Celsius and gas mark – As is the case with the weather, temperature for cooking in the UK is also measured in degrees Celsius not Farenheit.  Occasionally, however, the ovens will instead use what they call “gas marks” to determine temperature.  Any prepared food or recipe you find in the UK will have listed both the temperature in degrees as well as the gas mark required to cook the item.  (You can find the below conversion website here.)

Gas Mark Temperature
oF oC
quart 225 110
half 250 130
1 275 140
2 300 150
3 325 160
4 350 180
5 375 190
6 400 200
7 425 220
8 450 230
9 475 240

Liquid units, such as milk and soup, are measured in millilitres, not ounces. You can find a conversion website here.

Dry units, such as flour and sugar, are measured in grams, not cups. You can find a conversion website here. You might find it handy to buy a cooking scale. They are quite cheap and can make UK recipes much easier.

Things You Can’t Find and Substitutes

  • digestive biscuits for graham crackers
  • golden syrup for corn syrup (it can be used as a substitute for maple syrup although it does not have a maple flavor)
  • treacle for molasses (although you can get molasses at the health food store)
  • Lincolnshire or Cumberland sausage for Italian sausage
  • Mattson’s smoked pork sausage for Polish sausage
  • Ranch salad dressing and mix–there’s nothing like it here!
  • semi-sweet chocolate chips — available only in very small packages, try chopping a bar of dark chocolate instead
  • butterscotch chips

To order American products visit the American Candy Co.

Must Try

Haggis – Don’t listen to the naysayers, this is worth a try. Although haggis does contain sheep’s “pluck” (heart, liver and lungs) the consistency is similar to sausage or meatloaf. It is seasoned with a lot of onion and pepper and is bound with oats.

Walker’s Flavoured Crisps – especially the Thai Sweet Chili flavour…mmmm.

Mackie’s Ice Cream – Aberdeenshire-based ice cream company. They also make lovely crisps.

scones – pronounced “scahns” in Scotland.

black pudding – be warned, it contains pig’s blood. If you can get over that, give it a shot.

Full Scottish Breakfast – usually consisting of eggs, bacon, Lorne sausage, haggis, black pudding, tattie scones, fried tomato and mushrooms, baked beans, chips along with loads of tea and toast.

Arbroath Smokies – a particular way of cooking fish that is particularly tasty.

Irn Bru – most popular soda (“fizzy drink”) in Scotland.

Dean’s shortbread – fantastic shortbread factory located just outside of Aberdeen and sold in every grocery store.

bacon rolls – thick bacon in a roll. Simply delicious.

butteries – like the Aberdeen version of a croissant – lots and lots of butter but much more dense.

They Call It This
aubergine (eggplant)
bap (roll)
banger (sausage)
candy floss (cotton candy)
courgette (zucchini)
mange tout (snap peas)
jelly (jello)
tatties (potatoes)
neeps (turnips)
swede (rutabaga)
polenta (corn meal)
crisps (potato chips)
chips (french fries)
corn starch (corn flour)
porridge (oatmeal)
tea (dinner/supper)
stovies (stew-like leftovers)
coriander (cilantro)
non-brewed condiment (white vinegar)
streaky bacon (regular bacon like in the U.S. full of fat!)
icing sugar (powdered sugar)
mince (ground meat)
bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
rocket (arugula)
sweetie (candy)
biscuit (cookie)
white sponge (white cake)
custard (pudding)
pudding (dessert)
spring onion (scallion)
jacket potato (baked potato)
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