The Scots Kitchen


The Scots Kitchen by Florence Marian McNeill, new edition, Birlinn 2010, edited and with a biographical introduction by Catherine Brown; paperback edition Birlinn 2015

F M McNeill (1885-1973), Floss to her family, was a journalist and writer with a deep knowledge of Scots language, lore and tradition. This was her most popular book, first published in 1929, and is an original and pioneering account of eating and drinking in Scotland throughout the ages.

In a biographical profile, Catherine Brown traces the early influences of her Orkney childhood, her academic achievements as one of the first women to attend university, her interest and work with the pacifist and suffragette movements, and her life’s work: studying folklore, collecting recipes and researching their traditions.

“What a book! It is a real treasure from cover to cover,” said Hugh MacDiarmid in a letter to her in 1934

“A classic work on the cookery of these islands” Elizabeth David
On the 2010 edition:

“A classic from 1929 ..the stand-out book of the season, for its virtues of no photographs, white paper and seemly typography.” Tom Jaine, The Guardian

“It’s a classic tome, beautifully redesigned and utterly fascinating. As much a work of reference, in fact, as a cook book, like all the greats.” Tom Parker Bowles, food writer and author