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January 25-27

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June 12, 2015

Inland from Crail, spring and summer see the fields patchworked with the golden flowers of oilseed rape. This year’s Crail Food Festival sees not one but two cold pressed rapeseed producers joining the diverse range of local food producers on offer, testament to the oil’s rising popularity in recent years.

Supernature and Summer Harvest are among the seven producers of cold pressed rapeseed oil now found across Scotland, with over 30 in the UK. Interest has boomed with more and more people looking for a more local, healthier and versatile staple in their store cupboard. Lynn Mann of Supernature set up the business with her husband Chris four years ago. Based at Carrington Barns Farm in Midlothian, the family farm was looking to diversify following 160 years of growing arable crops such as barley and wheat and commercial oilseed rape.

Supernature Oils
Photo credit: Supernature

The Manns chose a spring variety of rapeseed, the only producer growing it at present in Scotland. This type of oilseed rape results in a lower yield but has a light, buttery flavour that lends itself well for infusing with aromatics such as mint, chilli and lemongrass. With a more authentic taste than most, the oils and infusions went down well with their first customers at local farmers markets leading them to develop the range to satisfy demand. As well as continuing to sell direct to the public they now supply hotels, farm shops, delis, Scottish Cooperative stores and Scotmid. The continued evolution of the range of flavoured oils has culminated in their white truffle oil being awarded the coveted three stars Great Taste Award and is now stocked in Harrods.

Scotland’s climate lends itself well to growing rapeseed oil as the crop prefers the cooler climates and long daylight hours found north of the border. Supernature plants a quarter of their land each year and have started expanding to a neighbouring farm. The spring variety is sown in April, with the flowers blooming in June and July. The pods are left to ripen and the green seeds eventually change to black, containing the precious oil. The crop is harvested in September and the extraction process is simple; the seeds are cold pressed to extract the oil, with no heat treatment or chemicals involved. This means that yields are lower, but the end result is a pure product retaining all of its natural goodness and superior taste.

Summer Harvest of Ferneyfold Farm, Perthshire is also very much a family business with its roots in family farming. Looking for a change of career away from the 9-5, former IT consultant Mark Bush and his wife Maggie left London and returned to Maggie’s father’s farm in Scotland. They started producing rapeseed oil in 2008 after seeing it down south and spotting a gap in the market. Like Supernature, they launched the product at local farmers’ markets and were overwhelmed with the response from customers. Summer Harvest has since gone on to supply delis, over 200 farm shops, Waitrose in Scotland and have started exporting to the Middle East.

Summer harvest
Photo credit: Summer Harvest

Summer Harvest have also garnered a strong following from Scottish chefs including Mark Greenaway, Neil Forbes, Andrew Fairlie and Tom Kitchen who favour it’s clean, nutty flavour and is light on the palate. They also value its local roots as well as versatility in the kitchen. Their teams of chefs have been able to visit the farm to see how the oil is grown and produced so they know where it comes from and can understand its journey from seed to plate.

Back in the kitchen the high burning point of rapeseed oil means it can be used for frying and roasting in a way that olive oil can’t, yet is light enough to create for sauces and dressings. Mark recommends rubbing it into the skin for the perfect roast chicken, or for making mayonnaise. Supernature suggests pairing their infused oils with complimentary flavours, such as using their garden mint oil to fry lamb chops or to drizzle over fresh peas. Whereas extra virgin olive oil may be the oil of choice in many kitchens both restaurant and domestic, more and more people are now looking for an alternative grown much closer to home.

Its versatility in cooking means it can be used in place of butter or other fats when baking, ideal for the growing number of people reducing their dairy intake. The health benefits of rapeseed oil are

many; it’s low in saturated fats and contains naturally occurring antioxidants as well as high levels of Omega-3, ten times that of olive oil and beneficial for heart health. It’s also a source of Omega-6 and Omega-9 and a rich source of vitamin E.

