Guardian, a small band led by Balliol set sail from the Humber. Edward initially refused to allow Balliol to invade Scotland from across the River Tweed but instead agreed to turn a blind eye to an invasion by sea. He made it clear he would disavow them and confiscate all their English lands should they fail. They landed at Kinghorn in Fife and marched towards Perth. On route they found a large Scottish army waiting but the invaders beat them at the Battle of Dupplin Moor. The Earl of Mar along with most of his nobles was slain and Edward Balliol crowned himself King of Scots. Fearing a double cross Edward III, moved his army north. Balliol issued two public letters, saying that with the help of England he had reclaimed his kingdom, and acknowledged that Scotland had always been a fief of England. He also promised land for Edward III on the border, including Berwick-on-Tweed, and that he would serve Edward for the rest of his life. With English help, Balliol briefly ruled the country from 1332 to 1336. Crowned at Scone in 1332, he was soon forced to flee half-naked back to England, following a surprise attack by nobles loyal to David II at the Battle of Annan. He was restored by the English in 1333, following the Battle of Halidon Hill. Balliol then ceded the whole of the district formerly known as Lothian to Edward and paid homage to him as liege lord. With no serious support in Scotland, he was deposed again in 1334 and restored again in 1335, and finally deposed in 1336 by those loyal to David II. All realistic hopes of Edward's restoration were lost when David II returned from France in June 1341. He eventually surrendered his claim to the Scottish throne to Edward III in exchange for an English pension. He spent the rest of his life living in obscurity and died in 1367.

David II (1324 – 1371) became King of Scots in 1329. He was the elder and only surviving sons of Robert I of Scotland and his second wife, Elizabeth de Burgh. In accordance with the Treaty of Northampton's terms, David was married to Joan of the Tower, daughter of Edward II of England and Isabella of France, at Berwick-upon-Tweed. During David's minority, Sir Thomas Randolph, 1st Earl of Moray was appointed Guardian of Scotland by the Act of Settlement of 1318. After Moray's death in 1332, he was replaced by as series of others. Meantime in 1332 Edward III appointed Edward Balliol as King of Scotland. During these turbulent times David and his young Queen were exiled in France. Once his representatives obtained the upper hand in Scotland, the young king was able to return in 1341. Five years later his army invaded England under the Old Alliance. He was wounded and taken prisoner and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Eleven years later the Scotland's nobility agreed to pay 100,000 marks as a ransom for their king. David returned to Scotland but when it became apparent it was found impossible to raise the ransom David secretly promised the thrown to an English heir. David was a strong King and left the country on his death more prosperous than might have seemed possible. He died without an heir and the Scot's insisted on crowning Robert II king, although naturally this was contested by England. Under Robert II, the war with England degenerated into periodic border raids. For the next century England was primarily occupied with the Hundred-Years War in France, and although Scottish-English relations were not good, and the Kings of England continually interfered in the affairs of Scotland, the Stuart line was not contested. Beginning with the reign of Robert II in 1471, the Stuarts ruled Scotland for over 217 years.

House of Stewart/Stuart (1371–1567) saw periods of royal inertia, during which the nobles usurped power from the crown, followed by periods of personal rule by the monarch. He or she would attempt to address the issues created by their own minority and the long-term effects of previous reigns. Governing Scotland became increasingly difficult, as the powerful nobility became increasingly intractable. When James I (1406 - 1437) tried to curb the disorder of the realm but was eventually assassinated. James II (1437 -1460) was popular and responsible for freeing one of the last Scottish castles s held by the English after the Wars of Independence. During the siege of Roxburgh Castle, he died after a cannon exploded next to him. His son James III (1460 -1488) was killed in a civil war between himself and the Scottish nobility, led by his own son. James IV (1488 -1513) governed sternly and suppressed the aristocrats but died in the Battle of Flodden. He is generally regarded as the most successful of the Stewart monarchs of Scotland, but his reign ended with the disastrous defeat at the Battle of Flodden Field, where he became the last monarch from not only Scotland, but also from all of Great Britain, to be killed in battle. James V (1513 – 1542) ruled Scotland until his death which followed the Scottish defeat at the Battle of Solway Moss. His only surviving legitimate child, Mary, succeeded him to the throne when she was just six days old. War broke out with England in 1541. After winning the Battle of Haddon Rig in 1542 but later suffered a serious defeat at the Battle of Solway Moss. He took ill and died shortly after. James V was succeeded by his infant daughter Mary.

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots (1542 – 1587) was the only surviving legitimate child of King James V of Scotland and was 6 days old when her father died. Her uncle King Henry VIII had hoped to have the infant Mary marry his own son, Prince Edward . The Treaty of Greenwich was signed and promised Mary, aged 10, would marry Edward and move to England, where Henry could oversee her upbringing. The Treaty of Greenwich was rejected by the Parliament of Scotland new hostilities broke out between France and Scotland as the prospect of the Old Alliance was resurrected. Mary's guardians became fearful for her safety and turned to the French for help. She spent most of her childhood in France while Scotland was ruled by regents. In 1558, she married the Dauphin of France, Francis and ascended to queen consort of France, until her husband’s death in 1560. Mary returned to Scotland in 1561 and remarried her first cousin, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. The union was unhappy and Darnley was murdered shortly after. Mary then married James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell but faced the surliness of the aristocracy and the intransigence of the population, who favoured Calvinism and disapproved of her Catholicism. Eventually she was forced to abdicate, and fled to England, where she was imprisoned in various castles and manor houses for eighteen years until she was finally executed for treason against the English Queen Elizabeth I. Upon her abdication, her son, fathered by a junior member of the Stewart family, became King.

