Lifting the Lid: A History of Scottish Cooking


Did you know Edinburgh grocers sold curry powder in 1798?

What is scarfie soup?

Today we cut down sugar for health reasons but did you know that 17th century cooks made ‘marmalade with very little sugar’ because ofthe cost?

The National Library of Scotland is the world’s leading centre for the study of Scotland and the Scots. Using the Library’s rich collections of manuscript and printed recipe books, the summer exhibition explores Scotland’s changing relationship with food and drink over the centuries, as part of the Year of Food and Drink 2015. The Scots have been branded the ‘sick man of Europe’ and our eating habits condemned yet, before the industrial age, the rural poor were said to be ‘remarkably healthy’ with a simple, frugal but wholesome diet despite the limited availability of food. This exhibition uses a variety of material – manuscripts, books, household accounts and tradesmen’s bills, and amateur and government films about food – to contrast the richness and diversity of Scotland’s larder with the myths and traditions associated with its people’s diet. An exhibition featuring items from the library’s rich collections of manuscripts and printed recipe books, and exploring Scotland’s changing relationship with food and drink over the centuries.

National Library of Scotland
George IV Bridge
Tel: 0131 623 3734

12 June to 8 November 2015
Admission free.

Open daily in the George IV Bridge Building:
Monday-Friday: 10.00-20.00
Saturday: 10.00-17.00
Sunday: 14.00-17.00

Share this page

You may also like

Sign up for Artmag’s free weekly newsletter!

Join us every Friday morning for the latest art news, art openings, exhibitions, live performances, interviews and stories + top UK and international art destinations.