Both Lynn and Mark have seen customer awareness increase over the space of a few years. At the first food shows and markets they visited cold pressed rapeseed oil was a novelty. Now, both are award winners and customers are coming back with their own suggestions for how to use it and looking for new flavours and infusions. With the growth of the market in Scotland the eight Scottish producers have formed the Scottish Rapeseed Oil Collective to promote cold pressed rapeseed oil both locally and further afield. Both Supernature and Summer Harvest are part of a growing breed of local food producers where the focus is on producing a quality, great tasting product. Starting small but with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, both businesses have been able to grow on their own terms, working on every aspect from bottling to branding. Mark has seen his adult son return home to work in the business, before setting up his own food business. For Lynn, she’s become a Women’s Enterprise Ambassador, inspiring others with her experience and success. Both agree that passion and belief in the product are the essential elements when building a successful business. Cold pressed rapeseed oil can be seen to play a similar role in Scotland’s larder, providing a store cupboard staple and starting point for countless recipes to show Scottish produce at its best.

Top Tips for using Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil

  • Rub into the skin for perfect roast chicken
  • Use in homemade mayonnaise with golden organic egg yolks
  • Dress salad leaves with herb-infused rapeseed oil to accompany summer BBQs and picnics
  • Use for baking vegetable cakes such as beetroot, courgette or carrot
  • Drizzle truffle-infused rapeseed oil over simple fresh pasta with fried mushrooms a grating of hard cheese
  • Use instead of goose fat for crispy roast potatoes

Author: Caroline Rye
Twitter: @the_elfherself
Instagram: @the_hungry_elf
Blogger at lonelyonasunday.blogspot.com

Producer: Summer Harvest Oils
Website: Summer Harvest Oils
Facebook: Summer Harvest Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil
Twitter: @Summer_Harvest
Pinterest: Summer Harvest

Producer: Supernature Oils
Website: Supernature UK
Facebook: Supernature Oils
Twitter: @SupernatureOils


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June 11, 2015

For a cook, walking into Green’s is the equivalent of sending a child into a candy store. (Actually, you might want to bring the child too). The shop is open and bright, with punnets of fresh fruit drawing your attention from outside the store; seasonal strawberries being particularly appealing this month. Beyond the colourful selection of fruit and vegetables Clem has recently stocked some micro herbs such as Sorrel and Coriander which are like turbo-boosted versions of those we are so familiar with from supermarkets. The large, soft medjool dates sitting with the sweet, but not too sickly Turkish Delight would make a divine sticky toffee pudding.

Green's Grocer Fish Fruit Veg

However, Clem the proprietor was not always a green grocer. A joiner by trade, he took over the local store around two weeks before the Crail Food Festival last year. The shop was in need of renovation and so instead of closing it for eight weeks, Clem built a shed that he was able to position just outside the store. He filled the shed every day with fresh produce, leaving some scales and an honesty box so that customers could weigh out their own produce and pay without his assistance. The Courier picked up the story with interest, perhaps sceptical towards the ‘honesty’ of communities nowadays. However, Clem advocates that the scheme was a success. Furthermore, when he finally moved back into his newly fitted store, Clem decided to sell the shed for charity, raising money for the RNLI which has a close relationship with the coastal village.

Green's Grocer Crail

Clem is what I fear could be described as a rare breed nowadays: A local green grocer who plays a part in the village community. He knows his customers and has strong relationships with other local businesses and suppliers, seeking to stock local and seasonal produce where possible. With the recent closure of John Birrell on South Street in St Andrews, I was glad to see the store in Crail being well-supported.

Green's Grocer, Crail

In addition to the aforementioned stock, he also sells a selection of Scottish cheese, chutneys, jams, fresh fish from G&J Wilson of St Monan’s and lobsters from the harbour. The hot smoked salmon is the most delicious that I have ever tasted. On my return home I thought I would turn it into a pâté, but found myself adding a tiny amount of each additional ingredient so as not to detract from the raw product’s incredible flavour.

