Highlighting producers from all over Fife, Crail Food Festival showcased the best in the business. From Balgove Larder to Ardross Farm, from Eden Mill Distillery to The Pittenweem Chocolate Company, heavy hitters in the Scottish food industry showcased their produce.
Our only regret?…We could only manage the Saturday! It was a fantastic day (albeit without the glorious weather that showed its face the following day), and we were fortunate enough to talk to hordes of fellow foodies and local producers.
Jim Knox from The Fisherman’s Larder led a tasting class on how to prepare fresh shellfish using his unparalleled knowledge while Gill Logan of Still Delicious guided a tasting of her ‘wonky’ potatoes.
Claire Pollock of Ardross Farm Shop gave an outstanding and most informative presentation on the cultivation of their well known beef, alongside mouth-watering canapés.
The Sweet and Spicy Pulled Brisket Canapé, slow cooked for 10 hours were served on miniature flatbreads. Made from a traditionally cheaper cut, this delicious miniature treat allowed people to see that there really is no need to buy expensive cuts of meat. The flavour comes from the quality of the cattle and the love and ingredients that are used in the cooking.
Next up was beef carpaccio, made from thin slices of raw beef, there is no better way to demonstrate the inherent flavour of a meat. Served with a thin slice of parmesan on a toasted brioche, the canape left you hungry for more. Thankfully, that’s exactly what we did, ate more!
Sandy soil allows the farm to keep their cattle outside all year round, and the cows are fed purely on a grass or forage basis (combined with beans), ensuring that their diet is as natural as possible. And here’s the good bit…as the herds are grass fed, the beef from Ardross can contain up to a quarter of the calories of grain fed beef. Bigger flavour, fewer calories and better for you, what more could you want?
A walk around the Chocolate Larder after our Ardross Farm feast satisfied any sweet cravings that we had. Julie Collier of Ian Burnett, The Highland Chocolatier guided us through the flavours of their famous truffles, while Alastair Gower from The Chocolate Tree helped us choose a block of the unusual 100% Cocoa Sambriano chocolate crafted ‘from bean to bar’.
Sophie from the Pittenween Chocolate Company kindly poured us a tipple of the hot chocolate drink, and told us all about the cold chocolate drink laced with berries that will soon be for sale. (Stay tuned…) Unfortunately (for us), given a recent win at the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards, the mob surrounding Charlotte Flower Chocolates was too much to take on, but we have sampled their chocolate in the past and it can certainly be recommended. (Tip: Keep it in the freezer and break off as much as you need, otherwise you might just find that you’ve eaten the lot and have to start hiding wrappers.)
Over the two day festival, the Cookery Theatre hosted culinary magicians from Paul Hart (The Adamson) to Jamie Scott (Rocca St Andrews), from Christopher Trotter (Fife Food Ambassador) to Geoffrey Smeddle (The Peat Inn). If you enjoy cooking up a storm in the kitchen, we recommend you head over to our section In The Kitchen, where many of the recipes from the festival will be shared.
Of course, after all this tasting, we had developed quite an appetite, and after a spot of Mara Seaweed, Lemon and Green Tea ice-cream at Jannetta’s Gelateria and a splash of Cloudy Apple, we headed over to the Producer’s Hall.
From Summer Harvest Oils to The Wee Pie Company, Mara Seaweed to Eden Mill Distillery, whatever your tastes, there was a producer there to satisfy your palate. Our shopping bag grew heavy with pies and Scotch Eggs from Balgove Larder (which were delicious, of course!), the newly launched Golf Gin from Eden Mill, Cheese from the St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company and much more. Read more about Golf Gin here…
The launch of Edinburgh Gin’s Seaside Gin attracted much attention, and a large crowd of enthusiasts – including us! All in all, a fantastic event, a wonderful day and we will definitely be returning next year. Thank you to everyone involved, the volunteers were charming and friendly, the producers and chefs fed us delicious, homegrown food and the organisers outdid themselves. The countdown to next year is on…who said anything about not wishing time away??