Friday, 29 July 2016

Beers of Euro 2016 - #9 Hungary, Flying Rabbit American IPA by Monyo Brewing Company

Beers Of Euro 2016, Flying Rabbit IPA, #beersofeuro2016, Gerry's Kitchen
So the UEFA European Championship has come and gone and after almost four weeks of football, Portugal beat the host nation France to lift the trophy. Over the last few weeks I have been so busy that I haven't had the chance to write many blog posts but I hope to catch up with a few of my #beersofeuro2016 posts over the coming days. The next country to step up to the challenge is Hungary with Flying Rabbit IPA from the Monyo Brewing Co.
Beers Of Euro 2016, Flying Rabbit IPA, #beersofeuro2016, Gerry's Kitchen

Hungary were drawn in Group F with Iceland, Portugal and Austria.

Beers Of Euro 2016, Flying Rabbit IPA, #beersofeuro2016, Gerry's Kitchen
I think I sourced my Flying Rabbit American IPA from online beer merchant, Beers of Europe for around £2.49, although I can't see it on their website anymore?
My knowledge of Hungarian beer was non-existent so my choice would be based primarily on style of beer but as I'm a bit of a sucker for branding, as soon as I clocked my eyes on the label of Flying Rabbit IPA, I knew that I had found my entry for Hungary.
I've not been able to find out a great deal about Monyo Brewing Co other than the fact that they are based in the Hungarian capital of Budapest. However, one interesting fact that I did find out was that people traditionally do not clink their glasses or mugs when drinking beer. There is an urban legend in Hungarian culture that Austrian generals clinked their beer glasses to celebrate the execution of the 13 Martyrs of Arad in 1849. Many people still follow the tradition, although younger people don't support this practice, claiming that the vow was only meant to last 150 years.
The beer pours with a dark amber colour and a tight off-white foamy head which hangs around until the end of the drink. As you would expect from an American style IPA, there is a huge burst of citrus and tropical from it on the nose and an initial bitterness to taste. The bitterness is quickly replaced by an almost caramel toffe flavour before orange peel and spice fills the mouth, ending in a dry but bittersweet finish. Flying Rabbit packs a noticable punch at 6.5% ABV so you won't be knocking these back all night! I really liked this beer, in fact, it's one of the best American IPA's that I've had the pleasure of drinking and I happened to spot it in a bar then I'd be climbing back on board Flying Rabbit.

Keep an eye on the rest of my challenge and feel free to share your own beers of Euro2016 on Twitter using the hashtag #beersofeuro2016



Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Review - Taynuilt Hotel & Restaurant, Taynuilt, Argyll

