The Meat Pies Fueling Scottish Football Fans

When it comes to countries acclaimed for their cuisines, Scotland likely doesn't top any lists. At first glance, the United Kingdom doesn't boast as many glamorous food options as its European neighbors. Italy has pasta and pizza. France offers cheese and wine. Belgium brings fries and golden waffles to the table.

Yes, Scotland remains a dark horse in the European culinary canon. However, the country has a few tricks up its sleeve. Scotland's most dazzling dishes tend to be hearty — hello, haggis — but that doesn't mean they're without nuance. Per Culture Trip, Scottish cuisine hinges on centuries of history and utilizes the natural landscape for ingredients and inspiration. Haggis is the country's national dish, consisting of boiled sheep intestines and oatmeal, among other ingredients. It's a food you'll have to try to understand, but one that hints at the country's culinary heart.

Even if haggis doesn't appeal to you, you can still appreciate the flavors of Scotland. A full-scale Scottish breakfast is certain to leave you satisfied, with black pudding, beans and toast, and sausage filling your plate. Meanwhile, a glass of local Scotch will warm you up on even the most blustery of days.

Perhaps lesser known than these Scottish essentials, another cuisine, in particular, stands out. Scotch pies have become a fan-favorite food in the most literal sense. According to Culture Trip, these meat pies consist of a double-crust pastry filled with seasoned mutton. They appeal to fans of rugby and football alike.

Scotch pies are a game day essential

Scotch pies are the most searched-for pie online in the United Kingdom, via Bakery and Snacks. This popularity may have something to do with the pie's fanbase, which widely consists of, well, fans — sports fans, that is. Scotch pies — which are made of mutton — are commonly sold at football matches — soccer games to those in the United States — throughout Scotland. They typically come alongside Bovril, a meat-made extract with a polarizing flavor that's been around since the late 1800s, according to Gastro Obscura

With or without Bovril, Scotch pies are a delicious and savory game-day snack. They've been around since at least the middle ages, when the Scottish church deemed them luxurious, according to BBC Food. The pies have since become a common, accessible staple in Scotland. To make your own Scottish pie, BBC Food recommends blanketing minced mutton, mace, nutmeg, gravy, and seasonings in a hot water crust pastry. With a Scotch pie, you can bring the spirit of soccer to your couch ... or savor the tastes of game day from your favorite team's stadium.