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Scottish Food at Argyll Holidays

One of the many benefits of holidaying in Scotland is the eclectic selection of local food and drink. Argyll is a mecca for traditional cuisine and modern creations along with artisans in the food and drink industry. When you holiday with us, you not only have the benefit of our fine establishments and stunning surroundings, you can also take full advantage of the Scotish food scene.

Here’s our guide to dining like a true Scotsman (or woman!), and a few local delicacies not to be missed.

Local Scottish Food

Haggis

Scotland’s most famous national dish is haggis, which truly has to be experienced to be appreciated. To taste haggis is to love haggis. It’s a delicious dish steeped in local knowledge and love. Meaty, moist, warm and spicy, haggis is the ultimate comfort food.

Stovies

A meat and potato-based dish, stovies is a wonderfully warming dish that is astonishingly tasty considering it’s traditionally made from left-overs. As a result of this, the specific ingredients of stovies varies considerably, and while it always includes meat (most commonly roast or minced beef and sausages), onions, potatoes, and other vegetables, you will find the specific taste of the dish varies depending on the chef, season, and what’s available. Stovies is a slow cooking stew cooked with some combination of beef dripping, butter and/or lard, that’s often accompanied by oatcakes.

Black Pudding

Crafted from pork blood, beef suet, pork fat, and a large proportion of oatmeal, barley or oat groats, black pudding is a form of blood sausage that a lot of people are reticent to try due to the negative associations with blood. It’s actually an extremely nutritious (and delicious) food, very high in protein, iron and zinc while having very little cholesterol. You’ll often find it served with breakfast in Scotland, or battered and deep fried.

Scottish Smoked Salmon

The Scots are well known for taking advantage of the naturally abundant salmon gracing the country’s many waterways. Salmon in Scotland is traditionally cured and then cold or hot smoked to create a rustic and delectable flavour. Considered a delicacy in Scotland, smoked salmon generally commands a high price tag but it’s well worth it.

Bridies

While not originating in the Argyll region, you will nevertheless find bridies in abundance all over Scotland. A yummy treat, the bridie is a deceptively simple meat pastry that is particularly light and delicate due to the absence of potatoes and use of flaky (rather than shortcrust) pastry. Generally filled with minced steak and butter, well seasoned, and shaped in delightful triangles or semi-circles with prettily crimped edges, the bridie is an essential part of the Scottish culinary experience.

Pro tip: Bakers poke holes in the top of bridies to indicate if they are plain beef, or beef with onion; one hole means the bridie is just beef, two indicates it’s beef and onion!

Scotch Pies

Generally filled with sumptuous mutton, the Scotch pie is a double-crusted plate of culinary genius. A welcome change to the more usual beef-based pies, Scotch pies have all the benefits of the steak and kidney or steak and potato pies you will find in abundance all over Britain, with a flavourful twist.

Fish and Chips

A favourite all over Britain, fish and chips are a very popular and traditional dish in Scotland. You’ll find many restaurants and chip shops in the Argyll region serving this dish, from the cheap and cheerful variety at the chippy to the posh nosh versions available in restaurants keen to serve traditional pub grub with added flair.

Cock a Leekie Soup

Scotland’s national soup, Cock a leekie is a delicious blend of peppered chicken and leeks. It’s an interesting soup that makes a change from the average cream of vegetable soups that are so common elsewhere in Britain and beyond. It sometimes includes prunes and is often served with prunes as a garnish (especially in more artisanal and up-market settings). Don’t let the posh prunes fool you - this was an essential ingredient in the original recipe, and is how Cock a leekie soup is traditionally enjoyed.

Scotch Broth

If you’re looking for something warm, filling and a little more familiar at lunch time, you can’t do better than Scotch broth. A sumptuous stew of barley, root vegetables and braised cuts of beef, mutton and lamb, Scotch broth packs a lot of nutrition into a truly versatile dish. Don’t be surprised if you find leeks, cabbage, lentils and split peas thrown into the mix.

Lorne Sausage

Frequently served with black pudding, Lorne sausage is a square form of sausage served in thick tasty slices. It’s made from ground meat, spices and rusk, and it’s a staple at the Scottish breakfast table.

