Last Sunday, the Fife Food Festival 2016 took place. More than 30 businesses participated and set up stalls in Younger Hall, in the name of charity and tasty food.
What was interesting as well was the choice of charities to which profits are donated to. Mary’s Meals and FareShare are both food-related charities – the first working so that every school meal for every child in the world be healthy and nutritious, the second trying to save food waste by turning into meals for vulnerable people in the UK. Fittingly, Transition University of St Andrews also had a stand with pamphlets and people ready to explain everything about the impact we have on the world around us when we think about what to have for dinner, and teaching about recycling, reducing our food waste and choosing organic and local produce. Nowadays, a dialogue about food cannot be (rightly so) complete without thinking about these things.
There were all kinds of food to try: from cheese to liquors, from macaroons to chocolate, from smoked salmon to veal. Outside, food trucks offered hot food for those who were still hungry.
Unusual foods included seaweed and Tanzanian sauces – though the strangest thing I tried was Sgaia’s ‘fake’ meat, completely vegan yet completely tasty. As someone who loves her steak and burgers, I was left speechless: first at how it is possible to make a meat-looking-thing out of wheat and soy sauce, secondly at how good it tasted.
Although trying all the food was great, what was even better was seeing how everyone was passionate about their product. Many of the businesses were quite small, so the people at the stall were often the ones who created the business, or at least the ones that keep it running. They were not just trying to sell pies or cold pressed oils, they were trying to tell a story.
I have to admit, I did spend a little more money on cheese that what I had intended, but it was totally worth it for this little culinary trip.