The city was awash with vans and scaffolding and everywhere you walked there were posters advertising comedy, drama, dance and music – of course ‘the Fringe’ and Festival start in a few days but there was another festival up and running. Although, I arrived at the Assembly George Square before seeing the first poster advertising the Edinburgh Food Festival. Thank you, Google maps, for the directions.
A small but active festival, the weekend is the busiest of the 5 days. I was there on the Thursday and noticed two things – there were some stalls not open and, disappointingly, the workshops and presentations are held on Saturday and Sunday. I had expected more evidence of local producers but I either just did not notice them or they had not turned up. I could not find a map of the site nor anyone to ask.
There were small business producers – Cocktails, Gin, Craft Beers and Prosecco alongside Street Food stalls offering BBQ Ribs, Pork Belly buns, Pies as well as Gelato.
A beekeeper from Poland was happy to talk about the bees and the many uses for honey and wax.
An enthusiastic cook was keen for us to partake of her baking – would have been rude not too. The Courgette and Lime cake was light and moist, as were the others we tried.
Whilst there was not the cheeses and meats I expected, as somewhere to eat lunch whilst sitting in the sunshine it can be highly recommended.
I was drawn to the novelty of the ‘Tattie Scone Wrap’ and decided to try the ‘Black Pudding and Berry Gravy’ wrap, it was very tasty. Followed by two scoops of Gelato – Seasalt Caramel and Pistachio. A ‘Berry Juice Mocktail’ from the Beetle Juice van finished off my lunch nicely.
Although very quiet when it opened at midday the people did arrive to eat in increasing numbers.
I stopped by the ‘Slow Food’ stall intrigued to know what slow food they were cooking, expecting casseroles and soups. Turns out it was not about slow cookers at all – it is an organisation highlighting the benefits of traditional agriculture and cooking methods (www.slowfoodedinburgh.com). The Edinburgh branch are currently partnering the Rosyth Community Hub to showcase the produce of their nursery garden – using vegetables and herbs grown by volunteers which are then cooked for community meals.
From my experience I would not recommend travelling to Edinburgh solely for the food festival although if you are in the city anyway then I would encourage you to call in, entrance is free. Go on a weekend as I think you will have a more interesting experience.