Myself and Nicola were recently offered an overnight stay at The Taynuilt Hotel, a classic coaching inn with a modern gastropub, rustic lounge and casual pub, which is located just 12 miles from Oban. It's been a long time since we had made a trip up the A85 to the Highlands so we were more than happy to accept the invitation and after checking our diary, we arranged to visit the Taynuilt Hotel on the first Saturday of July.
The Taynuilt Hotel has been owned by chef John McNulty since 2012 and since then, the young chef has worked tirelessly to provide a top quality level of service for his guest whilst putting a huge focus on delivering honest simple food, bursting with flavour. In fact, the dedication of John and his sous chef, Ross Harris (Scottish Hotel Awards Sous Chef of the Year) has seen the hotel recently being awarded 2 AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence.
We had hoped for a little summer weather that day but the drive from Glasgow was rain soaked for almost all of the journey. The drive took a little over two hours and when we arrived just before lunch, we were warmly greeted by General Manager, David Lapsley, who advised that our room wasn't quite ready but allowed us leave our overnight bags with him for safekeeping. David has worked within the hospitality industry since 2009 and has a wealth of experience from previous positions that allows him to deliver the service as required, regardless of who the guest is. We seen this first hand at dinner when he seemed to have an uncanny knack of knowing when to chat and give advice or opinion and when to leave guests to enjoy their food and wine.
Having set off early in the morning, we knew that we would have plenty of time to spare though the day so took a drive to Fort William for some lunch. It was too wet to walk about town so we made our way back to the hotel through a very bleak and rainy Glencoe, getting back to Taynuilt with plenty of time for pre-dinner drinks.
The hotel is an old coach house and as such, we weren't expecting the Ritz but we were very pleasantly surprised when we were shown up the small flight of stairs from the main reception to the recently renovated Loch Etive Suite. All ten rooms are named after some of the magnificent Scottish Lochs that are within a short drive of the hotel. We didn't see inside any of the other rooms so I can't comment on the decor but the Loch Etive Suite has a distinct nautical theme throughout with various references to the sea dotted around the room. Coal buckets, sailors knots in picture frames, a ships wheel, and a lot of rich blue colours on the wall contrasting with dark mahogany furniture. If I had tried to put this collection of knick-knacks together, it would have looked scruffy and disorganised but it all seemed to work and made the room feel cosy and warm.
The room was a perfect oasis of calm with plenty of home comforts for the weary travel. There was a huge 42" wall-mounted TV with DVD player and a good collection of comedy movies (for those that fancy a night in after wandering the beautiful local countryside), a digital radio with iPhone connection, kettle with plenty of tea and coffee (although I would have preferred something other than Nescafé Original) and a little fridge complete with a cute miniature bottle of fresh milk. The ensuite bathroom was compact but well fitted out with a powerful electric shower and a nice collection of Mason & Miller toiletries. The bedroom was dominated by a huge wooden framed bed that despite the medium soft mattress, both myself and Nicola managed to get a great sleep - although that might have been something to do with all the walking that we did during the day. Perhaps one of the coolest features of the Loch Etive Suite was the outside decking area complete with picnic bench and parasol. I can imagine that on a nice sunny day, this would be a great place to enjoy a chilled glass of wine or maybe a morning coffee, however the only thing that managed to get some enjoyment that weekend was the owners friendly cat who paid us a visit on the Sunday morning.
After a quick shower to freshen up, we made our way downstairs to the bar for a relaxing drink before dinner. There were a few regulars drinking at the bar but we still managed to find a comfy leather sofa to settle down whilst Reception/Hotel Admin Lauren Findlay treated us to a tasty glass of homemade Gose, a top-fermented wine made from locally foraged herbs which had a sharp tartness and salty finish. The public bar might be small but it has a surprising amount of premium drinks to choose from, including almost fifty gins, a fantastic array of quality whiskies as well as a healthy selection of beers from some of Scotland's best craft brewers.
Dinner wasn't far away but before we were shown through to our table we were presented with one of the fanciest appetisers that we have ever seen. Like a scene from the Mad Hatters tea party, our little garden on a tray came complete with chargrilled mushroom and leek with a delicious pea purée. If the fresh flavours weren't exciting enough, the teapot overflowing with dry ice added a touch of drama and set the bar high for our impending meal.
The wine list at Taynuilt Hotel is impressive with a great selection to suit all budgets. David has his own wine expert business which allows him to have a great deal of influence with the wines on offer. We ordered Chalkers Crossing, a bold Shiraz from Australia which had lots of deep cherry flavour and a peppery scice finish that was a great match for both of our mains.
Whilst we waited on our starters, we were served some home baked sourdough with butter, smoked sea salt, and seaweed salt. With such a huge focus on sourcing local produce, I was surprised that chef John wasn't using local butter, however i was advised that they used the butter from Netherend Farm in Gloucestershire because it is very good butter. I can't disagree with that, the butter was creamy, salty and very moreish!
