Food From Fife #ScotlandLovesLocal

Wednesday 7 April 2021
Post in collaboration with Food From Fife

The past twelve months has shown us with absolute clarity that it's more important than ever to shop locally wherever we live. Food from Fife in conjunction with the Scotland Loves Local campaign are working to raise awareness of the fantastic foodie business in the Kingdom of Fife that need our support more than ever as lockdown restrictions ease and Scotland moves toward recovery. With its fertile farmlands, bustling towns and rich coastal waters, Fife is home to a huge range of world-class produce and amazing food and drink businesses. 


In my recent post where I shared 20 awesome things about 2020, something that came up repeatedly was that Covid has changed our relationship with food and how we shop for it forever. When the usual supply chain broke down across the country leaving supermarket shelves bare, it was local food and drink producers and retailers who stepped up to the mark and adapted their business models to keep us all fed and watered.

If truth be told we've always known that where possible, we should try and shop local for our food, but 2020 has given us a big nudge to continue this vital connection and support going forward. Covid has caused significant challenges for local businesses who have lost out on trade whilst at the same time going to enormous lengths to support the most vulnerable people in our communities.

One of the practical ways in which I tried to help at the height of the initial lockdown was by creating a regularly updated blog post sharing details of local producers and food businesses in Aberdeen City and Shire who were providing doorstep delivery services. Today I'm going slightly further afield to work with Food From Fife and raise awareness of those business in the Kingdom of Fife that need our support more than ever as lockdown restrictions ease and Scotland moves toward recovery.

Sadly due to current travel restrictions I can't go to Fife, so instead Food From Fife came to me via a bumper delivery from Balgove larder. What a fantastic selection of products which showcased much of what makes the area a foodies paradise. With its fertile farmlands, bustling towns and rich coastal waters, Fife is home to a huge range of world-class produce. What I received is only the tip of the iceberg as to what available to Fifers to purchase direct, via farm and local shops and online. 

Oak-Smoked Dry-Cured Shoulder Bacon, Dry-Cured Streaky Bacon and Dry-Cured Back Bacon
Farmer. Butcher. Bacon Curer. Puddledub is famed for its succulent and flavoursome pork, which comes from a crossbreed of the traditional large white and landrace pig which has been bred with a Duroc. Pig husbandry and animal welfare standards are at the highest level.

Red Anster, Anster and Farmhouse Cheddar
Award winning cheese which begins with top quality raw milk produced by a home bred herd of Friesian Holstein cows which contentedly graze all summer long amongst the lush pastures overlooking the Firth of Forth in the East Neuk.

Blackcurrant Liqueur, Raspberry Liqueur, Malt Barley Vodka and Wild Rose Gin
Handcrafted premium spirits distilled on site from field to glass. Award winning liqueurs using finest berries from Tayside macerated for over three months to ensure a beautiful fruity taste and syrupy texture.

Cinnamon Jelly, Summer Fruits Jam and Rhubarb & Ginger Jam
Traditionally made preserves produced in The Jam Shack located in the beautiful fishing village of Pittenweem. Top quality fruit and vegetables are sourced from local farms and gardens to make small batches of each product.

Yippie IPA, IPA , Lager and Pale Ale 
Based in the heart of St Andrews, St Andrews Brewing Co have established themselves as Fife's leading brewers with numerous accolades such as Great Taste Awards, World Beer Awards medals and Siba crowns.

Broccoli Crisps, Broccoli with Cheese Crisps and Broccoli with Chilli Crisps
Turning fresh wonky broccoli in to healthy snacks. Produced by a collective of 16 farming families that have been growing vegetables together for over 4 generations. 

Dulse and Shony
Sustainable hand harvested tasty and nutritious seaweed seasonings. Award winning products are dried and processed in a sea-to-shelf seaweed production facility to create delicious, nutrient-rich seaweed seasonings within 24 hours of harvesting.

Strawberry & Basil Vinegar Dressing, Spinach & Feta Chunky Dip and Caramelised Onion Houmous
The Little Herb Farm has grown from a passion for cooking and a rambling garden on the outskirts of historic St Andrews in Fife where they produce a range of award winning fruit & herb vinegars, jams, houmous & dips.

Balgove Granola, Seville Orange Thick Cut Marmalade, Balgove Chutney, Steak Pie, Cheese, Plain & Fruit Scones and Rice Pudding
Founded in 2010 and based just outside St Andrews, Balgove Larder has become a destination for locals and visitors alike. Balgove Larder has an online shop with national delivery available, including a selection of butchery items, fresh local produce, larder essentials, balanced ready meals and hampers.

Pain Complet
Fisher and Donaldson is a well known fourth generation artisan family bakery with shops throughout Fife. The Fisher and Donaldson range extends to over 400 products. From croissants, speciality breads, oatcakes, soft morning rolls, and pies, to chocolates, pastries, gateaux and celebration cakes.

Aqua Vitae Spirit 
The Spiritual Home of Scotch Whisky, distilling once again after 523 years. Whilst waiting for its first general release of Whisky the Abbey turned to it's legacy and created a botanical aqua vitae spirit adapted from an ancient recipe used by the monks.

Search the Food From Fife Directory for a full range of producers, retailers, distilleries, restaurants, cafes , cookery classes and more. There's also fascinating insights into the history and heritage of Fife's food sector and and Food Trails for when we are once again allowed to travel. 

When it came to taste testing all the goodies there was no shortage of volunteers in the Foodie Quine household. I had to hold back the hungry hoards to ensure that I got photo and video evidence before all was devoured! It was immediately apparent that the range of goods would feed us from breakfast through to lunch and dinner with plenty of snacks along the way and a couple of drams to wash it all down with!

