To say that food and drink is at the very heart of Scotland would be an understatement. More than just a night out, Scottish food and drink is the very lifeblood of Scotland’s the country’s fabric, culture and economy. In fact, food and drink is so important to us, we've made 2015 the 'Year of Food and Drink' - a 12-month long celebration of our fantastic offering.
With our rolling, rural hillsides, clear coastal waters and lush, fertile lands, Scotland produces some of the best, and most sought after, natural produce in the world.
From mouth-watering Aberdeen Angus steaks, to world-renowned seafood such as wild trout, salmon, oysters and langoustines, not to mention our water of life – whisky – the 'Made in Scotland' stamp has become synonymous with taste and quality. Even our cheese gives the French a run for their money!
Our natural larder
Scottish producers now grow 3,000 tonnes of raspberries and 22,000 tonnes of strawberries each year. Scotland is the birthplace of some of the main beef breeds in the world - including Aberdeen Angus, Galloway and Highland. We now produce nearly 30% of the UK's breeding cattle.
Scotland’s coastline is home to thousands of species of fish and shellfish. Scotland is now one of the largest seafood producers in Europe, and the third largest producer of farmed Atlantic salmon in the world, exporting to over 60 countries worldwide. Scottish lobsters are currently used in over 20 Michelin starred restaurants in Tokyo alone.
There are more than two dozen cheese-makers across Scotland, ranging from large Cheddar creameries to smaller artisan and farmhouse cheese-makers. Scottish Cheddar accounts for 80% of total output and the main creameries are located at Lockerbie, Stranraer and Campbeltown and on the islands of Bute, Arran, Islay, Mull and Orkney.
It's beyond dispute that whisky is one of Scotland's most famous exports. Sold in around 200 markets worldwide, whisky accounts for 80% of Scotland's food and drink export market. Our range of whiskies from 109 distilleries across Scotland is beyond compare.
Scotland is famous for naturally healthy oat-based products such as porridge and oatcakes - the latter being first produced as far back as the 14th century when Scottish soldiers would carry a sack of oatmeal which they would moisten and heat on a metal plate over a fire when they were hungry. Today, they are commonly enjoyed as an accompaniment to soups, or after dinner with cheese and chutney.
Scotland's national dish, haggis, is a savoury pudding containing sheep’s heart, liver and lungs, minced with onion, oatmeal, spices and salt. Traditionally encased in the sheep’s stomach, although nowadays most haggis is prepared in a sausage casing. It is traditionally served with neeps and tatties (turnip and potato), particularly when served as part of a Burns Supper. However, haggis is also enjoyed all year round with other traditional accompaniments such as black pudding.
Did you know?
40 bottles of Scotch Whisky are shipped overseas each second (yes, that's right!)
More Scotch Whisky is sold in one month in France than cognac in a year
Over two thirds of the world's langoustines are sourced in Scotland
Scottish Salmon was the first foreign product to gain France's prestigious 'Label Rouge' quality mark
Scottish lobsters are on the menu in over 20 Michelin-starred restaurants in Tokyo alone
In 1970 there were just 11 breweries in Scotland; there are now over 76 craft brewers in Scotland producing a wide variety of specialist beers
Some of Scotland's products have achieved Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, such as Scotch Beef and Lamb, Scotch Whisky and Orkney Cheddar