Food has never been more political. Well, perhaps an exaggeration when I think of the Irish potato famine and the French revolution…but nevertheless food is definitely headlining right now. Brexit (remember that?) has raised its head with the Agriculture Bill and its amendment to ban imports of low standard food defeated. A blow below the belt for our producers if ever there was one. United we stand, divided we fall, and today it is more important than ever that we support each other.
Farm shops are pulling out all the stops in #lockdown and fishing boat owners are selling direct to nearby residents from the pier. With a good wind, hopefully many of these locals will remain loyal to their sourcing: meeting growers and harvesters and building relationships; reconnecting with seasonal produce; discovering local shellfish – and carrying all their messages home in baskets and bowls without a plastic bag in sight! For a cleaner greener Scotland that would certainly be a great start!
Many families are taking to making bread and baking cakes with flour and yeast in great demand. Others are embarking on sourdough recipes and for those of you looking for inspiration check out Andrew Whitley’s book Bread Matters https://scotlandthebread.org/product/bread-matters-book/ and Zev Robinson’s film Real Bread Makers https://gumroad.com/l/psrqH
And what about our wonderful chefs? Some are taking stock – not their usual sort simmering in a pan – whilst others are running food-to-go and all of us are considering this new world as we weigh up possible routes to market and the profit margins of the various options. Not everyone is able to erect a row of greenhouses as our European neighbours have accomplished in Amsterdam but we are lateral thinkers and born survivors so we shall get there in the end. As to how, will be a personal journey for every cook and chef but we need each other’s support – and indeed vouchers can be bought right now.
Next week Bosse and I would have been heading for Galway to speak at Project BaaBaa, The European Congress for Sheep Farming & Associated Traditions. Like every other event, it is postponed so in the meantime the speakers were invited to give a short presentation. Here is ours… https://www.projectbaabaa.com/news/why-sheep
Scotland is a magical place so rather than board a plane this year, let’s plan ahead and make this the year for staycations? Our temperate refreshing breezes, long hours of daylight and fabulous panoramas are just the ticket for deep breaths of unpolluted air and fresh healthy food after our enforced hibernation.
It’s a winning nation to explore and Scottish Food Guide can pilot your course, ensuring you enjoy the best produce cooked with passion by fabulous chefs all along the way. Somehow we shall navigate social distancing and we look forward to savouring platters of world-class grass fed beef and landed seafood, harvests of berries and that very special warmth of Scottish hospitality.
If you enjoyed this there is also new post at Wendy’s Blog on Scottish Food Guide’s home page