Green's Grocer, Crail

In the next few months, Clem is keen to get a premises licence to sell wine and local beers and ales from producers such as the St Andrews Brewing Co. and the Eden Brewery based in Guardbridge. He told me that he was helping out at the Crail Food Festival where possible but will be in his store (complete with a Belgian chocolate fountain) over the weekend. So if you’re in town visiting for the festival, take a walk up from the harbour to High Street South to say hello.

Green's Grocer Crail - Clem Green

Author: Victoria Bushnell
Website: St Andrews Larder
Facebook: St Andrews Larder
Twitter: @StAndrewsLarder
Instagram: St Andrews Larder

Shopkeeper: Clement Green
Green’s Grocer
High Street South
Crail
Fife
Tel: 01333 450010


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June 9, 2015

Not only do we have for the first time, an area totally designated to chocolate, but The Chocolate Larder at the Town Hall in Crail will also be conducting FREE tastings of the delights the 6 chocolatiers have to offer. There will also be talks and chocolate & drink pairings too.

Claire Baker of Considerit Chocolate – talks at 12:30 on Saturday and Sunday

Here at Considerit Chocolate we create artisan bars and truffles for the chocolate loving community. Our creations are so rich and indulgent that you’ll be surprised to hear they are dairy and gluten free. They really are an indulgence for everyone, Considerit…

Carol Wood of Carol Wood Chocolatiers – talks at 13:15 on Saturday and Sunday

Carol has a fantastic kitchen full of amazing recipes and uses chocolate in her wide range of bakery products and handmade chocolates, come and sample this weekend.

Julie Collier of Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier – talks at 14:00 on Saturday and Sunday

Scotland’s most awarded chocolatier who supplies at the highest level of food service, corporate and retail outlets. Specialising in “naked” Velvet Truffles & Spiced Pralines. Working with Kingsbarns Distillery, there will be FREE Chocolate & Whisky Pairings. Lots of samples on stand for you to try.

Charlotte Flower of Charlotte Flower Chocolates – talks at 14:45 on Saturday and Sunday

What’s in Season? Award winning, original and delicious handmade chocolates, shaped by the seasons and nature, freshness and artisanal craft, values and passion and stories and traditions.

Alistair Gower of The Chocolate Tree – talks at 15:50 on Saturday and Sunday

Award winning chocolates, hand crafted from chocolate that we make ourselves from bean. Fresh premium ingredients and no added preservatives for the best in natural flavours. Craft chocolate made using directly-traded heritage cacao beans. Precisely roasted, obsessively winnowed, slowly conched and patiently matured fine flavour chocolate.

If you’re tempted to continue your chocolate adventures around Scotland, Visit Scotland have a Chocolate Trail for you to follow, and we’ve created a helpful list of links on our Pinterest Board – Scotland’s Chocolate Larder for you to discover more.

Thanks to Julie Collier for her help in putting together the Crail Food Festival Chocolate Larder 2015.

Entrance to the Chocolate Larder is included in your Saturday Market Day or Sunday Harbour and Market Day ticket purchase for Crail Food Festival 2015.  Tickets are available from our ticketing partner See Tickets, or by telephoning 0871 220 0260 (calls cost 10p per minute plus standard network charges).

 


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June 8, 2015 2

As Crail Food Festival-goers know, the East Neuk of Fife punches well above its weight for production of wonderful food. In terms of drink, until recently you had to go further afield. Thankfully, that has all changed with the opening in December last year of the Kingsbarns Distillery. The East Neuk is now well and truly on the food AND drink map with what will be its one and only whisky now in production!

view towards Kingsbarns Distillery

wishing you were at Kingsbarns Distillery

FROM DREAM TO DRAM

Born and bred East Neuker Douglas Clement, with the financial backing of the Scottish Government and Fife’s Wemyss family, has created this amazing Distillery out of a dream he had while caddying at Kingsbarns Golf Links and living nearby in Cellardyke.  To get to where he is today with the Distillery took a roller-coaster journey of 7 years of effort. You can read his incredible, inspirational “from dream to dram” story on the Kingsbarns Distillery website.