The menu at Taynuilt looked like it had been written especially for myself and Nicola with practically every starter and main course being something that we would have no problem in ordering. In the end, Nicola went for the classic combination of Hand Dived Isle of Mull King Scallops, cauliflower purée, Simon Howie Black Pudding and truffle oil. This was the perfect balance of taste and texture - sweet scallops, crumbly spicy black pudding and a smooth purée that was packed with cauliflower flavour. As if this balance wasn't enough, throw in drizzle of truffle oil and the dish was elevated to another level. What a great way to start a meal!
My own starter of the Chef's Home Smoked Loch Duart Salmon with homemade oatcakes, Verjus dressing and edible flowers from the herb garden was fantastic. Talk about flavour! First of all, there were three huge chunks of moist flaky fish which carried an immense smoky hit. I often feel that shop bought smoked salmon can be overpowered by an almost fake smokiness but the hot smoked salmon at Taynuilt was packed with a rich smoky flavour that worked incredibly well with the oily fish. In contrast, the light Verjus dressing had the right amount of tartness to cut through the rich salmon. I'm not usually a fan of oatcakes and could easily have managed my starter with just salmon and sauce but the hand rolled oatcakes at Taynuilt were salty, crumbly and worked well with the starter.
After a short break, our main courses arrived. Nicola had ordered the slow cooked leg of Aberdeenshire Lamb with petit pois a la Francaise and home smoked pancetta. You couldn't accuse Chef John of scrimping on portion sizes, this was a colossal plate of food. The well seasoned lamb, cooked to perfection was served on top of a mountain of delicious petit pois a la Francaise. The pancetta had the same huge smokiness that my earlier salmon and cut through the sweetness from the peas and shallots. This was a fantastic dish to showcase the best of Scottish lamb and I have to admit to being a little jealous that it wasn't my dinner.
My jealousy didn't last long because once my Saddle of Perthshire Roe Deer with smoked carrot purée, spring greens, heritage carrots and game jus arrived, I was more than happy with my own choice. Again, this was a huge portion of food but I was determined to do my best to finish it. The Roe Deer is about a quarter of the size of the Red Deer and has a more delicate flavour than the venison that I've had in the past. My saddle was cooked to perfection, seared on the outside and juicy pink on the inside. (It might have been cooked sous vide but I'm not sure) the accompanying greens, baby leeks, cabbage and heritage carrots were all cooked well but the star of the show and the thing that pulled this dish together was the smoked carrot purée. Sweet Roe Deer, irony greens, rich game jus and smoky carrot purée - what a great combination! This was a truly accomplished dish and one of the best plates of food that I've had the pleasure of eating.
After such a feast you would think that we wouldn't have room for pudding but when Nicola spotted soufflé on the menu, she figured that she would manage ok. The Taynuilt Hotel's Strawberry Soufflé with crème Anglais and strawberry ice cream was a great way to wrap up a gone meal. The soufflé was light and fluffy, perfectly cooked with a good two inch rise above the ramekin. The strawberry ice cream was more like a sorbet, rich with fruity flavour but also slightly sharp, making it the perfect foil for the sweet soufflé and silky smooth crème Anglais.
If Nicola's dessert was the perfect light way to end a meal, my own pudding was the complete opposite. In all fairness, I didn't need dessert but David talked me into the White Chocolate & Vanilla Crème Brûlée with chocolate soil, chocolate rocks, popping candy, honeycomb, caramel and passion fruit & clotted cream, and I'm glad that he did. If you don't have a sweet tooth, this dessert isn't for you. The crème brûlée was super sweet from the white chocolate, sweeter still thanks to the burnt sugar. The chocolate soil, popping candy, honeycomb etc, was a nice addition, adding varying textures to the smoothly cream brûlée. I'm thankful for the sharp passion fruit & clotted cream ice cream which was a much needed break to the sweetness of the brûlée and helped give an element of balance to my pudding.
Our dinner had been spread out over a three hour period and after a long day, it was almost time for bed....but not before we had a nightcap through in the bar. With so many gins to choose from, Nicola was a little overwhelmed but settled on one final G&T with one of her favourite gins, Gin Mare, whilst I relaxed with a glass of Dark Matter rum before heading to bed.
After a pretty decent sleep we woke early, feeling refreshed and ready for a day of sightseeing in Oban but before we checked out we made our way back downstairs for a hearty home cooked breakfast. We hadn't had the chance to thank John for our dinner the night before but did manage to catch up with him for a brief chat whilst he worked the breakfast service. John explained that he and his team were determined that The Taynuilt Hotel becomes a destination for good food and drink, rather than just a stopping point on the way to Ben Nevis and based upon our own experience, I think it's safe to say that they are doing a great job.
As I mentioned earlier, The Taynuilt Hotel is roughly two hours drive from Glasgow although you can get a direct route train to Taynuilt from Glasgow Queen Street Station too. You can find information on train services to Taynuilt on the Scotrail website. With Oban only 12 miles away and ferry links to Mull, Barra and Tiree, as well as Fort William within an hours drive from the hotel, there's plenty to see and do should you decide to take the trip north. Check out the Visit Scotland website for more information on sightseeing activities in the area.
We were invited to stay at The Taynuilt Hotel and Restaurant in return for a review of our experiences. Regardless of the fact that our accommodation, food and drink were complimentary the review above is an honest account of our stay and definitely somewhere that I would have no hesitate in recommending to anyone who enjoys good food and drink.
If you're keen to experience the food, drink and service at The Taynuilt for yourself, check out the website for more information and special offers.
Finally, we would like to thank John and his staff for their hospitality and wish them all the best for the future.


