Lifting the lid
400 years of food and drink in Scotland
Our food and drink exhibition uncovered the changes in Scotland's culinary tastes over the course of four centuries. Ran from 12 June until 8 November 2015.
'Lifting the lid' explored 400 years of Scottish food history, telling the story of Scotland's relationship with food and drink.
The exhibition showed how the diet of our Scottish ancestors varied across the centuries and how it influenced what we eat and drink today. Recipe books written by wealthy women revealed the introduction of new ingredients — such as sugar and curry powder — as well as methods of preserving food.
Year of Food and Drink
'Lifting the lid' marked 2015's Year of Food and Drink, highlighting and promoting Scotland's abundant produce and tradition.
At 'Lifting the lid', visitors learned about the Scots diet over time, from simple and frugal dishes such as porridge and haggis, through to expensive feasts and sugar-rich desserts.
In the kitchen
Each section of the exhibition contained a kitchen counter, displaying items as they might be arranged in chapters of a cookbook.
Themes included soups, bread, fish and meat, vegetables, desserts and baking, jams and preserves.
Main ingredients of the exhibition:
- Recipe books from the 1600s to the 1940s
- Household accounts
- Tradesmen's bills
- Menu cards
- Cooking utensils.
Exhibition highlights included:
- Real India curry powder
- A recipe for 'cherry marmalade with very little sugar'
- Burnfoot recipe books, written by four generations female members of the family — including the same recipe by different people, showing how some recipes developed.
- Recipe of the month, part of our celebration of Scotland's Year of Food and Drink.