In 1503 James IV, King of Scots, married Margaret Tudor, eldest daughter of Henry VII of England. The marriage was a merger between the Stuarts and the Tudors was an attempt to put a halt to Anglo-Scottish rivalry. Called the Treaty of Perpetual Peace, hostility did continue intermittently throughout the 16th century, but eventually led to the Union of the Crowns 101 years later. The treaty was broken in 1513 when James V declared war on England in support of the French who had lately been attacked by the English. James was acting according to Scotland's obligations to France under an older mutual defense treaty, the Auld Alliance. James was excommunicated by Pope Leo X and the English Cardinal Bainbridge for breaking his sworn treaty with England. The subsequent invasion by the Scots met defeat when James was killed on 9 September 1513 at the Battle of Flodden in Northumberland. Although the line of Margaret Tudor was excluded from the English succession, during the reign of Elizabeth I , the Virgin Queen, concerns were once again raised. In the last decade of her reign it was clear to all that James VI of Scotland, great-grandson of James IV and Margaret Tudor, was the only generally acceptable heir. In 1603 King James VI of Scotland became James I of England at the Union of the Crowns.

The Kingdoms of England and Scotland ended with the new Kingdom of Great Britain and were ruled under a Protestant ruler. Self-styled James VIII (Seumas VIII), also known as The Old Pretender was the younger son of James VII and lived in exile. He landed in Scotland in 1715 in an attempted to re-claim the throne in the name of the Stuart and restore a Roman Catholic monarch. His campaign failed and he was forced to flee to the Continent. James died in exile in 1766. A second attempt by his son, Charles III (Bonnie Prince Charlie) on behalf of his father, also failed in 1745. Both James's children died without legitimate issue, bringing the Stuart family to an end. The political movement was called the Jacobite risings (1688- 1746) and came from the Latin for James i.e. Jacobus.

Scottish Episcopalians provided over half of the Jacobite forces in Britain, and although Dundee's rising in 1689 came mostly from the western Highlands, in later risings Episcopalians came roughly equally from the north-east Scottish Lowlands north of the River Tay and from the Highland clans (the latter containing a large Catholic component). The Episcopalians were also described as Nonjurors which meant as Protestants they could take part in Scottish politics, but were in a minority. They were repeatedly discriminated against in legislation with favour going instead to the established Church of Scotland.

To the Gaelic-speaking Scottish Highland clans, to whom the supporters of Jacobitism were known as Seumasaich, the conflict was more about inter-clan politics than about religion, and a significant factor was resistance to the territorial ambitions of the (Presbyterian) Campbells of Argyll. There was a precedent for post-1689 Jacobitism during the period of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, when clans from the western Highlands had fought for James's father Charles I against the Campbells and the Covenanters. Another factor in Highland Jacobitism was James VII's sympathetic treatment of the Highland clans. Whereas previous monarchs since the late 16th century had been antagonistic to the Gaelic Highland way of life, James had worked sympathetically with the clan chieftains in the Commission for Pacifying the Highlands. Some Highland chieftains therefore viewed Jacobitism as a means of resisting hostile government intrusion into their territories. The significance of their support for the Stuarts was that the Highlands was the only part of Britain which still maintained private armies, in the form of clan levies. During the Jacobite Risings, they provided the bulk of Jacobite manpower.

There were three previous attempts in, 1606, 1667, and 1689, to unite Scotland and England by Acts of Parliament, but it was not until the early 18th century that both political establishments came to support the idea. The Acts of Union were two Acts of Parliament: the Union with Scotland Act 1706 passed by the Parliament of England, and the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the Parliament of Scotland. They put into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union that had been agreed in 1706, following negotiation between commissioners representing the parliaments of the two countries. The Acts joined the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland (previously separate states with separate legislatures, but with the same monarch) into a single, united kingdom named "Great Britain". One main reason for the union was to allow Scotland to recover from the financial disaster wrought by the Darien scheme. This was an attempt by the Kingdom of Scotland to colonise “Caledonia” on the Isthmus of Panama on the Gulf of Darién in the late 1690s. Beset by poor planning and provision, weak leadership, lack of demand for trade goods, devastating epidemics of disease and increasing shortage of food it was finally abandoned after a siege by Spanish forces in1700. The Darien company was backed by 25%-50% of all the money circulating in Scotland and its failure left nobles, landowners (who had suffered a run of bad harvests), as well as town councils and many ordinary tradespeople almost completely ruined. Many Scots held the English responsible, whilst the King affirmed Scotland’s he refused to give support at the risk war with Spain. The continuing futile debate on the issue served to further increase bitter feelings. Eventually the Scottish establishment (landed aristocracy and mercantile elites) realised their best chance of being part of a major power was to share the benefits of England's international trade and the growth of the English Empire, their future lay in unity with England. Some Scottish nobility petitioned Westminster to wipe out the Scottish national debt and stabilise the currency. Although the first request was not met, the second was and the Scottish Pound was given the fixed value of an English shilling. Personal Scottish financial interests were also involved. Scottish commissioners had invested heavily in the Darien project and they believed that they would receive compensation for their losses. The 1707 Acts of Union, Article 15, granted £398,085 10s sterling to Scotland to offset future liability towards the English national debt.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Traditional Scottish Fare

Apart from the best fish suppers in the world, and the great divide between Glasgow and Edinburgh (vinegar or brown sauce), what has Scotland got to offer the well-educated palate?

