At the turn of the year we were inundated with ‘food trend’ articles, what we should and shouldn’t be eating, what’s cool to eat this year, what isn’t, where we should be seen drinking the latest artisan gin and which artisan tonic we should be mixing it with.
Food trends and predictions come at us from every direction, some are informative, some make us think, some are intriguing and some make us book the next big thing pronto in case we’re ‘missing out’ .
Thanks to Burger Meats Bun
There are more independent burger joints springing up every week, craft beer is still on the rise, Mexican tacos are making a comeback, in fact they’re already back. ‘Ugly’ vegetables such as celeriac and kohlrabi are becoming ‘cheffy’, bone broth is the latest on trend ingredient, big named chefs are opening more casual and fast food outlets, and if your venison hasn’t been smoked then why are you eating it?
Want broccoflower (broccoli crossed with cauliflower)? You can have it! Want more condiments? You may have them! The idea of more ‘on table’ accessories to customize your meal is about to hit the UK, big time. Good old salt and pepper, and red and brown sauce are about to be joined by mustards, dips, dressings, purees, flavoured salts and seasonings. You will be spoilt for choice.
So, are you bothered if you’re on trend or not when it comes to food and drink? Well, to a certain extent you should be as these trends will have an impact on your Edinburgh dining opportunities for the rest of this year, and next year, and the year after that. We have already witnessed the street food revolution in our capital city and this will continue to thrive during the summer months in particular when more of us will attempt to dine al fresco in between the rain showers.
London ‘pop-up with a Scottish twist’ Dram & Smoke will be setting up shop during the festival. Expect scran, bevvy and general ‘flumgummerie’* gin cocktails, single malts, and a weird and wonderful location. Edinburgh based Jelly & Gin will continue to present us with exciting dining experiences, if you managed to get along to ‘Watch & Wolf’ late last year you will know what to expect. Eating isn’t enough any more, multi sensory gastronomy is where it’s at.
The Secret Herb Garden is hosting a series of ‘full moon’ dinners that continue until late October. You can enjoy foraged, fresh and local produce matched with natural wines in their beautiful glasshouses under the light of a full moon. Now that’s something you can’t do every day.
Timberyard continues to be an absolute must visit for locals and tourists alike. With an 8 course tasting menu featuring delights such as smoked beef, sea buckthorn, artichoke, truffle, mallard, wild leek, smoked lobster, elderberry, spelt, they are producing some amazing dishes and are really ahead of the game when it comes to Edinburgh dining. And don’t just visit for the food either, while you’re there you can enjoy some of the finest cocktails in town in an urban warehouse that wouldn’t be out of place in Shoreditch, East London.
There is no doubt that many of these trends come north following success in London but that’s OK, as long as we get them eventually. London is a food and drink hub with a huge population who continually demand more so they tend to develop the trends that we then find out about.
When the trends head north they tend to be exclusive, in a kind of secret society type way, you think you’re the only one who knows about something when in reality you’re not. But that doesn’t matter, you should just feel lucky that we are enjoying a buzzing food scene, with so much choice it’s hard to know where to go first. Make a ‘to do’ list, tick it off, then make another one because one thing you can be certain of is that there will be more new and exciting places to eat and drink next month that you didn’t know about.
We can guide you in your choices sure, but don’t let us tell you what’s hot and what’s not. Get out there and make your own minds up. Remember, you, the customer set the trends, not the food critics or the journalists or the food bloggers or me.
*hijinks, tomfoolery, antics, you get the gist
THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN FOR THE JULY 2015 EDITION OF ION MAGAZINE.
An abbreviated version can be found online HERE