Scotland on the so called north west ‚edge‘ of Europe has the benefit of a relatively cool climate, an ‚abundance‘ of fresh water from the sky downwards(!), lush farmland and many kilometres of coastline. So we have the basic ‚ingredients‘ for the provision of authentic, interesting, flavoursome, regional food and drink specialities and experiences. At their best these are often linked to historic, cultural, contemporary crafts, heritage sites and adventures which go way beyond Burns, our national bard. The close access to the island experience of Arran make for a compelling destination. Have we in the past sometimes hidden this excellence? The probable answer is yes, based on the genuine Scottish trait of understatement, plus undiscovery and lack of availability and accessibility to locally produced artisan food. In the last five years many things have changed ranging from government policy toward sustainable, healthier food and drink provision to a greater coordination of higher quality related experiences, based on certified assured methods of production and provision. This together with a more sensitive assessment of visitor expectations has meant we have been moving forward quietly, yet quickly.
But what does it mean to you our very important guest visitors? Availability of locally sourced, naturally reared scotch beef and lamb, pork, Scottish farmed salmon from the cool waters of the North Atlantic, venison, the freshest seafish, near unique shellfish, crustaceans, international award winning cheeses made from Ayrshire cows or goats milk, dairy products, seasonal green asparagus and other vegetables, specialist potatoes, soft fruits, vegetarian and gluten free specialities, farm sourced ice creams, speciality confections and puddings … and I almost forgot the wonderful malt whiskies! More important still perhaps is access to and opportunity to meet the growers, producers and rurally based specialists whose expertise, traditions and passion for what they do are truly inspiring. You can meet many of them at their farm shops, via local food and specialist whisky outlets and the increasingly popular accredited open air farmers‘ markets (come suitably dressed!). Hospitality providers whether it be a comfortable family run B&B, an established informal cafe, restaurant or a larger hotel are increasingly linking into this local supply network, developing their own knowledge and that of their staff to help provide you with a very memorable food and drink experience. Whether you are considering your first visit or planning a return trip to a favourite haunt, rest assured you will receive a very warm welcome. We look forward to you being our guests!
-Chairman Ayrshire Food Network
- Link zur Webseite vom Ayrshire Food Network
Fotocredits: Howard Wilkinson