Fried Mars Bars, pudding sandwiches (bread, butter, brown sugar and sultanas – the new jeely piece), and deep fried pizza for sure but, the new Munchy Box, must take the biscuit. Described by none other than Steven Segal as the true sign of multiculturalism in Scotland the Munchy Box contains all you could ever imagine a doggy bag would from the food hall. Every stall that is and the Scots are lapping it up.

In the past our ancestors feasted on game, dairy products, fish, fruit, and vegetables which form the chief ingredients in traditional Scots cooking. The absence of expensive spices meant common fair was simple but nutritious. The wealth of seafood available on and off the coasts provided the earliest settlers with their healthy sustenance. When agriculture was introduced because of the climate wheat was difficult to grow so oats become the staple diet supplemented by a pottage of herbs and roots (and when available some meat or stock for flavoring), with bread and cheese whenever possible. Come feudal times the landed gentry gorged on venison, boar, and salmon all heavily seasoned with expensive spices (pepper, cloves, cinnamon, etc.), whilst poor people ate meagerly by comparison. The main source of carbohydrate was bread made from oats or barley. Oatmeal was the staple diet and was commonly carried in bags so it could be quickly made into porridge or oatcakes.

Cooking was done in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day new things were added to the pot. Any leftovers were kept in the pot as stock for the next day. Often the stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme:

“Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."

The influence of French Cuisine became apparent during the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots and the discovery of the potato, again impacted upon our national cuisine. By the 19th and 20th centuries large-scale immigration to Scotland from Italy, the Middle East, India, Pakistan and China started to influence Scots cooking with more emphasis on fresh produce and spiced foods. The influence of newcomers continues to evolve Scottish cuisine.

Chicken tikka masala is a dish of roasted chunks (tikka) of chicken in a spicy sauce and yogurt. It is thought to have been invented by Ali Ahmed Aslam (proprietor of the Shish Mahal restaurant in Glasgow).The sauce is usually creamy, spiced and orange-coloured. It has been baked in a tandoor oven, and served in a masala (spice mix) sauce.


Cullen skink (Scots for a shin, knuckle, or hough of beef)
Traditional fish soup from Cullen in Moray and made with smoked haddock, potatoes and onions. A finnan haddie is used in authentic Cullen skink. Eaten with oatcakes (breed).

Cock-a-leekie soup
Made from leeks and chicken stock, often thickened with rice, or sometimes barley. The original recipe added prunes during cooking to increase the nutritional value of the broth. Probably originated in France and was made with onions. The first recipe was printed in 1598, though the name “cock-a-leekie” did not come into use until the 18th century.

Scotch broth is a filling soup made from the principal ingredients of barley, stewing or braising cuts of lamb, mutton or beef, root vegetables such as carrots, swedes or sometimes turnips and dried pulses (most often split peas and red lentils). Cabbage and leeks are often added shortly before serving to preserve their texture, colour and flavours. The proportions and ingredients vary according to the recipe or availability.

Fish Dishes

Arbroath Smokies are originally from Auchmithie (Angus). So the story goes a fish store caught fire one night, destroying barrels of haddock preserved in salt. The following morning they found the haddock cooked and quiet tasty. In reality smoked haddock probably originated in Scandanavia and brought over by the Vikings.

Crappit heid might be an apt description for someone who has been out for a night on the skite, but is also a traditional Scots fish course. The origins can be traced to the fishing communities of the North, Hebrides and North-Eastern Scotland in the eighteenth century. Whilst the more expensive fillets of fish, such as cod or haddock were sold in the market to the better off, fish offal was cooked up in a pot by the fisher folk. The receipt includes the head of a large cod or similar sized fish, washed, descaled and stuffed with a mixture of oats, suet, onion, white pepper and the liver of the fish in question. This was then sewn or skewered to close the aperture and boiled in seawater. The cooked dish was served with potatoes or other root vegetables in season. Later a court bouillon of fish stock and onion was used to make a soup which was often eaten before the fish head. This was a healthy and nutritious dish, rich in carbohydrates, proteins, fats and more importantly cod liver oil.

Finnan haddie (aka Finnan haddock, Finnan or Findrum speldings) is a cold- haddock which was smoked over green wood and peat. Some believe the name comes from Findon, Aberdeenshire, (also sometimes called Finnan), others insist it is a corruption of the village of Findhorn at the mouth of the river in Moray. Certainly a popular dish in Aberdeenshire since the 1640s but only was eaten South of the Border in the mid-19th century with the construction of the railway link connecting Aberdeen to London in the 1840s. The traditional preparation was to roast or grill the whole pieces of fish over high heat. Finnan haddie is also often served poached in milk for breakfast and is an important part of traditional kedgeree and the Arnold Bennett omelet.

