Looking to get the best of local Scottish produce this summer? Start here for flavours to stimulate the taste buds and nourish body and soul.
Words Catherine Coyle
As early summer takes hold and the focus moves outdoors, you can get your tropical fix without even having to leave your garden. Fruit motifs are big this season; think pineapples, bright blood oranges and citrus hues that cry out for a cocktail. Try serving up your next barbecue on Vista Alegre’s latest tableware collections: infused with all the vibrancy and joie de vivre of a Brazilian carnival, it will instantly transport you to warmer climes.
The new ranges – Olhar O Brazil, Coralina and Bicos – are made to be combined for a full-throttle tablescape. Designed by renowned architect Chicô Gouvêa, Olhar O Brasil is rooted in the nation’s cultural identity, while Bicos is a coloured pressed-glass range from Portugal. Paired with Coralina, the collection inspired by Oscar de la Renta’s floral fashion motifs, you’ll likely not even notice that you’ve not ventured from your own postcode. Happy holidays!
With their home-delivery service proving to be a lockdown favourite across Edinburgh, Kip Preidys and Giada Betti, the chefs behind Aemilia, open the doors to their first artisan pasta shop this summer. The pair started making pasta by hand at the beginning of the year, delivering their ravioli, tagliatelle and garganelli across the city and East Lothian. They’re now set to open up on Portobello High Street, where you can sit in for freshly made pies, pastas, desserts and coffee.
WILD HEARTH BAKERY
Did you know that sourdough isn’t actually a type of bread, but the name of the process? John Castley maintains his own wild culture, which he uses to make the breads and pastries at his Perthshire bakery, Wild Hearth Bakery. A trained chef and baker, he left a career in IT and relocated from London to Scotland to follow his childhood dream of living in nature and working with food. “Having grown up in Australia with a Hungarian mother, food has always been a big part of my life,” he admits. “When I was 19, I worked at a bakery with a wood-fired oven and it gave me the tingle to learn myself.”
Castley trained at Cork’s Ballymaloe Cookery School and worked under River Cafe’s Theo Randall. “In London, I missed getting out in the wilderness with just a backpack and a tent, so I spent four days in the Cairngorms and realised that if I was going to make the jump, Scotland would be the place to do it.”
Wild Hearth Bakery operates from a former prisoner-of-war camp at Cultybraggan in Comrie. It’s one of several businesses that have set up in the reconditioned WWII Nissen huts, where the oven is fired by waste wood from local timber mills. “We make ten different varieties of bread and French laminated pastries, all using the sourdough process, which we supply whole-sale and at farmers’ markets, as well as through home deliveries and community bread co-ops.”
Still hung up on home deliveries? Although cafes and restaurants have started to reopen, this meal-plan delivery box could just keep you at home a little longer. Designed to help you achieve your food goals, Love Yourself’s dishes are packed full of fresh, clean ingredients and can be tailored to suit dietary requirements including keto, dairy-free and gluten-free plans.
OUR LOVELY GOODS
Aberdeen-based, family-run lifestyle boutique Our Lovely Goods has branched out from its signature handmade luxe candles to include gift boxes and a covetable range of homewares for the ethically minded shopper. Husband-and-wife team Ebi and Emmanuel Sinteh have curated a pared-back collection of home accessories that includes raffia placemats, coasters and bowls (pictured), handwoven by talented artisans in Nigeria.
The East Neuk of Fife’s reputation as quite the foodie haven grows ever stronger. Artisan food markets and independent makers are plentiful in this picturesque corner of the country, and a new organic microbrewery, Futtle, has just joined the pack. Owners Lucy Hine and Stephen Marshall forage locally for ingredients, using what they find in their organic beers. They now offer delivery, or customers can collect from their dedicated bottle shop. Try such unique flavours such as Organic Gose with Alexanders & Sea Salt, or their Organic Saison with Hogweed Seeds. They also do some small-batch spirits and soft drinks. “We’ve focused our efforts on brewing natural beers that reflect our location,” says Hine. “We spend a lot of time foraging and it works well in the brewery.”
Hungry for more? Check out This Life: Ghillie Basan, food writer