Scottish produce with protected status

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  • Bill Spink producing a Scotttish delicacy - the Arbroath Smokie
    Bill Spink producing a Scotttish delicacy - the Arbroath Smokie
  • Ian MacLeod stands outside his butchers, Charles MacLeods, with the famous Stornoway Black Pudding.
    Ian MacLeod stands outside his butchers, Charles MacLeods, with the famous Stornoway Black Pudding
  • A chef carves roast Scotch beef.
    A chef carves roast Scotch beef.
  • Fresh farmed salmon is checked as it is smoked at the Isle of Ewe Smokehouse, by Loch Ewe, Highlands.
    Fresh farmed salmon is checked as it is smoked at the Isle of Ewe Smokehouse, by Loch Ewe, Highlands.
  • Scallops served with Stornoway Black Pudding from The Cluanie Inn, Glen Shiel, Highlands.
    Scallops served with Stornoway Black Pudding.

Ten of Scotland’s culinary treats enjoy protected status from the European Union in much the same way as Parma ham or Champagne. Check out our list of tasty foods which hold the coveted PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) and PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) grading, which identifies high-quality products unique to a particular region.


Arbroath Smokies (PGI)

The famous Arbroath Smokie is created by smoke-curing haddock over hot oak chips which gives the fish a strong flavour and rich, golden colour. Arbroath in Angus is the only place that the delicacy is produced and only haddock smoked within five miles of the town can be called a genuine Smokie. Iain from Iain R.Spink Arbroath Smokies demonstrates this craft at food shows, Highland games and fairs - why not come along to one and see how this east coast speciality is prepared?

Scottish Farmed Salmon (PGI)

Salmon farming today is Scotland’s largest food export with Scottish Farmed salmon considered to be among the best in the world. Farmed in the pristine waters of the west coast and Western Isles, Scottish salmon is highly sought after, both at home and abroad. Farmed salmon from Loch Duart can often be seen on restaurant menus and has been praised by top French chef, Raymond Blanc.

Scottish Wild Salmon (PGI)

One of the most recent products to gain protected status, wild salmon is caught in the waters off Scotland’s coast using traditional fishing methods. Usually caught during the spring and summer months, this a real seasonal treat. Wild salmon is said to differ from the farmed variety, with some claiming that it is pinker in colour, firmer in texture and stronger in flavour - it’s worth taking the opportunity to sample both. Tom Kitchin, chef of award-winning Edinburgh restaurant, The Kitchin, is known for only ever serving wild salmon, cooked simply for a real ‘from nature to plate’ experience.


Scotch Lamb (PGI)

Scotland is well known for its high-quality lamb and rare breeds of sheep such as Boreray, Soay, Hebridean and Shetland. These animals feed on herbs, wild flowers, heather and seaweed as well as grass, which provides them with essential minerals and also adds a distinctive flavour to the meat. You’ll find Scotch lamb to be served widely when is season, usually from July to September. Why not get some tips on how to prepare and cook this meat at the The Cook School Scotland, only 30 minutes from Glasgow?

Scotch Beef (PGI)

Thanks to exceptional farming methods and a favourable climate, Scotch beef is highly prized around the globe and includes world-famous breeds such as the Aberdeen Angus and the iconic Highland. You can find out which restaurants serve Scotch beef or, if you are keen to have a go at cooking this versatile meat yourself, you can find out which butchers and farmers' markets you can buy it from and get tips from the website especially dedicated to Scotch Beef and Lamb.

Shetland Lamb (PDO)

Shetland is known for outstanding lamb. The native Shetland lamb is smaller than average but packs a punch with its really distinctive, rich flavour.  Much of Shetland is covered by grass and heather moorland and virtually all of this land is given over to the grazing of sheep. Some flocks have access to the shore and seaweed forms part of their diet, adding a unique note to their flavour. The Phoenix Restaurant at Herrislea House Hotel in Tingwall serve Shetland lamb, along with beef from the islands, which has been reared on their own crofts on Shetland.

Orkney Beef (PDO)

With more cows than people on Orkney, the archipelago has traditionally been known for the production of quality beef. Livestock farming is one of the mainstays of the islands and Orkney beef is renowned for its tenderness and full flavour. The exclusive use of Aberdeen Angus and shorthorn cows gives the beef its characteristic flavour. Why not visit The Shore restaurant at Kirkwall, where you might enjoy Orkney beef carpaccio or Orkney beef sirloin steak?

Orkney Lamb (PDO)

Thanks to its temperate climate and mineral-rich grass for grazing, Orkney is also renowned for the production of high quality lamb. The unique North Ronaldsay sheep, found only in Orkney, live entirely on a diet of seaweed and is one of the traditional breeds used to produce Orkney lamb. Sample this close to the source; Orkney lamb often appears on the menu at the Taste of Orkney Garden View Restaurant in Kirkwall.

Meat products

Stornoway Black Pudding (PDO)

To be classed as Stornoway Black Pudding, this type of sausage has to be made on the Isle of Lewis, within the area known as the Stornoway Trust, a collection of 45 parishes. The main ingredients of ‘Marag Dubh’, its Gaelic name, include principally beef suet, oatmeal, onion, blood from sheep, cows or pigs and seasoning. Often it is served up as part of a full Scottish breakfast or you might see it on menus of restaurants offering fusion cuisine, serving dishes such as seared scallops and Stornoway Black Pudding or chorizo and black pudding stew. Why not try some mail ordered from Isle of Lewis butchers such as Charles Macleod or W.J. MacDonald?


Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar (PGI)

Made on the Mainland of Orkney, this cheddar is produced with locally-sourced milk, following a traditional recipe and process. The recipe has been used since 1946 and involves a special 'dry-stir method' which distinguishes this cheese from other cheddars. The vat is pitched onto the finishing table where it undergoes a labour intensive continual stirring to stop the curd from bonding. This creates a firm and dense-bodied cheese with a rounded, mellow flavour and a texture which is consistent all year round. You can try this cheese in three different varieties: white mature cheddar, coloured mature cheddar or coloured medium cheddar.

Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop (PGI)

This hard cheese has a nutty flavour and a smooth texture rather like that of cheddar, but more moist. It dates back to the 18th century, when Barbara Gilmour, a farmer's wife, began making it at Hill Farm Dunlop. Gilmour based her creation on an Irish recipe that used whole milk, rather than the skimmed milk that was traditionally reserved for cheesemaking at that time. Though Dunlop cheese can now be made anywhere, the protected 'Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop' is made only in the original area around Dunlop, using traditional methods and raw or pasteurised milk from Ayrshire cows.

Applications for PGI/PDO Status

Forfar Bridie (PGI)

Originating from the early 1800s, the Forfar Bridie consists of minced beef and onion stuffed inside shortcrust pastry and is horseshoe-shaped. A PGI application has been made to make sure that true Forfar Bridies can only be produced in and around Forfar in Angus.

Dundee Cake (PGI)

An application is to be lodged to protect Dundee Cake, a distinctive fruit sponge topped with blanched almonds, to ensure it is it is mixed, baked and decorated in the Dundee area.