I followed Douglas’s journey with great interest as it panned out, not least because, my East Neuk holiday let, Rose Cottage is just a short walk away, so the Kingsbarns Distillery has become our closest tourist attraction! I was really excited when it opened and in fact our neighbour Ray was the Distillery’s very first visitor! No surprise then that I was delighted to be asked to meet Douglas and blog about visiting the Distillery for the Crail Food Festival 2015.

sign for Kingsbarns Distillery

Entrance to Kingsbarns Distillery

So what can you expect from a visit to the East Neuk’s very own Kingsbarns Distillery?

GET A LITTLE TIPSY IN STYLE
You can expect to get a little tipsy in style, sampling some fantastic whisky and gin on the scheduled tours (£8 Kingsbarns Tour or £20 Doocot Tour). In fact, depending on your tolerance levels you may get a lot tipsy in a lot of style if you go on Douglas’s or one of his senior tour guide’s in-depth and deluxe Dream to Dram Tours where you will learn about the whisky-making process in a lot of detail and get to taste 6 whiskies, including some exclusive barrels (£50, by arrangement). On our rather less boozy girlie tour, the honey notes of Wemyss’ blended malt, The Hive, proved particularly popular with Mrs D and I and went down very well with a splash of water.

setting out the tasting at Kingsbarns Distillery

LEARN
On your Distillery visit you can expect to learn all about Kingsbarns as well as how the whisky is made. The first 15 minutes of the paid tour is self guided and you’ll explore the exhibition which tells the story of the origins of Fife and Kingsbarns, of how Fife could be said to be the birth place of whisky and of Mary Queen of Scots’ love of golf (and Lord Darnley!). It also brings to life the Distillery’s metamorphosis from a dis-used, derelict, at risk farm steading on the Cambo Estate to the immaculately restored buildings you see today.

Museum at Kingsbarns Distillery

The exhibition ends on a high: the Doocot (Scots for dovecot). Once covered in two meters of pigeon poo it is now scrubbed up and forms the proud home of the very first cask of Kingsbarns Whisky, accompanied by atmospheric lighting and the recorded sounds of pigeons cooing. So now its the Angel’s Share rising to the heavens rather than the ‘doos’ (doves).

Doocot at Kingsbarns Distillery

Of course quality whisky is not produced overnight, so Kingsbarns Single Malt Scotch Whisky will only be ready for drinking in small quantities after 3 years and 1 day in a cask and in larger amounts a number of years later! Douglas is expecting a lighter, delicate fruity Lowland whisky and all the raw materials, distillation equipment and recipe has been designed to produce this. Roll on 2018! In the meantime, there are numerous Fife owned Wemyss family blends and exclusive single malt single cask special editions from other distilleries, to sample and take home.

Wemyss Malts at Kingsbarns Distillery

After exploring the exhibition your guide will then walk you through the whisky-making process. This starts with the raw ingredients and you get to taste the Kingsbarns spring water from a sandstone aquifer 100 metres below the distillery and Fife barley some of which us grown on the Wemyss family’s estate just along the  coast nearby Cameron Bridge Grain Distillery.

Water to make Kingsbarns Whisky

barley to make whisky at Kingsbarns Distillery

The tour then moves upstairs to show you the industrial majesty and heady aroma of the gleaming copper stills in action, distilling the Kingsbarns spirit twice.

the process of making whisky at Kingsbarns DistillerySomething I particularly liked learning was how green the Distillery is – the heat created from the stills within the pot ale and spent lees left over after distillation is used to heat the entire visitor centre via underfloor heating. Thereafter this pot ale and spent lees is taken away by the neighbouring farmer who spreads it on his fields as fertiliser. The farmer also takes away the used malted barley, the draff, after mashing which he feeds to his cattle. Douglas joked that this is why the Kingsbarns coos are always so smiley and happy!

