Recipes from Scotland 1680s to 1940s

Fish and shellfish


Fishwives from Newhaven and beyond carried baskets laden with fish into Edinburgh and sold fish in the streets there until the 1970s.

The fishwives were easily recognised by their costumes and drew attention to themselves by their street cry of 'Caller haddie'.

Away from the coast, fish and shellfish was of little importance in the diet of ordinary people at least before the 19th century.

Journal page with watercolours of fishwives

Mrs Foote-Gower's journal, 1854. [Library reference: MS.29498, f.61]
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Fish and shellfish