Haggis is traditionally made from minced sheep's intestines, beef suet, oatmeal, onion, cayenne pepper and nutmeg, stuffed into a sheep's stomach and boiled for three hours. Fortunately, haggis can now be bought in the supermarket.
The word tartan originally referred to a type of material rather than a pattern, and was not unique to Scotland. Over the past two centuries, however, the Scots have undoubtedly made it their own.
The common American usage of the word plaid to mean a tartan pattern seems to have developed from a misunderstanding - in Gaelic plaid simply means blanket.
Although the thistle is popularly associated with Scotland, the official national flower is the bluebell.
The oldest known recorded sighting of the Loch Ness Monster was made by the 7th century monk Adamnan in his biography off the Christian missionary St Columba. Adamnan wrote that Columba subdued the beast when it attacked his followers.
In 1941 an Italian newspaper reported that the wartime bombing of Scotland had succeeded in killing the Loch Ness Monster.
The first King of a united Scotland is widely held to have been Kenneth MacAlpin, who united the Scots and Picts to become King of Scotland (as we know it) in 843 AD.
Here is one of the many ways to prepare this classic Scottish dish. Boil half a pint of water then slowly stir in 1oz of oatmeal. Simmer gently for about 25 minutes, adding a little salt halfway through, then leave to stand for 2 minutes before eating.
Traditionally porridge is served in one bowl, with cold milk in another. Each spoonful of porridge is dipped into the milk before it is eaten - but on no account should any sugar be added.
The buttons on the sleeves of traditional Highland dress have their origins in the british army - they were introduced to stop soldiers wiping their noses on their sleeves.
It is considered lucky in Scotland if your first visitor on New Year's Day is a tall, dark man bearing a gift of shortbread, a black bun - or a lump of coal.
The Scottish side played in one of the oddest football matches ever during the qualifying rounds of the 1998 World Cup. When their Estonian opponents failed to show up, the Scots were forced to kick-off, even though there wasn't an opposition player to be seen on the pitch.
There are now about 25,000,000 million people of Scottish lineage living abroad, compared with only 5,000,000 in Scotland itself.
According to recent surveys most british people consider the Scottish accent to be the most trustworthy, and Sean Connery's voice to be the most trustworthy of all.
One of the more unusual theories on the origin of the term 'Scot' is that it is derived from the name of Scota, an Egyptian princess who brought the Stone of Destiny across to Scotland.
Tiree, the name given to the island in the Inner Hebrides, translates from Gaelic as 'the kingdom under the waves'.
There are three Scottish places with only two letters in their names - Oa (on Islay), Ae (in Dumfries and Galloway) and Bu (on the Orkney isles).
Scotland has produced some remarkable inventors, including John Logie Baird, Alexander Graham Bell, James Watt and Charles Macintosh...
...but it also produced 'the world's worst poet' - William McGonagall (c.1830-1902). McGonagall's poems are now celebrated throughout the world for their poor rhyming schemes, weak metaphors and outright banality.
There has been speculation that the Stone of Destiny, now in Edinburgh Castle, is not the original artefact. History has it that the original was carved, and not a plain sandstone block. Theory has it that monks fooled King Edward I when he stole the stone in 1296.
In 1950 the Stone of Destiny was stolen from Westminster Abbey and hidden in Arbroath. Opinion is divided upon whether this was the action of Scottish Nationalists or a daring band of students.
Shortbread is remarkably simple to make. Measure equal weights of plain, self-raising flour and butter. and half the amount of caster sugar. Cream the butter and sugar together, then add the sifted flours to produce a dough. Press into a baking tray and cook on a low heat for an hour.
Whilst Scotland may be more famous for its whisky than for its beer, the first recorded alcoholic drink to have been produced in the country was heather ale, believed to have been made by the Picts.