Fish Supper. Deep-fried fish was first introduced into Britain during the 16th century by Jewish refugees from Portugal and Spain. Originally the dish was derived from pescado frito. Busy North Sea ports in the late 19th century combined with development of railways meant major industrial cities in the UK could be supplied quickly with fresh fish. The first fish and chip shop was opened in Oldham in 1860 and very quickly fried fish and chips became the stock meal among the working classes. The first chippy appeared in Dundee in 1870. During World War 2 when food was rationed, fish and potatoes were exempt and many believe fish and chips kept the nation going during the war. In Scotland haddock was the fish of choice where as in England it was traditionally made with cod. Best made chips came from Golden Wonder potatoes cut thicker than French Fires. Traditional beef dripping or lard was used to fry but these have been generally replaced with vegetable oils. Batter varies now but originally consisted of a simple water and flour batter, with a little sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and vinegar added to create lightness. A fish supper was usually served with salt and vinegar sprinkled over the fish and chips at the time it is served. In Edinburgh, saut a sauce in the form of "chippy sauce” is a combination of Gold Star brown sauce and water or malt vinegar and is very popular. Originally a fish supper was served in an old newspaper. Traditionally a fish supper was eaten on a Friday and this may relate to the long-standing Roman Catholic tradition of not eating meat on Fridays. Rising sea temperatures are transforming the makeup of fish stocks in coastal waters around the UK. Where cod and haddock once thrived, sea bass, hake, red mullet and anchovies are now being caught in rising numbers. Marine scientists have found that the seas round the UK have risen in temperature by a remarkable 1.6C since 1980, a jump that is almost four times the global average rise for ocean temperatures. Cold-loving fish so favoured in battered fish dishes have moved north towards Iceland and the Faroe Isles and only haddock survives in some northern UK waters.

Kedgeree (kitcherie, kitchari, kidgeree, kedgaree, or kitchiri) is a dish consisting of cooked, flaked fish (traditionally smoked haddock), boiled rice, parsley, hard-boiled eggs, curry powder, butter or cream and occasionally sultanas. Its origins lie in India and were brought to the UK by returning British colonials in Victorian times. Became part of the fashionable Anglo-Indian cuisine and was eaten by the better off for breakfast. Ordinary people picked up on the idea and in an age of pre-refrigeration by converting yesterday's leftovers into a hearty and appealing breakfast. Bubble and squeak is probably the best known refry of left over food.

Kippers are herring split from tail to head along the dorsal ridge, gutted, salted or pickled, and cold smoked over smoldering woodchips (typically oak). Scottish kippers are red in colour not achieved by dying but caused by the curing process. Mallaig was once the busiest herring port in Europe and famous for its traditionally smoked kippers, as well as Stornoway kippers and Loch Fyne kippers. The exact origin of kippers is unknown, though fish have been slit, gutted and smoked since before recorded history. Kippers are traditionally eaten for breakfast, sometimes with scrambled eggs and were very popularly with inland and urban working-class populations before World War II.

Meat Dishes

Mince and tatties where traditionally the meat came from cheaper cuts of beef, such as chuck and blade or neck and clod. Essentially the dish consists of varying amounts of onions, minced beef, carrots or other root vegetables, seasoning and stock, to which some cooks add thickening agents such as flour, oatmeal or cornflour.

The Square Sausage (lorne sausage, sliced sausage) is said to originate in Lorne, Argyll. The sausage is also the ideal size to make a sandwich using one or two slices from a plain loaf of bread or a Scots roll (well fired). Sausage meat is a mixture of pork and beef minced and then mixed with rusk and spices and set in a rectangular cuboid tin. Once set, it is sliced into pieces generally about 10cm square by about 1cm thick. The sausage is rarely a perfect square given the minced state of the meat. Unlike other forms of traditional sausage, square sausage is not encased in anything and needs to be tightly packed into a mould to hold it together. There are two theories as to how it got its name. Tommy Lorne was a popular Scottish music hall comedian of the 1920s; or more than likely it was named after the historic Scottish region of Lorne, part of modern day Argyll and Bute.

A Scotch pie (mutton pie) is a small, double-crust made from hot water crust pastry and filled with minced mutton or other meat. Individual pie maker’s recipes are closely guarded secrets for fear of imitations. It is baked in a round, straight-sided tin, about 8 cm in diameter and 4 cm high, and the top "crust" (which is soft) is placed about 1 cm lower than the rim to make a space for adding accompaniments such as mashed potatoes, baked beans, brown sauce, gravy or an egg. Typically there is a round hole of about 7.5mm in the centre of the top crust, which has given rise to the colloquial name 'chimney pie' in Scotland. Traditionally on the football terracing accompanied by a drink of Bovril, resulting in the occasional reference to football pies. Every year, the Scotch Pie Club holds the World Scotch Pie Championship.

Bridies were thought to have been invented by a Fofar baker in the 1850s. Although the etymology is unknown many believe the name came from Margaret Bridie of Glamis. She sold the popular pasties at the Buttermarket in Forfar. Unlike pasties bridies are made without potatoes and much lighter in texture. Shortcrust pastry was traditionally used but in the rest of Scotland, flaky pastry is preferred. Bridies are filled with minced steak, butter, and beef suet seasoned with salt and pepper. Sometimes minced onions are added. Prior to baking the bridie’s filling is placed on pastry dough, which is then folded into a semi-circular or triangular shape; finally, the edges are crimped. To differentiate between plain and onion bridies the baker pokes one hole in the top for plain and two for onions.


Haggis is a savoury pudding containing sheep's pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally encased in the animal's stomach and simmered for approximately three hours. Modern commercial haggis is prepared in a sausage casing rather than an actual stomach. Haggis is now considered the national dish of Scotland as a result of Robert Burns' poem Address to a Haggis of 1787. Haggis is traditionally served with "neeps and tatties", boiled and mashed separately and a dram (a glass of Scotch whisky), especially as the main course of a Burns supper. There is no evidence to support haggis originated in Scotland with reference to a Lancashire dish called 'hagese' in 1430. The first Scottish reference appears in circa 1520 in William Dunbar poem, Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy. Irrespective of its true origins haggis represents the first real fast food and was a practical way to use spoiling offal near the site of a hunt. Preparation required no additional cooking vessels with the ingredients boiled in an ad hoc vessel made from animal hide . The liver and kidneys were grilled directly over a fire, but the stomach, intestines, and lungs needed to be boiled for human consumption . Available fillers such as oatmeal, salt and onions were added to the mix. Haggis provided the ideal food for Highland cattle drovers. The men were sent with dry ingredients conveniently packaged in a sheep's stomach for easy transport.

