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    May 9, 2017

    Scottish Food, Explained For Americans

    A chippy is a shop that sells chips, but not the things that you call chips, because we call them crisps. Although some chippies also sell crisps. Hope that helps!

    Firstly, this is porridge. You call it oatmeal, which to be fair is a better name for it because it's a meal of oats.

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    It's essentially Scotland's national dish, and was invented by crofters in Times of Yore, or possibly Yesteryear. Joy-phobic people put salt on theirs, but the wisest Scots top it with cream and whisky (whisky is a breakfast food in Scotland).

    Sometimes, porridge is served as a sort of starter before the breakfast main course. The breakfast main course is called a "full Scottish," and contains the most important food groups: namely carbs, meats, and crunchy bits.

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    The exact make up of a traditional Scottish breakfast is debatable, and fights have broken out about it many times, usually in brightly-lit pubs the size of an aircraft hangar that serve £1 cocktails with names like Cystitis On The Beach.

    Sometimes, the meat group is represented by haggis, a sort of sexually suggestive pudding made with ground animal organs, (misc.), oats, (???), and spices. / Creative Commons

    Just look at the cleft on that.

    Incidentally, this is the best food you'll ever eat. It is a sausage, but it's vastly different to what you call a sausage, because it is square. The squareness makes it taste better.

    We sometimes put haggis inside square sausage, but this is a complex issue and, trust us, you're not ready for it.

    We also put square sausages inside rolls. We call this a "roll and sausage", because we are a literal people. / BuzzFeed

    It's an incredible delicacy, but only if it has ketchup on it. People with good taste all accept that ketchup is the only true sauce; any other sauce is a travesty.

    We also serve other foods inside bread rolls, mainly pies. But not fruit pies, that would be crazy! Can you imagine? Ha ha! No, we put macaroni cheese pies inside bread rolls.

    This is far more sensible.

    As well as putting pasta in pies, we also put drink in pies. Like this Buckfast pie. Buckfast is a drink made in Devon, England, but mainly consumed in Glasgow, Scotland, by groups of lively young men at bus stops.

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    And also bearded Edinburgh hipsters, but they drink it "ironically".

    Another drink that Scottish people enjoy is called Irn-Bru. It isn't alcoholic but we make it alcoholic by putting alcohol in it. It tastes of orange food colouring and metal, so it's a bit of an acquired taste.

    Flickr: brownpau / Creative Commons

    But not as much of an acquired taste as American root beer, which tastes like weapons-grade athlete's foot ointment.

    We also like beer. One popular beer is called Tennent's, which tastes a bit like it's been brewed in an rusty tin bath in someone's garden. But it's cheap!

    After drinking, Scottish people go to a "chippy". A chippy is a shop that sells chips, but not the things that you call chips, because we call them crisps. Although some chippies also sell crisps. They sell deep-fried chocolate bars too. This is perfectly normal, and there's no need to question it.

    We also cover chips in cheese. These are called "chips and cheese", and never, ever "cheesy chips."

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    If you want cheesy chips you'll need to go to England.

    We are also fond of a bakery called Greggs. American bakeries sell doughnuts and are run by smiling moms and pops. Greggs sells runny meat soup encased in pastry and is run by an army of tiny, no-nonsense women in blue baseball caps. Greggs is better.

    Greggs also sells shortbread. Shortbread is what we call a "biscuit", which is what you call scones... anyway, the important thing to learn here is that the best shortbread is made by old ladies called Jean or Mary.

    A Jean or Mary hard at work in a shortbread emporium. / Via Twitter: @mmshortbread

    Teacakes are also a biscuit, sort of. They're sticky blobs of marshmallow fluff covered in a layer of chocolate that's about half as thin as an eggshell. But luckily, like sausage meat, they taste much better when squashed almost flat.

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    They can also be used as a coaster.

    And finally, greasy link sausages have no place on a full Scottish breakfast (but beans are OK) oatcakes are a bit disappointing, and no one is ever entirely sure if they like haggis, but it's important to never, ever admit that.

    Hope that helps!

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