In this week’s An Lanntair blog, Roddy Murray offers a flavour of what’s on offer at our Food Festival on Saturday 13 April….
Itheam, Òileam … Let me Eat, Let me Drink…
The Fèille or Food Festival at An Lanntair is becoming a regular event and tends to be organised round a central theme. The first one, held in 2015, asked the question as to whether – in the Islands at least – we actually do eat better food today than in the past. After all, most of the food then came off a local boat or was reared on the croft. It was organic and from-a-named-supplier, though nobody ever used such terms.
Among many delicious offerings that day were also the dubious delights of guga and sheep’s head soup (tasting forbidden). Other festivals have showcased foreign foods now available locally. A surprisingly cosmopolitan range from Mexico to Vietnam. And sometimes it is both. A coming together.
This year is split into a morning-into-lunch session where the emphasis will be on local and traditional foods. Participants include baking supremo Jane Poustie, Stag Bakeries (an Island institution), Stornoway Smokehouse, seaweeds (a taste of the shoreline) and Kitchen Cove Ruairidh Munro. The afternoon introduces produce, recipes and tastes from some of the diverse communities in the island. These include Polish, Indian and Korean.
It’s sweet, salty, smokey, spicy, savoury, sour … throw in some Hebridean Mustard and you have a recipe. It’s great for a day’s grazing, sampling and nibbling. And a perfect appetiser for the Hebridean Banquet in the restaurant that same evening.
The main hosts for the day will be gourmet, enthusiast and expert practitioner Alasdair Macleod who will be assisted and enabled – particularly on the deeply traditional aspects of island cuisine – by Cudaig.
An Lanntair are grateful to those taking part, amateur and professional, the suppliers, the providers, participants and – of course, not least – you the consumers.
You are what you eat. So eat Hebridean.
An Lanntair’s Fèis Bìdh: Food Festival is on Saturday 13 April, 10am to 4pm. Free entry.
The event is part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Outer Hebrides LEADER 2014-2020 programme.