A Royal Visit to the Scottish Ark of Taste at 'Farm to Fork' in Edinburgh for #EFM15, 22nd June

We are pleased to announce that during the Edinburgh Farmers Market 'Farm to Fork' event in St. Andrews Square, 22nd June, the Slow Food Edinburgh Convivia were very fortunate to introduce Seven Scottish ingredients included in the Ark of Taste (along with samples) to large crowds of intrigued visitors including TRH Charles and Camilla, the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay. 

Apart from the aforementioned Royal visit, the Edinburgh Convivium were delighted to hear stories from many visitors who had either eaten the ingredients as children, were readily growing the produce in their gardens, or were desperate to find out more about their provenance and even cook with them at home! 

Of particular inspiration was a conversation with a lady who informed us how she used to be served Peasemeal for breakfast with milk everyday as a child. Another couple told us that they grow both Shetland Black Potatoes and Musselburgh Leeks in their garden. Whilst the Native Shetland Lamb, beautifully cooked by Chef Alliance member Neil Forbes of Cafe St. Honore, was adored by everyone who tasted the lamb and was discussed avidly over lunches nearby.

TRH Charles and Camilla, Duke and Duchess of Rothesay visited our stall during their mid-afternoon tour of the mini-market escorted by Carina Contini, loyal Chef Alliance member and joint owner of Contini's. They were very generous with their time as we presented the seven Scottish Ark of Taste of ingredients and samples, for full information see below, and discussed the work of Slow Food in Edinburgh. TRH are long term supporters of Slow Food and have spent time as Carlo Petrini's guest and interviewee as well as supporting the Convivia groups in the UK for over ten years, (see Official Royal statement of the Slow Food Movement in the UK in 2005).

Many of the photographs and the video that are included below, or in the press, feature TRH voicing their encouragement of the preservation of these ingredients and whilst also enjoying their samples of Beremeal shortbread (despite HRH Charles getting crumbs everywhere). As the couple were very full from tasting produce from the fantastic surrounding stalls, they requested a small box of the various tasters, including a small pouch of Dulse to take with them. 

Later in the day there was also a Chef's Challenge between Mark Greenaway and Neil Forbes (see gallery above). The two chefs were instructed to gather £10 of ingredients from the market stalls in order to cook a dish in 30 minutes. Both chefs visited our stall and selected Peasemeal, Dulse and Shetland Black Potatoes to cook with. Despite having to 'unexpectedly' switch ingredients before commencing, we were pleased to see Neil Forbes triumphing in his efforts which we'd like to think was helped by the inclusion of such significant ingredients. During the challenge Gillian, our communications officer, was also on hand to inform the gathered crowd about Slow Food, the Ark of Taste and the work of the Edinburgh Convivium.

The full list of Ark of Taste ingredients and suppliers are:

Thank you for all your generous contributions of the precious ingredients.

We are also grateful for the support of: Eleanor Cunningham of Edinburgh Larder who supplied us with oatcakes; Neil Forbes of Cafe St. Honore who cooked the lamb; to Amaya and Roberto from Goya 23 who loaned us the jamonero; and to Brenda Leddy of Stitchill's jerseys for providing the Eildon Blue (part of our royally approved croquettes).

The Slow Food Edinburgh Convivia hope this successful event can be the catalyst needed to encourage greater appreciation of these seven ingredients as well as aiding the identification and acceptance of future Scottish produce lost from memory or at risk of extinction into the Ark. If you know of, or work to preserve any such produce (or products) you believe should be included in the Ark of Taste, don't hesitate to contact us: info@slowfoodedinburgh.co.uk

 Further information on the inclusion criteria can be found here.

Event / Media Contribution

We have been very fortunate that the Slow Food Edinburgh stall has been featured heavily in the press and are incredibly thankful to Edinburgh Farmers Market and Essential Edinburgh, the organisers of yesterdays event, for encouraging such positive exposure of Slow Food and these valuable Scottish ingredients. As long term supporters of our convivium, we have written a short thanks to the market organisers and included another gallery of images from our stall over the years, see here.