Thursday, 21 July 2016

Restaurant Review - Gusto, Bothwell Street, Glasgow

Gusto Glasgow, restaurant review, Glasgow restaurant, Gerry's Kitchen
It doesn't seem that long ago since the Glasgow branch of Gusto opened it's doors on Bothwell Street back in March 2015. Since then, they have been wowing diners with their take on good quality Italian cooking inside the comfort of the art-deco styled restaurant.
Gusto is one of the brands owned by the Living Ventures Group, the Glasgow branch is one of 15 restaurants in the chain, with more to be announced during 2016. We've eaten there a few times in the last year although we've probably been in more to take advantage of Gusto's fantastic £4.95 weekend cocktail offers, so when we were invited back to try out the new look menu, we jumped at the chance to return.
Gusto Glasgow, restaurant review, Glasgow restaurant, Gerry's Kitchen
After a few pre-dinner drinks across the road at Grill on the Corner (another Living Ventures property), we made our way to Gusto with time to partake in a cheeky cocktail before we were shown to our table. Nicola settled quickly on an Aperol Spritz whilst I took the bartender up on his suggestion of a wonderful Apple & Elderflower Martini made using Gin Mare, apple schnapps, St Germain elderflower liqueur, apple juice and rosemary.
Gusto Glasgow, restaurant review, Glasgow restaurant, Gerry's Kitchen
The wine list at Gusto has something to suit most budgets in both red and white wines and in the end we settled on a bottle of San Silvestro Cortese del Piemonte Adelasia. Made from the Cortese grape, the wine is dry, fresh and light with a fruity, flowery bouquet and lemon peel finish and was a perfect accompaniment to our impending starters.
Gusto Glasgow, restaurant review, Glasgow restaurant, Gerry's Kitchen
There's no shortage of choice on the starters menu with classic Italian options like meatballs in tomato sauce, and Burratina mozzarella being joined by smoked salmon and tiger prawns. Nicola decided on the deep fried calamari with lemon mayonnaise (£7.25) which came with a little mixed leaves and the obligatory wedge of lemon. We've eaten a lot of good calamari in our time and Gusto stepped up to the plate with soft tender squid, coated in a light crispy batter. The calamari rested on a bed of rocket and radicchio leaves which gave a nice bitter contrast to the sweet squid whilst the zingy lemon mayonnaise left the mouth feeling fresh and ready for the next piece.
Gusto Glasgow, restaurant review, Glasgow restaurant, Gerry's Kitchen
I really struggled to choose but decided to go for the asparagus spear with dolcelatte mayonnaise and roasted red peppers (£6.25). This was a risk from me as I'm not the biggest fan of blue cheese but was curious about how the dolcelatte was being used in the starter. I needn't have worried as my starter was a light fresh dish that set me up well for my main. The mayonnaise was actually more like at creamy sauce and had just the right amout of salty dolcelatte crumbled into it to act as a salty, tangy foil for my asparagus and sweet roasted pepper.
Gusto Glasgow, restaurant review, Glasgow restaurant, Gerry's Kitchen
If choosing a starter was tricky, deciding on a main course was even more difficult. Well it was for me because as soon as Nicola heard that Lobster Thermidor was available on the specials board, she was sorted. A choice of half lobster (£22.95) and whole lobster (£45) was available, served either Thermidor or with Sauce Américaine, Nicola opted for the half lobster Thermidor which was served with hand cut chips. If you've never had Lobster Thermodor, you need to treat yourself - It's one of life's luxuries! Thermodor sauce is a classic French recipe, created by the great Auguste Escoffier, made with fresh cream, butter, brandy, mustard, shallots, parsley (sometimes tarragon). The lobster meat is removed from the claw, tail,and head before being tossed in the sauce with Gruyere cheese then put back into the lobster shell and grilled until the cheese is bubbling. Gusto's Thermidor was fantastic, the succulent, sweet lobster meat works so well with the rich creamy sauce. The hand cut chips were delicious - crispy on the outside and fluffy inside, helped by the inclusion of a little dipping pot of Thermidor sauce, served on the side.
Gusto Glasgow, restaurant review, Glasgow restaurant, Gerry's Kitchen
I should have been jealous of Nicola's lobster but I was distracted by my own main. I had ordered the lamb rump with truffled cheese flavoured piccol ravioli and tomato sauce. The huge lamb rump was seasoned well and cooked pink, just how I like it. The accompanying tomato sauce was packed with herbs and carried a little saltiness from the inclusion of black olives while the little cheesy ravioli had enough truffle flavour to cut through the sharp sauce. Everything on the plate was there for a reason and I had no problem I finishing the lamb with ease.
Gusto Glasgow, restaurant review, Glasgow restaurant, Gerry's Kitchen
If I have one critisism it would be that my lamb dish was missing a green vegetable. I've written about this before and it's still a sore point with me. I hate the way that chain restaurants think that it's ok to charge for side dishes that would have looked much better on the plate to start with! If a Michelin starred restaurant can serve a meal of carbohydrate, protein and vegetables, why should I have to pay £3.50 for a bowl of tenderstem broccoli in order to balance my meal? That said, the broccoli cooked with red chilli and almonds was very nice.
Gusto Glasgow, restaurant review, Glasgow restaurant, Gerry's Kitchen
After a short break we both still had a little room left for pudding with Nicola ordering the Gusto Tiramisu, a fantastic version of the Italian classic dessert. Often, homemade tiramisu can be too heavy with cream and marscapone, or too sweet with sugar or too bitter from coffee, but the Gusto version was wonderfully light and well flavoured with coffee and chocolate. A true 'pick me up' indeed!
Gusto Glasgow, restaurant review, Glasgow restaurant, Gerry's Kitchen
After a hearty meal, a light pudding always goes down well so when I spotted the almond milk panna cotta with honeycomb, flaked almonds and lemon curd, my decision was easy. Served in a slightly less convensional manner, the panna cotta was set in a bowl with just the right amount of wobble. This was an accomplished dessert, the contrasting texture of homemade honeycomb, sharp redcurrants, mint and gooey lemon curd were the perfect foil to the rich creamy almond flavoured panna cotta.
Gusto Glasgow, restaurant review, Glasgow restaurant, Gerry's Kitchen
Normally after three courses, we haven't room for coffee or after dinner drinks but for some reason, we were in "full on dining mode" so decided to end the evening with a couple of espressos before making our way back across the road to Grill on the Corner for a nightcap. I love a good espresso after a meal and the rich nutty coffee in Gusto was a great way to end our meal.
As mentioned earlier, we were invited to try the new menu and as a result, our food was complimentary, (We did pay for our drinks) but my review is a true reflection on our evening. I would like to thank Gusto Glasgow for asking us back and also thank the management and staff for looking after us so well on the night.
Check out the Gusto website for information of special offers and don't forget to sign up to the Gusto Dining Club where you can get up to 40% off all food across the chain. Finally, you can keep up with news from the Glasgow restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.


