|Hospitality is extremely important
in Scotland. Usually, visitors to Scottish homes or offices are offered
at least a cup of tea and some "biscuits" (cookies or shortbread).
Scottish home cooking traditionally relied on fresh, locally grown
ingredients as well as excellent lamb, beef, and seafood. Outstanding
restaurants abound today throughout Scotland, and even modest "tea
rooms" often serve wonderful homemade soups, breads, and desserts.
Most Scots eat three meals a day: breakfast, dinner (lunch), and
tea (dinner). Eaten around noon, dinner is usually the most substantial
meal of the day. Dinners often consist of a soup or "starter"
(appetizer), meat, two "veg" (vegetables), and a "pudding"
(dessert). Evening "tea" is lighter but might include
sausages, fish, eggs, or potatoes. Scots often buy tea at neighborhood
"take-aways" and "chippies" (fish-and-chip shops),
which also offer haggis (a Scottish meatloag made with oatmeal),
sausage, and meat pies. Customers specify whether they want their
order as a "single" (without French fries or "chips")
or a "supper" (with chips). American pizzas and hamburgers
are increasingly popular, but it is the Asian Subcontinent that
has revolutionized Scottish dining. Thanks to immigrants from India
and Pakistan, excellent Asian cuisine can now be found in most Scottish
towns, and "going out for a curry" has become an integral
part of Scottish life.