Scottish Cuisine Has Burst onto the American Scene

dish on white ceramic plate

In the opinion of Master Chef Rich Beckel, Scottish cuisine is starting to receive long overdue recognition “across the pond.”


“I feel like the food has always existed underneath our noses,” said Beckel, the executive chef at Woodholme Country Club in suburban Baltimore. Flavors like “sweet and sour, Nashville hot, and various barbecue sauces all have a common thread: Scottish origin. Fried chicken is of Scottish origin.”

The chef told The Food Institute that many Americans are naturally drawn to the flavors their European ancestors appreciated.

According to recent research by the Kerry Group, European dishes from countries like Ireland and Germany have been among the fastest-growing flavors over the past few years. Meanwhile, Kerry found the following to be the fastest-growing cuisines in America last year – in other words, cuisines that it considers to be emerging:

  • Scottish
  • Norwegian
  • Peruvian
  • Polish
  • Brazilian
  • Moroccan
  • Turkish

The British Isles are home to dozens of Michelin-rated restaurants, as noted in a recent Forbes article. And chefs worldwide have come to realize the potential of dishes featuring Scottish staples like black pudding (blood sausage typically made from pork blood), steak pies, smoked salmon, and lamb.

Not only is Scotland home to world-famous cattle breeds and celebrated wild-caught game, but the neighboring North Sea and Atlantic Ocean ensure that the country of roughly 5.5 million residents boasts stellar oysters and mussels.

Scotland and nearby Ireland pride themselves on seafood dishes that include butter sauces and are paired with the likes of colcannon (Irish mashed potatoes) – or, at least in locales like Glasgow, haggis (pudding that usually consists of the liver, heart, and lungs of a sheep, mixed with beef suet and oatmeal). And, of course, the region is renowned for cooking with stouts.

“Though it might not be as widely recognized, using beer in recipes brings a unique depth of flavor to dishes,” Beckel said.

More than anything, the chef added, Americans have started gaining appreciation for dishes that meld the traditions of Scotland and Ireland with comfort foods they already love.