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Folklife Festival 2003 > Scotland > Foodways


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.

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