Porridge Oats is a dish made by boiling ground, crushed, or chopped oats in water, milk, or both, with optional flavourings, usually served hot in a bowl or dish. It may be sweetened with sugar or served as a savoury dish. Traditionally cooked in a large metal kettle over hot coals or heated in a cheaper earthenware container by adding hot stones until boiling hot. Porridge is one of the easiest ways to digest grains or legumes and is used traditionally in many cultures to nurse the sick back to health. Toasting the oats beforehand for a couple of minutes gives the finished dish a distinctly nutty, roasted flavour. Letting the porridge sit, lidded, for 5 to 15 minutes may develop a little more flavour. A little salt added towards the end of cooking is essential, whether or not the porridge is sweetened.

Savory Puddings

Skirlie Skirlie hails from the NE of Scotland and consists of oatmeal fried with fat (lard, beef dripping or butter), onions, and seasonings. Used as the basis of white puddings, it can also be served as a side-dish or used as a stuffing for chicken or other fowl. Ideal with mince & tatties.

White pudding (mealy pudding) is very similar to black pudding, but does not include blood. Consequently, it consists of pork meat and fat, suet, bread, spices and oatmeal formed into the shape of a large sausage. Earlier versions (pre-1990) had sheep's brain added as a binding agent. The pudding may be cooked whole, or cut into slices and fried or grilled.

Red pudding is a meat dish served mainly at chip shops in parts of East Scotland (Fife). The ingredients consist of bacon, beef, pork, pork rind, suet, rusks, wheat flour, spices, salt, beef fat and colouring. To encase it, the food is thickly coated in batter, deep fried, and served hot, ready to be taken away. The taste is similar to a saveloy, a type of pork sausage.

Black pudding is a type of blood sausage from pork blood and a relatively high proportion of oatmeal. It can be eaten cold, as it is cooked in production, but is often grilled, fried or boiled in its skin. Black pudding is a delicacy in Stornoway and other parts of the UK. The Stornoway black pudding, made on the Western Isles of Scotland, has been granted Protected Geographical Indicator of Origin status.

Bannocks and Oatcakes

Bannock (Northern English or Celtic meaning baked dough) describe a variety of flat quick bread. Bannock is also a word applied to any large, round article baked or cooked from grain. When a round bannock is cut into wedges, the wedges are called scones. In Scotland, the words bannock and scone are often used interchangeably. Bannocks can be distinguished from oat cakes because they are baked on a girdle, whereas oatcakes are toasted before the fire after having been partly baked on a girdle. Bannocks come in a large variety of types ranging from cake to shortbread and are not restricted to oatmeal as the only ingredient. Oats were one of the few grains which grow well in the north of Scotland and were, until the 20th century, the staple grain used. Oatcakes were traditionally eaten with every meal as a major source of carbohydrate in the diet. First defined in 1562 but in common use long before that time. The original bannocks were heavy, flat cakes of unleavened barley or oatmeal dough formed into a round or oval shape, then cooked on a girdle. Oat biscuits were known to exist in Scotland since at least the time of the Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43. Before the 19th century, bannocks were cooked on a bannock stane, a large, flat, rounded piece of sandstone, placed directly onto a fire, then used as a cooking surface. Scottish soldiers in the 14th century carried a metal plate and a sack of oatmeal. They would heat the plate over fire, moisten a bit of oatmeal and make an oatcake to ease the pangs of hunger. The Scottish were renowned then for being able to march long distances.

In the Druid tradition bannocks were baked in different forms to mark the changing seasons. When Christianity took over bannocks also became assimilated:

St Bride's bannock for spring (Imbolc 1st February )
St Bride's Bannock was baked for the first day of spring and was called "bonnach Bride" or "Bride's Bannock." These were given out to small girls who went around town with a Bride doll. One bannock was also left out that night for St Brigid as she visited farms to bless them. St Bride’s bannock became St Brigids bannock in honor of St Brigid became a popular Christmas treat. Sautie Bannocks were made for Bannock Nicht (aka Shrove Tuesday -14th February) from oatmeal, egg, and salt, with the liquid for the mixture being either beef broth or milk. Only one person made the Sautie Bannock, and she was not allowed to speak. The other girls would try to tease her into speaking. A finger ring would be worked into the dough. The cooked bannock was shared out amongst the unmarried women present; whoever got the piece with the ring would be the next to be married.

Bealtaine bannock for summer (30th April/1st May )
This bannock is made with animal fat (such as bacon grease), and it is placed in a pile of embers, on top of a stone, to cook in the fire. Once it's blackened on both sides, it can be removed, and eaten with a blend of eggs and milk. It's said that if you eat one on Beltane morning, you'll be guaranteed abundance for your crops and livestock.

Lughnasagh or Lammas bannock (August 1)

The Lughnasagh or "lunastain" and Lammas Bannock (bonnach lunastain") were always made form the first grains of the first harvest. Traditionally the lunastain, was given to a man and when given to a woman was called a luineag. As Christianity took over, the Lammas bannock (or Loafmas) became the Marymas bannock in honor of the Virgin Mary. Eventually the Marymas Bannock became a loaf of bread made on the 15th August, the Feast Day of Mary ("Feill Moire"). More recently the Mary mas loaf became critical part of the Christian Harvest Festival. At the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, once the loaf was blessed it was taken home and the father broke the bread giving a piece to each of his family in order of age. The family would then sing a song to Mary, walking clockwise around the fire. The ashes from the fire were then scattered in the fields.