Thursday, 14 July 2016

Firth of Forth Shellfish Outlet Opens to Public in Pittenweem

A new initiative led by the Fishermen's Mutual Association (Pittenweem) Ltd (FMAP) to encourage locals and tourists to eat more of the seafood caught around the Fife coastline has been set up in Pittenweem, East Fife.

Locally landed lobster, crab and langoustine caught in the Firth of Forth, which will have no food miles, is now on sale to the general public at a brand new FMAP Seafood Kiosk set up at Pittenweem Harbour, where the shellfish are landed.

The outlet, which will be open every day until the end of August and run by local fishmonger, George Allan, has been set up to make fresh, locally caught seafood available to the public. This is the first time the fish has been on sale directly to consumers; normally it is only available to trade buyers in the neighbouring fish market, with 95% of the annual catch exported to Spain, Italy and France

The kiosk has been open since the end of June and is already proving extremely popular with locals, who are buying lots of lobster and langoustine, and walkers on the Fife Coastal Path, who are taking advantage of the dressed crab for their packed lunches.

Tom Mackenzie of the Fishermen's Mutual Association (Pittenweem) Ltd (FMAP) said: "It is no secret that Scotland exports the majority of the fish and shellfish caught around its shores, with many Scots not realising that the delicious seafood they are enjoying on holiday in Spain has actually come from just up the road at home.

