Before lockdown, a member of our specialist food & drink team dined at The Kitchin in Edinburgh where they were impressed by a brilliant document (see below) illustrating where Michelin Star Chef, Tom Kitchin sources each of the ingredients used in his kitchen. While many Scottish restaurants take pride in sourcing local, fresh ingredients that diners very much appreciate, we often don’t extend this principle to the foods stacked in our fridge and served on our dining tables.
Scotland’s natural larder is extensive and diverse. We may be a country best known for whisky and haggis but our offering extends well beyond this and is appreciated globally. The Scotch Beef logo has the highest quality perception in the country, Scottish salmon is renowned worldwide and our cold climate is perfectly suited to facilitate plentiful oat production.
Supermarket shelves offer year-round availability of foods by shipping in December grapes from Peru and February strawberries from Israel. While convenient, this has undoubtedly resulted in a degree of separation between our conscious eating habits and the seasonal production limitations of Scottish farmlands, with recent studies showing a worryingly low number of us know when key foods grown in the UK are in season.
When discussing The Kitchin’s map as a team, we wondered what personal food maps would look like. If consumers could visualise the extent to which they choose globally sourced foods as an alternative to utilising the resources on their doorstep, would they be surprised? With an ever increasing awareness of carbon footprints, should consumers be paying more attention to the foods put in shopping baskets without thought and reconnect with primitive seasonal appetites?
We agreed on these key points: by buying local, seasonal products, consumers are eating fresher (therefore higher quality) food, limiting environmental impact and supporting British farmers and their local economy. Ultimately, AAB’s Food & Drink team want to be ambassadors to this message.
We are privileged to see first-hand the hard work and care that goes in to ensuring that British produce is of the best possible quality for valued customers. We strive to work alongside these business to help them maximise their success and spread the benefits of eating British produce.
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