Granola, marmalade, jam, bread, cheese, bacon and scones. We were absolutely spoilt for choice when it came to a Fife breakfast!
The homemade Balgove granola had huge almost biscuit like oaty clusters sweetened with honey and maple syrup and lashings of fruit and nuts. Great with milk, yoghurt or just eaten straight out of the bag! Fisher and Donaldson's seedy Pain Complete made fab toast which paired perfectly with all the St Andrew's Farmhouse Cheeses. My personal favourite was the Red Anster with garlic and chives. If preserves are your toast topping preference Pittenweem's Rhubarb & Ginger Jam absolutely hit the spot with good old fashioned flavours whilst Balgove's Seville Orange Thick Cut Marmalade was dark, rich and chunky with just the right amount of bitter.

A cheese, bacon and chutney toastie beckoned for lunch. I'm a huge fan of good bacon, the stuff that crisps up well and doesn't produce any white watery gloop. Puddledub is such a bacon. My go to cut would normally be streaky but having now tried their Oak-Smoked Dry-Cured Shoulder I may be converted. It has the ideal amount of fat and is the absolute perfect shape for bacon rolls. Combined with Farmhouse Cheddar and Cinnamon Jelly for me and Balgove Chutney for Foodie Loon. Toastie heaven accompanied by a side salad drizzled with The Little Herb Farm Strawberry & Basil Vinegar Dressing. Pittenweem's Cinnamon Jelly made with local apples was recommended to be served with porridge, croissants or pancakes but it immediately struck me as the perfect cheese accompaniment. Likewise the tangy Balgove Larder Chutney with bramley apples and cider. I'm no mixologist but the piquant and fat free strawberry and basil vinegar dressing would I suspect be equally at home in a cocktail as it is bringing zing to salads.

Scones for a morning snack and crisps and dips in the afternoon!
There was a fight over the cheese, fruit and plain scones from Balgove. Everyone wanted the cheese, which were indeed absolutely delicious. In a highly scientific poll I asked my followers on Instagram what their favourite of the three was and it was a close call. 44% cheese, 40% fruit and plain bringing up the rear at 16%. I'm a cheese scone and butter girl but also absolutely loved the fruit scone topped with Pittenweem Preserves Summer Fruits Jam. Growers Garden Broccoli Chips and The Little Herb Farm Spinach & Feta Chunky Dip and Caramelised Onion Houmous are most definitely a match made in Fife! Both are oh so moreish. Our favourite pairing combo was Broccoli with Cheese Chips and the Spinach & Feta Dip. 

There was much excitement at the prospect of a Balgove steak pie. My daughter is somewhat of a steak pie aficionado and this one very much got the thumbs up from us all. Packed full of Scotch Beef in an unctuous gravy with a golden brown puff pastry top. Served alongside were Spiced Carrots from a recipe in Fife Food Ambassador Christopher Trotter's Carrot recipe book. This is one of 7 which also includes tomato, cauliflower, kale, courgette, beetroot and broccoli.  Each contain 30 simple recipes along with nutritional, varietal and historical information. Dessert was the heavenly creamy and lightly spiced Balgove rice pudding topped with a blob of Pittenweem Preserves. Traditional comfort food at its very best. 

It's not just the food that's bountiful in the Kingdom - there's plenty of choice when it comes to booze too.
A selection from St Andrew's Brewing Co. went down a treat with our Steak Pie. My personal favourite both in terms of taste and name was the Yippie IPA. I'm a sucker for both a good pun and a good IPA. Moving onto the stronger stuff with both Gin and Vodka from Tayport Distillery. My followers all know me as a huge gin fan but alas I simply don't do floral food and drink so sadly their Wild Rose Gin was a no from me. The Malt Barley Vodka on the other hand was much more up my street. A smooth craft spirit made from local barley. Both come in stylish bottles and would make fantastic gifts. Aqua Vitae is something completely new to me and I suspect an acquired taste. Produced at Lindores Abbey Distillery whilst their whisky matures it's made with spices, dried fruit and locally grown green herbs including Douglas fir and sweet cicely. To finish we sampled the true taste of Fife fruit in the Tayport 1992 Raspberry and Blackcurrant liqueurs. Neat over ice or topping up a Prosecco they are absolutely bursting with Scottish fruity flavours. Sláinte Mhath! 

Food From Fife is a non-profit organisation that was established in 2010 to grow Fife’s food & drink and food tourism industry by bringing both aspects together. Working alongside Scotland Loves Local they are campaigning to encourage people to shop locally and showcase the amazing produce that Fife has to offer. As travel restrictions ease there will be further opportunities to experience Fife's fine restaurants, top-notch cafes, farm shops and distilleries or get directly involved in a cookery class or food tour.

The Scotland Loves Local campaign is a national initiative designed to encourage all those who live in Scotland to think local first and support local businesses in line with current public health guidelines. Covid has caused significant challenges both financially and otherwise for our town centres, high streets and local businesses. They take risks each and every day to create jobs and prosperity to maintain our way of life. Now is the time to support them to get back on their feet, to be there for them and to think local first. This isn’t just about keeping shop units occupied, it’s about supporting the very fabric of our society and community.


Disclosure : This is a commissioned post for Food From Fife.  As always, all views expressed are my own.
Thank you for supporting the brands who make it possible for me as a passionate Scottish Food Blogger to continue to share my Edible Food and Travel Adventures with you. I’m super choosy who I work with and promise to bring you only the cream of the crop.

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