"Fife's coastline is brimming with delicious shellfish and the aim of this kiosk to give people an easy way to pick some up for themselves and try at home. Fish is healthy and delicious and I believe it tastes that wee bit better when you know just how fresh and local it is."

Geoffrey Smeddle, chef proprietor of the Michelin starred Peat Inn near St Andrews, said: "Scottish seafood is prized by top chefs on the continent and yet strangely hard for members of the public to buy here. In an area blessed with outstanding produce, this wonderful initiative marks the most exciting development, bringing exquisite local seafood to local consumers."

The FMAP Seafood Kiosk is open seven days a week in July and August and weekends in September and is located in Pittenweem Harbour next to the fishmarket. Prices vary, but on average lobster is £15 per kilo, prawn tails are £10 per kilo, dressed crabs are £5 each and five langoustines are £12.50


Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Competition - Win a Tipple Box Gift Set of Williams Gin

The good people at Tipple Box have given me a great Williams Chase Gin gift set to give away to one lucky person.
The box contains 3 x 50ml miniature bottles of Williams Gin including Williams Chase Seville Orange Gin, Williams Chase Elegant Crisp Gin and Williams Chase GB Extra Dry Gin.
To be in with a chance of winning, simply leave a comment at the bottom of this post or follow this link and follow the instructions.
Good luck everyone!
Competition closes 31/07/16 (you must be 18 years old to qualify)



Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Buchanan Galleries to Pioneer New Indoor Street Food Hub

Traditional food court model will be revamped to feed Scotland’s growing appetite for street food. Independent local traders to be given a platform to showcase to a new and diverse audience.

Glasgow's Buchanan Galleries is set to reinvent the image of the traditional shopping mall food court by offering the space to local independent street food traders.

Taste Buchanan, a partnership between the Land Securities-owned Buchanan Galleries and hi- tech street trading platform StreetDots, will launch in early August and will be the first retail space of its kind in Scotland.

Following a dramatic refurbishment, Buchanan Galleries top floor will be transformed to host up to eight pop-up units serving artisan street style food run by independents using Scottish-sourced produce.

John Bloomer, mall retail manager at Land Securities said: "The arrival of Taste Buchanan will be the first genuine permanent street food offering within the city and we can't wait to see it kick-off next month."

It will transform the food offering within Buchanan Galleries and we're excited to partner with one of the best in the business. StreetDots is a leading operator in the street food sector and we know they will bring the very best new and exciting food trends to our shoppers here in Buchanan Galleries. Darren Callcott, co-founder of StreetDots, said: "The popularity of street food is growing faster than any other category, and there is a real appetite for the culinary trend right now. Street food is about creative artisan dishes being prepared by highly skilled people with a passion for serving fast-moving fresh food to suit customer demand. Street food culture is growing in prominence in all the major cities worldwide, but for a leading shopping mall like Buchanan Galleries to dedicate its much sought-after space to the concept really is ground-breaking, and we're sure Glasgow will embrace it."

The first line-up of traders to operate in Taste Buchanan includes:

  • Chompsky, soft steamed Asian bao buns stuffed full of fusion flavours
  • Designer Cakes by Paige, beautifully handmade cupcakes, truffles and push pops
  • Equi’s, 90-year-old award-winning family ice cream business
  • GLo Pizza, Italian wood-fired pizza͛s made with authentic Neapolitan flavours
  • Sláinte Mhath, brand new Scottish pop-up bar specialising in craft cocktails

Discussions are underway to secure a local coffee provider, and to maximise the variety of food on offer Taste Buchanan will introduce new traders every two to three months. Kathy Murdoch, centre manager at Buchanan Galleries, said: "This is such an exciting development for Buchanan Galleries and we're confident our shoppers will love the concept. To host Scotland's first independent street food hub within a shopping centre is a coup for us and a real point of difference, but it also fits well with the shoppers we attract who are forward-thinking, stylish and know what they want – now they'll be able to tell us what theyd like to eat via the new app and we can respond to demand."

StreetDots launched in London in 2014 to give high quality trading opportunities to independent street traders, and works in partnership with major landowners to create smart trading spaces which can be booked by traders using an app which allows the public to vote in their favourite food providers.