Samhain bannock for winter (end of October). This was a plain bannock made at Hallowe'en. These were left outside the door along with milk for the dead, or it could be included amongst food set on a table inside for ancestors who had passed to the "Summerlands" and wanted to join others at the table. This was called a "Dumb Supper" as it would be served and eaten in silence. Later the Samhain Bannock included currants and evolved into "soul cakes." Children would beg for Samhain Bannock from house to house on All Souls Day. This collecting was called "Souling." The cakes were made in memory of those who had died. In exchange for the bannocks, the collectors were supposed to say prayers for the dead people. Samhain Bannocks could also be called "Dumb Bannocks", and were used to predict who would get married in the upcoming year. In this tradition, the cake was baked one hour before midnight on Hallowe'en. The women would then score their initials in it, and wait. A shadow figure was supposed to appear, and say who would be getting married. In a similar fashion the "Sautie Bannock" was made for Hallowe'en in some parts of the Highlands . The bannock would be made by four or five single women working together in silence. A small bit of soot was added whilst complete silence was maintained until the following morning. Each girl took a piece of the Sautie Bannock to put under their pillow that night in order to dream about who would be their husband.

There are many regional variations found in Scotland. Like the above these were often made for special ocassions:

In Orkney the Beremeal Bannock was made from beremeal, flour, salt, milk or water, plus either baking powder, or baking soda and cream of tartar (older recipes). In the Shetlands they are called "Bruinies".

On the Isle of Barra Cod Liver Bannocks are made from oatmeal and minced-cod liver, and steamed.

The Cryin' bannock (or "Cryin' Kebback" ) was baked prior to women going into labour. It was made from oatmeal, milk and sugar and eaten by the women attending the childbirth (men were bad luck at a birth in Scots tradition). It was also handed out to the first person met on the way to church to get the child baptized.

The "Faillad bannock" or “leftover bannock" could attract the unwanted attention of little people and it was a strongly held belief uneaten bannock needed to be broken and a piece of coal left on the top of it. The uneaten bannock also had a hole made in the centre, usually by pressure from the thumb of the right hand in the centre, and turned clockwise.

As the name implies the fife bannock is made in Fife but was made with finely ground wheat flour. The Brodick Bannock from the Isle of Aran was verty similar.

Hogmanay Bannock was made for Hogmanay (Scottish New Year), in the form of a small bannock made with oats and caraway seeds, with a hole in the centre and notched edges. Children were given them in the morning, and had to eat them all otherwise bad luck would follow. The hole was made by holding the bannock in your left hand, and by pressing in the centre with the thumb of your right hand, and rotating the bannock sunwise (i.e. clockwise.) Some speculate that the fluting or notching on the edges symbolized the sun's rays and is a hangover from Celtic Yule festivals. If the Hogmanay Bannock crumbled during baking, it meant bad luck such as illness or death for the particular child the bannock was made for.

Mashlum Bannocks were made with a mixture of flours, rather than entirely from one grain, such as oatmeal, barley or wheat.

Michaelmas Bannock (or "struan" ) is a special cake sometimes called a Struan Michael or St Michael's bannock. Traditionally these were baked on the eve of St Michael's day by the oldest daughter and without using metal implements. The ingredients were barley, oats and rye, ideally, in equal parts, and then mixed together with sheep's milk and baking soda to make soft, smooth dough. Available fruit could be added, as well as flavourings such as caraway seed and a sweetener, like honey. In some traditions, a silver coin would be hidden in the bannock for a child to find. A batter made from cream, eggs, and melted butter was brushed on one side of the bannock. The bannock was baked on a lambskin (called a "uinicinn"), and when the underside was brown, it was flipped to cook the batter side. Brushing and flipping continued until each side had three layers of cooked batter. It was a large bannock, around 9 inches (23 cm) wide, and about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick. If the Michaelmas Bannock broke before being baked, it was bad luck to the daughter. If it broke after baking, it was bad luck to the whole household. Those that made Michaelmas Bannock the night before would take them to a mass at church the next morning to have them blessed. Leftover flour on the baking surface had to be gathered up, put in a legging, and taken the next day and sprinkled on the livestock as both a blessing and protection against curses. Michaelmas Bannock could be served plain, or with a topping such as butter and honey. It was traditional for everyone in the family to have a piece of the bannock. Later, the Michaelmas Bannock faded from tradition and was replaced with scones.

Pease Bannock was made in the Borders and consisted of dried field peas ground into a meal sometime with bean meal added. It would be made in an oval shape, about 2 inches (5 cm) thick, and called a "fadge."

Pitcaithly bannocks came from Pitcaithly in Perthshire, and are like shortbread in consistency. It is made as a large, round circle, from a mixture of wheat and rice flours, sugar, and butter, along with chopped almonds, and candied citrus peel. A dough is formed by mixing the flours and sugar with butter added and a then mix of nuts and peel. Cut into a thick circle, then pricked with a fork before cooking. Often the Pitcaithly Bannock is decorated with refined sugar right after removing it from the oven.