The tour ends with a tasting in the magnificently grand tasting room, called the Wemys Room, after which you can browse around the shop and cafe.

MORE THAN WHISKY
A surprise perhaps is that even if you’re not a whisky-lover (though my other half swears that the Wemyss’ 12 year old Spice King is the first whisky he has ever developed a taste for ) you can still expect to find something you like at the Distillery. For a start, the Wemyss family produces a SELECTION OF GINS, including popular elderflower and spiced varieties. If you’re partial to a whisky or indeed a gin cocktail or two you should check out the cocktail recipes ( http://www.wemyssmalts.com/cocktails/index.html and http://www.darnleysview.com/cocktails.php ) on their website – mine’s a Spice on Ice! Douglas told me the Distillery cafe plans to serve cocktails in the future, which is something I’ll definitely be walking over from Rose Cottage for.

What’s more, wine-lovers will be delighted to discover some FABULOUS WINES at the Distillery shop and cafe. It’s not made in the East Neuk but in the much more conducive warmer climes of the Wemyss family’s vineyard, Rimauresq in Provence,  near St Tropez.

wine too at the Kingsbarns Distillery

Douglas recommended sampling a chilled glass of the rosé in the cafe and who were Mrs D and I to refuse?!

chilled rose wine at Kingsbarns Distillery

In fact the taste experience at a visit to the Distillery is not even limited to alcoholic beverages. You may also be surprised to know that you can expect FANTASTIC HOT CHOCOLATE in the wonderfully light and sunny Distillery cafe, which you can enjoy while appreciating stunning views across idyllic East Neuk countryside. This is particularly good news if you’re the designated driver in your party (though you can easily come to the Distillery by the 95 public bus too, ask to get off at the Cambo stop)! The charming café itself is well worth a visit for a drink or bite to eat, whether or not you are going on a tour or not.

cafe kingsbarns distillery

GREAT GIFTS
Last but not least, on your Distillery visit you also have the opportunity to buy some great gifts in the excellent Distillery shop. The gorgeously shaped Kingsbarns branded Glencairn whisky glasses (£4.95) and whisky minatures sorted me out for lots of presents for my family last Christmas. I also have my eye on a lovely pale blue distillery golf umbrella for Rose Cottage.

glass and miniatures at kingsbarns distillery

A MUST VISIT ATTRACTION
If I were to sum up a visit to the Distillery it would be to say that it is infused with Douglas’s spirit: pioneering, hard-working, polished yet friendly and very much grounded in the East Neuk of Fife.

I hope that gives you a flavour of just how great a visit to the Kingsbarns Distillery will be. It has quickly become an essential addition to the itinerary of every visitor to the East Neuk and St Andrews and somewhere for locals to enjoy too. I know I’ll be back.

Douglas is staging various events at the Crail Food Festival 2015 including a whisky toast and Gin and Tonics at the Friday night dinner, a mouth-watering “meet the producers” collaborative whisky and chocolate tasting along with the Highland Chocolatier on the Saturday and Sunday at 2pm and his own “meet the producer” event too on the Sunday at 12.30. Book your tickets now to avoid missing out! He’ll also be serving Darnley’s View Gin and Tonics at Luvians Harbour Bar on the Sunday.

Keep your eye out for Douglas too on the West Sands beach during The Open in St Andrews as he’ll be creating something truly amazing!

Author: Sara Scott
Website: Rose Cottage
Facebook: Rose Cottage East Neuk on Facebook
Twitter: @RoseCottageFife
Instagram: RoseCottageEastNeuk

Producer: Kingsbarns Distillery
Website: Kingsbarns Distillery
Facebook: Kingsbarns Distillery on Facebook
Twitter: @KingsbarnsDist
Pinterest: Kingsbarns Distillery on Pinterest
YouTube: Kingsbarns Distillery on YouTube