Artisan Scottish Food

More modern, artisan interpretations of traditional classics include serving black pudding ice cream and dishing up regular black pudding with scallops or pigeon.

Fish and chips is another favourite of boutique eateries and artisans, who are endlessly coming up with new and increasingly inventive ways to prepare and serve this delightful dish.

Local Argyll Food

While you’re here, don’t miss out on Argyll Wild Venison Stew, a rich and delicious local dish. Another local speciality and a bit of a twist from the artisan Argyll food scene is Loch Fyne Bradan Rost smoked salmon, a delightful take on the classic dish, most often served with a fine whisky sauce. With so many artisan Argyll drinks, you’re likely to find the whisky was distilled in the area.

Sweets and Treats

Cranachan

One of Scotland’s finest and most traditional desserts, Cranachan is a heady combination of fresh raspberries, honey, whipped cream and whisky. It really doesn’t get more Scottish than this where desserts are concerned! The dish is presented in a tall glass and topped off with toasted, whisky-soaked oatmeal.

Tablet

Perhaps the most moreish treat to come out of Scotland, tablet can be found in abundance at artisan markets, craft fairs and confectioners. Similar to fudge but with a far lighter texture and a distinct flavour that quite sets it apart, tablet is a buttery, sugary, utterly delicious treat that is alarmingly addictive.

Be prepared to stockpile large quantities before returning home, because it’s extremely difficult to find proper Scottish tablet outside Scotland!

Clootie Dumpling

Something you won’t find anywhere else in the world, the Clootie dumpling is crafted from a dough containing currants and sultanas, as well as other dried fruit, spices, sugar, suet and golden syrup, all wrapped up in a special floured Clootie cloth, and left to simmer in boiling water for an hour or two. It’s then fired to dry it out, either in an oven or before an open fire.

Dundee Cake

Legend has it that Mary Queen of Scots was not a fan of cherries. Upon learning this, an enterprising Scotsman created a fruit cake that blended all the regular ingredients with blanched almonds, rather than cherries, so the Queen might enjoy a fruity cake. And so the Dundee cake was born, a delicious form of fruitcake, traditionally served with chopped almonds on top, as a reminder of its regal origins.

And, as if that wasn’t enough of a royal endorsement, Dundee cake is reportedly a favourite tea-time treat for Queen Elizabeth!

Shortbread

Scotland’s finest biscuit and a favourite treat throughout the country, shortbread is a sweet and slightly decadent treat. Its buttery taste and comfortingly heavy texture make it a snack of substance that’s perfect any time of day.

Local Scottish Drinks

Whisky

If there’s one thing Scotland is famous for, it’s whisky. You can find a veritable cornucopia of distilleries in and around Argyll, and your tipple of choice is the perfect way to round out a truly Scottish dinner.

Drambuie

A sweet and delicious twist on whisky, Drambuie is a delightful combination of aged scotch, fine heather honey, and a perfect mix of warming spice. With complex and decidedly herbal flavours, this is the perfect sip whether enjoyed over ice, neat, or as part of a cocktail.

Cider Brandy

A traditional clan beverage, cider brandy combines the distinctly Scottish flavours of gorse flower, vanilla and wild orchards.

Real Ales

In addition to having a plethora of fine distilleries for whisky (and various other spirits, most notably gin), Scotland has one more thing in abundance: breweries.

The Scots have been purveyors of real ales for centuries, and they’re exceptionally good at making it. From local brews by Fyne Ales and Oban Bay, to Windswept Wolf, Caledonian Deuchars IPA and BrewDog Elvis Juice, you will not be short of choice during your stay.

Artisan Scottish drink

The Argyll area contains many craft beers and microbreweries, as well as local distilleries that are well worth a try. If you’re looking for a real treat and a local Argyll drink, try Cuan Mor Restaurant, which has its own craft brewery and one of the best local Scottish menus in the Argyll area.

Want a Taste of the Area When You Stay with Us?

If you want to truly indulge in the taste of Scotland, treat yourself to our Argyll Holidays local food hamper, packed with delicious treats from around Argyll.

If all this delicious food and drink has inspired you to visit Scotland, then check out our holiday parks and start planning your trip. And if you can’t get enough of Scottish grub? Find the perfect restaurants and food spots for your stay on our food and drinks page.

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