Salt Bannock ("Bonnach Salainn" ) was a bannock made from whatever meal was available with the addition of a whole lot of salt. Traditionally they were eaten in silence without a drink and just before bed. The salt bannock was thought to allow the person to dreams about their future. Young single women were advised to go to bed backwards as well. They were told that what they would see in their dreams was the man who would be her husband bringing her a drink.

Silverweed Bannock was made from the boiled roots of Silverweed Cinquefoil, the favourite food of Fairies. These were definitely not left in the house overnight as the "Fallaid Bannock."

St Columba's Bannock was a special bannock made for St Columba's Day (the day before Good Friday). The night before, the bannock would be made out of oats or rye with a silver coin in it, and cooked on a fire made from wood from oak, rowan or yew trees. Children got pieces of it on the day to see who found the lucky coin. Whoever got the St Columba's Bannock, was in charge of the baby lambs for the next year. St. Columba is the patron saint of shepherds and oatmeal, barleymeal or rye bannocks was one of the few food stuffs that Columba allowed himself in his monastery on the island of Iona.

Teethin' Bannock was a large bannock made of oatmeal and butter or cream, for young children whose teeth were coming in. Traditionally Teethin' Bannock was baked with neighbours present, but the person making it had to remain silent. Sometimes a large teething ring was baked into it, and then it was given to the child to play with. The neighbours present took a piece of the bannock home with them.

Yetholm Bannock is shortbread which contains pieces of (crystallized) ginger. The plain shortbread is made from wheat flour (with no oatmeal) with added egg yolk for added richness, plus 1 generous tablespoon of chopped candied ginger. The dough is shaped in an oblong form before baking. Yetholm Bannock is named after Yetholm, a town near Scotland's southern border with England.

Yule Bannock is made from finely-ground oatmeal, rolled into a circle and notched at the end to prevent crumbling. The tradition was to bake them early on Christmas Day with one for each person as a present. Storing them could present a problem but if they survived intact to the Christmas table it meant good luck. As a mark of Christianity, the bannock was marked on the top with a cross, dividing it into four. For serving, the bannock was broken into pieces.

Potatoe Dishes

"To stove" means "to stew" in Scots. The term seems to derive from the French adjective "étuvée" which may be translated as "steamed" or bra. Stovies is a potatoe dish with variously additions, onions, carrots, other vegetables, roast beef, corned beef, minced beef or other meat. Like Bubble and squeak, Stovies it is a dish intended to use left-over food. The potatoes are cooked by slow stewing in a closed pot with fat and stock. Lard, beef dripping or butter may be used as the fat. It is also common to stew the potatoes in water alone with onion before adding the other ingredients. Stovies may be accompanied by oatcakes.

A potato scone (tattie scone) is a savoury griddle scone made with boiled potatoes (mashed), butter (no milk) plain flour, and salt. Potato scones are traditionally made as circles about 6 inches (18 cm) across and then cut into quarters. They may also be baked in small rounds. They are generally unleavened and are thinner, 7 mm or so, than what is usually considered a scone; they resemble a soft oatcake. They are often served hot as part of the full Scottish breakfast with fried eggs, bacon and sliced sausage.


Clootie Dumpling (from cloot meaning a strip or piece of cloth) is a traditional dessert pudding made with flour, breadcrumbs, dried fruit (sultanas and currants), suet, sugar and spice with some milk to bind it, and sometimes golden syrup. Ingredients are mixed well into a dough, then wrapped up in a floured cloth, placed in a large pan of boiling water and simmered for a couple of hours before being lifted out and dried before the fire or in an oven. Recipes vary from region to region e.g. in North Fife and Dundee it is not common to use breadcrumbs but the use of treacle is common.


Black Bun is a fruit cake completely covered with pastry. Up until the Scottish Reformation, 1560 it was eaten on Twelfth Night (5th January) on the eve of Epiphany, and the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas. It is thought to be introduced been introduced following the return of Mary, Queen of Scots. After the Reformation it was enjoyed at Hogmanay. The cake mixture typically contains raisins, currants, almonds, citrus peel, allspice, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper. The cake contents are similar to a traditional Christmas cake or Christmas pudding mixture. It was called the King Cake and there was a bean hidden in the cake. Whoever found it became the King for the evening. This may relate to a common practice at Christmas time when the roles were reversed and the Royal Family served their servants. In Scotland the celebration of Christmas was outlawed in 1560 and the use of a King cake at that time ended. It became common by the early 19th century to carry black bun with you when first footing. The gift of a black bun was meant to symbolise that the receiving family would not go hungry during the forthcoming year. It was also used a traditional cake to serve to those visiting homes as part of Hogmanay, to be consumed with whisky.

Dundee cake is a famous traditional Scottish fruit cake with a rich flavour. The cake is often made with currants, sultanas and almonds; sometimes, fruit peel may be added to it. A popular story is that Mary Queen of Scots did not like glace cherries in her cakes, so the cake was first made for her, as a fruit cake that used blanched almonds and not cherries. By the nineteenth-century Dundee Cake was mass-produced by the marmalade company called Keiller's. The top of the cake is typically decorated with concentric circles of almonds.

Scottish Rolls

A buttery (rowie, rollie, or Aberdeen roll) is a savoury Scottish bread roll. The buttery was originally made for the fishermen sailing from Aberdeen's harbour. They needed a roll that would not become stale during the two weeks or more that they were at sea. The high fat content meant the rolls also provided an immediate energy source. They are noted for flaky texture and buttery taste, similar to a flattened, round croissant, with a very salty taste. They are often toasted with jam or butter, or just with tea, although the high fat content (partly lard) makes them extremely hot when toasted. The name Aberdeen roll suggests butteries are a specialty of Aberdeen but they are common throughout the Northeast of Scotland.


