Part 1 – Food and Drink
A simply glorious day today, the weather could not have been better. A perfect day to go along to Foodies at the Festival, taking place this year in Holyrood Park.
I must confess to being rather ambivalent about festivals such as Taste of Edinburgh, Foodies at the Festival, what are they actually for? To taste the food, just a pleasant day out, to drink? Certainly today, you could have got absolutely plastered very easily! It actually proved a great opportunity to discover some new suppliers, rediscover some old favourites, get a sampling from restaurants that I’d not yet been to, and to watch cookery demonstrations (more about the last two in Part 2).
Foodies at the Festival has been at various venues including the Roxburghe Hotel and the Sheraton. I really would have hoped that by now the organisers would have got themselves together and come up with a better way to book the demonstrations and tastings in the marquees. I am sure many other veterans of these events will have remembered the free-for- all for places or long queues, well, I can tell you it was no different today. No pre-booking until the day. Most people unaware that you had to book at all. At 11 am we managed to snag a couple of tickets for the 1 pm demonstration, but anything later? Not available. Come back at 1 pm (well, er, that would be rather difficult wouldn’t it?) In the event, it turned out that there was no point in having a ticket as people just installed themselves regardless whether they had tickets or not!
My highlights of the day
The most stylish experience
Picture it, Sunday morning sitting relaxing, sipping Remy Martin Coeur de Cognac on ice (yes on ice) with a selection of “petits mignardises” raspberry jelly, marshmallow, a cookie and nougat . The ice brought out delicious spicy flavours. Around £35 per bottle.
Rediscovering old friends
I am a great fan of Real Foods, but I know I am guilty of dashing in to buy specific items and not spending time to discover new products. What a great way to reach out to your audience by having a stand at Foodies! Ben introduced us to 3 new coconut drinks. We were particularly really impressed with Coco Water made by Dr Martin’s (no the shoemakers have not expanded into drinks) which is organic. The taste is really clean and delicate. I have some plans for a recipe with this one ..
Glorious soup arrived in their “soup mobile” a converted VW camper van from which they distributed free samples. We had a taste of two delicious flavours, butternut squash and Thai chicken. They are available at major supermarkets which may put some people off – but don’t be, well worth looking out for. Sign up on their website for a 50p off coupon.
Edinburgh Larder in Broughton Street specialise in sourcing their ingredients from local suppliers and even call upon staff to come up with new drinks (a delicious elderflower cordial) or using family member’s recipes. I can recommend Dad’s chutney with has a lovely chili kick – this is used on the Larder’s sandwiches.
@Edinburgh_Larde Guy’s this Twitter name really needs sorting out. There really is no r
Flavoured balsamic vinegars seemed to be the “flavour of the day” at Foodies. We were particularly impressed with Little Doune‘s dressings in particular the Orange Zest and Ginger flavours. Little Doune was set up by Colin Hann, an ex-stockbroker who clearly enjoys his new career. Can’t wait to use this dressing as an ingredient in sticky ribs. Available at Earthy @earthyfoods.
Belhaven Fruit Farm have such energy and get up and go. They’ve introduced a wonderful range of ice desserts that are fat free! I originally tasted the strawberry flavour quite some time ago – the new flavours are (with one exception to my taste) really delicious. The raspberry is full-bodied, and rich the gooseberry tangy and delicious, the apple and vanilla, subtle and soft. The lemon however, was a little artificial tasting.
A shame not to see some of our local chocolatiers here, but we can recommend Chocolate and Love‘s own brand 55% chocolate with coffee. You might have come across their pop up shop in Edinburgh earlier in the summer.
Simple Simon‘s pies are, in my mind, simply the best pies ever. The range is so wide, you’re bound to find something you enjoy. They are meals in themselves with beautiful pastry, a layer of potato at the bottom of the pie, then your particular flavour. Do try the chorizo flavour. The secret is apparently, to use uncooked chorizo rather than the usual dried stuff.
The most unexpected sight
Chickens. Live ones. What a great idea to think of selling chickens and chicken coops at the show? I overheard an enthusiastic guy proclaiming: “just the thing to have in our shared garden, I am sure the six of us who share could take some on!”
As I was driving, Mr E F sampled the beer on my behalf and declared that Stewart Brewing’s Edinburgh Festival Ale really hit the spot – perfect for a summer day, light and delicious.
What was missing?
Some of our producers are shy people, they have such wonderful stories to tell, but it is often difficult to prise the stories out. Do tell people your story. It will help people remember you, and of course, buy your products!