400 years of food and drink in Scotland
late 18th century.
Mrs Black, first published in 1887.
Mary Malcolm Palmer-Douglas's
recipe book, 1878.
Learn about the history of food and drink in Scotland with 'Lifting the lid', our new touring display.
Visiting venues across Scotland, the display celebrates Scotland's changing relationship with food and drink, and explores the myths and traditions associated with the Scottish diet.
The Scottish diet
Scotland has a rich and diverse natural larder with plentiful supplies of fish, game, cereals and fruit. Yet Scots were branded the 'sick man of Europe', and their diet condemned.
Before the industrial age, the rural poor were said to be 'remarkably healthy', with frugal but wholesome diet. For most, meat was an occasional luxury and desserts unknown. But those who could afford it consumed lots of meat and used much sugar, now considered damaging to health.
Colourful panels in 'Lifting the lid' feature content from our printed and manuscript items, including pages from recipe books, food advertisements, quotations, illustrations and photographs.
- 20 August — 20 November 2019
- Dunoon Library: 20 August — 1 September
- Campbeltown Library: 4 September — 18 September
- Lochgilphead Library: 20 September — 27 September
- Oban Library: 2 October — 16 October
- Helensburgh Library: 18 October — 2 November
- Rothesay Library: 5 November — 20 November
- 15 April — 7 July 2019
East Renfrewshire libraries
The display travelled to Barrhead Foundry, Giffnock Library, Eastwood Park Theatre, Mearns Library and Clarkston Library.
- 26 January — 23 March 2019
Elgin Library, Moray
- 19 November — 20 January 2018
Kirkcaldy Galleries, Fife
- 21 August — 16 October 2018
The display travelled to venues including Gourock Library, Port Glasgow Library and the Inverclyde Heritage Hub.
- 11 June — 14 August 2018
Carnegie Library, Ayr
- 5 February — 30 April 2018
The display travelled to venues including Dunblane Library, Bridge of Allan Library and Bannockburn Library.
- 27 November 2017 — 30 January 2018
The display travelled to venues including Johnstone Library and Paisley Central Library.
- 23 September — 12 November 2017
New Lanark World Heritage Site, South Lanarkshire
- 5 June — 8 September 2017
Sir Duncan Rice Library, University of Aberdeen
- 27-28 May 2017
Fife Science Festival, Cowdenbeath
Map of venues in the tour schedule
Blue pins show upcoming venues and grey pins show previous venues.