Marmalade is a fruit preserve made from the juice and peel of citrus fruits boiled with sugar and water. It can be produced from kumquats, lemons, limes, grapefruits, mandarins, sweet oranges, bergamots and other citrus fruits, or any combination thereof. Marmalade is generally distinguished from jam by its fruit peel. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "marmalade" appeared in the English language in 1480, borrowed from French marmelade which, in turn, came from the Galician-Portuguese marmelada. The extension of "marmalade" in the English language to refer to citrus fruits was made in the 17th century, when citrus first began to be plentiful enough in England for the usage to become common. The Scottish city of Dundee has a long association with marmalade. James Keiller and his mother Janet ran a small sweet and preserves shop in the Seagate section of Dundee. In 1797 they opened a factory to produce "Dundee Marmalade", a preserve distinguished by thick chunks of bitter Seville orange rind. The business prospered, and remains a signature marmalade producer today. Orange Marmalade in Britain happened by accident after a ship full of oranges broke down in the port of Dundee and the ingenious Scots made marmalade out of them.

The Abernethy biscuit was invented by Scottish doctor John Abernethy in the 18th century as a digestive improver and improve health. Abernethy thought most diseases were due to disorders in digestion and had a local baler make up a biscuit by adapting the plain captain’s biscuit with added sugar (for energy), and caraway seeds as an anti-flatulence agent. In the baking the effect of ammonium bicarbonate makes the Abernethy a cross between an all butter biscuit and a shortcake. Abernethy biscuits remain popular in Scotland

Although shortbread has been around for centuries, it became more refined during the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots in the 16th century. . Shortbread was expensive and reserved as a luxury for special occasions such as Christmas, Hogmanay (Scottish New Year’s Eve), and weddings. In Shetland, it is traditional to break a decorated shortbread cake over the head of a new bride on the entrance of her new house. Short is an old word for crumbly and traditional shortbread is made from one part white sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour (by weight). Some add a portion of salt. The crumbly texture is a result of the fat inhibiting the formation of long protein (gluten) strands. Shortbread is usually formed into one of three shapes: one large circle, which is divided into segments as soon as it is taken out of the oven (petticoat tails, which may have been named from the French petits cotés, a pointed biscuit eaten with wine, or petites gastelles, the old French for little cakes); individual round biscuits (shortbread rounds); or a thick (¾" or 2 cm) oblong slab cut into fingers. The biscuits are usually patterned with the tines of a fork before cooking or with a springerle-type biscuit mould. Shortbread is sometimes shaped in hearts and other shapes for special occasions.

Thomas Tunnock Limited (Tunnock's), is a family baker based in Uddingston, Lanarkshire, Scotland. The company was formed by Thomas Tunnock as Tunnock's in 1890. It is now the 20th oldest family firm in Scotland. One of their evergreen products is the Tunnock's Tea Cake. This is a biscuit and not a tea cake per se, and consists of a dark chocolate covered marshmallow perched on shortbread. The Snowball is similar to the Tea Cake, with the addition of grated coconut to the exterior of a soft chocolate shell but with no biscuit base. Tunnock's Caramel Wafers are also popular.


Tablet (taiblet in Scots) is a medium-hard, sugary confection. Tablet is usually made from sugar, condensed milk, and butter, boiled to a soft-ball stage and allowed to crystallize. It is flavoured with vanilla, and may have nut pieces added. Tablet differs from fudge in that it has a brittle, grainy texture which is medium hard. Fudge is much softer.

A Soor ploom is a sharp flavoured, round, green boiled sweet originally associated with Galashiels, Scotland. They are sold loose by weight in paper bags, traditionally in "quarters". They are said to have been first made in 1337 in commemoration of a skirmish near Galashiels. A raiding party from England were overwhelmed and killed by local men when discovered eating unripe plums. "Soor Plooms" is the motto of the town Galashiels.

Creamola Foam was a soft drink produced in the form of soluble crystals. It was manufactured at Kinning Park, in Glasgow and sold mainly in Scotland from the 1950s until Nestlé ended production in October 1998. The colourful crystals were dissolved in cold water to form a sweet, effervescent drink. It was packaged in a small tin with a tight metal lid. To open you pried off the top with a teaspoon. And paper seal covered the foam crystals to keep them dry. The label had a cartoon girl and boy drinking with straws. The drink originally came in raspberry, orange, and lemon flavours. Cola was added to the range at a later date. More recently due to popularity similar confectionary products have been introduced.

Irn Bru was first produced in 1901 in Falkirk under the name Iron Brew. In 1946 laws prohibited the use of brew in the title because the drink was not brewed. It was rebranded as Irn-Bru. The product was successfully branded as "Scotland's other national drink" (after whisky) and is now made in Westfield, Cumbernauld, by A.G. Barr of Glasgow, since mid-1990s. The orange coloured sweet drink remains the number one selling soft drink in Scotland and the third best selling soft drink in the UK and is bright orange colour. As of 1999, it contained 0.002% of ammonium ferric citrate, sugar, 32 flavouring agents including caffeine and quinine (but not in Australia), and two controversial colourings (Sunset Yellow FCF and Ponceau 4R). On 27 January 2010, A.G. Barr agreed to a Food Standards Agency voluntary ban on these two colourings although no date has been set for their replacement.

A common myth was it was used as a cure for hangovers. Irn Bru now sells all over the globe.