Taste Buchanan will open to the public in early August, trading seven days a week 11am to 7pm and 8pm on a Thursday.



Monday, 11 July 2016

Dundee Berry Transformed into Delicious Ice-Cream

Tayberries, grown and picked in Fife, are being transformed into a delicious, seasonal ice-cream.

The berries, which are a cross between a raspberry and a bramble, have been grown at the family-run Pittormie Fruit Farm in Dairsie. The ice-cream, which has been developed and created by Jannettas Gelateria in St Andrews, is thought to be the only one commercially available in Scotland and will be sold within Pittormie Fruit Farm’s shop and Jannettas itself.

Originally cultivated in Dundee, the tayberry originates from the former Scottish Crop Research Institute, near Dundee.

Pittormie’s tayberries, which are only available for around seven weeks, are also sold to the Williams Brothers brewery in Alloa, where they form the basis of a delicious Tayberry beer, ‘Roisin’.

Euan Cameron of Pittormie Fruit Farm commented, “Everything we do is driven by ‘keeping it local’, growing and selling our own fruit and local produce which is either made with our fruit, or connected to the farm in some way. We also avoid poly tunnels, exposing our fruits to the elements, and focusing on entirely natural processes. We’re absolutely delighted that Jannettas are using our tayberries to create a truly local ice-cream to enjoy over the summer months. Tayberries have a subtle perfume, and the ice-cream is absolutely delicious!”

As members of the Food for Fife network of food producers and retailers, Jannettas Gelateria, a fourth generation family business, ensures that is products are locally sourced and Fife-grown where possible, recognised by their success in the Food and Drink category of the Fife Business Awards 2016.

Co-owner Owen Hazel commented, “Having been rooted in Fife for over 100 years, we love nothing more than collaborating with other Fife food businesses and firmly believe that Fife has a tremendous amount to offer when it comes to growing and creating the very best of food and drink produce in Scotland. With Pittormie just down the road, it makes sense on many levels to use their delicious berries to create something unique for our, and their customers.”

Pittormie Fruit Farm is a small intensive family run farm situated in the heart of North East Fife. Its aim is to produce quality fresh food which has real flavour, keeping the use of chemicals to an absolute minimum. Its farm shop is stocked with fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables, free-range eggs, fruit beers and wines and Pittormie’s own range of jams, jellies, marmalade, chutney and lemon curd.

Jannettas Gelateria, St Andrews is open between 9am and 10pm, seven days a week. For more information, visit



Sunday, 10 July 2016

Beers of Euro 2016 - #8 Portugal, Sagres by Central de Cervejas

#beersofeuro2016, Sagres, Portuguese beers,
Much to everyone's surprise after a run of poor performances in the group stage, Portugal managed to reach the final of the UEFA European Championship, so it seems fitting that they are the next country to step up in my #beersofeuro2016 campaign. For a small country, Portugal have a surprising number of beer brands and breweries, the largest of these are the makers of Super Bock and Cristal, Unicer, and Central de Cervejas who make of my chosen beer, Sagres.
#beersofeuro2016, Sagres, Portuguese beers,
Portugal were drawn in Group F with Iceland, Hungary and Austria.
#beersofeuro2016, Sagres, Portuguese beers,
I sourced my bottle of Sagres for £1.39 from online beer merchant, Beers of Europe.
The Central de Cervejas brewery was established in 1934 and produces mainly pale lager style beers. Sagres was launched in time for the Portuguese World Exhibition in 1940 and promoted as a prestige lager, named after a town of the same name, a village located in the most south-westerly point in Europe. Like the famous Portuguese navigators who left Lisbon for faraway lands, Sagres was the first Portuguese beer to be exported and can now be found in every corner of the world. Central de Cervejas has been owned by the Heineken Group since 2008
The beer pours with a golden straw colour and light foamy head that dissipates very quickly. There's very little aroma going on in the glass, I could only detect the faintest of sweet corn on the nose. Sagres tastes like a lot of generic euro style lagers, there's an initial dry grainy taste that is replaced with a slightly sweet maltiness and just enough hops to leave a bitter finish. As beers go, Sagres would never make my top ten favourite beers but on a hot summers day, I reckon that it would do a good job of quenching a thirst.

Keep an eye on the rest of my challenge and feel free to share your own beers of Euro2016 on Twitter using the hashtag #beersofeuro2016



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