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The search for Scotland’s best-kept secret ingredient: Edinburgh and the Lothians

When it comes to eating out in the capital, you’re spoiled for choice by its vast array of dining experiences. But for those of you who prefer to cook at home, there’s also an abundance of excellent places to buy ingredients.

I’m really proud to live in a city with such amazing food markets. The Edinburgh Farmers’ Market currently has over 55 specialist producers attending every Saturday and you can find everything from venison, water buffalo, organic beef and lobster, to duck eggs, honey, chilies and artisanal bakery products. And there’s also the Stockbridge Sunday Market and Morningside Farmers’ Market. The Stockbridge Market is literally on the doorstep of Bistro Moderne, and gives Stockbridge a great buzz every Sunday.

But if you want to get out of the city, there’s a great selection of farm shops not too far afield selling everything from seasonal fruit and veg to beef and lamb.

Hopetoun Farm Shop near South Queensferry stocks almost everything you can think of, including their own beef, lamb and game from the surrounding Hopetoun Estate. Their deli counter is packed full of their unique range of pies, made in-store by their butcher. If you like pies, you simply must try one!

Travel east of the capital and you’ll find Gosford Bothy where they rear and sell free-range wild boar, as well as beef, lamb and organic rare-breed pork from named farms, all butchered on-site. The shop also stocks seasonal veg, sourced within a 5-mile radius, most of which is organic. You could go for a walk on nearby Aberlady beach, then pick up the ingredients for your evening meal. A lovely wee day out.

Go even further east to discover the farmhouse ciders from Thistly Cross. As well as the traditional apple ciders, they also produce a flavoured range including elderflower, Scottish strawberry and root ginger. Nice to drink on their own, but they also work amazingly well when used to braise or slow-roast pork, with that perfect balance between acidity and sweetness.

And from the outskirts of the capital hails one of Scotland’s most famous foods, the Macsween Haggis. It was recently awarded Scotland Food & Drink’s ‘Product of the Year’, and quite rightly so. Fingers crossed that America considers lifting the 40-year ban on haggis so our friends over the pond can start enjoying it again too.

So, it’s over to you now. What amazing dish do you make using a product from Scotland? Just tell me what the product is, and describe how you use it.

Email me at before Friday 15th August 2014 and you could be in with a chance of being selected to join me in a cook-off at Eat Drink Discover Scotland.

Visit for terms and conditions.

Join me as I investigate the Scottish Borders next week.

Eat Drink Discover Scotland, which is taking place at the Royal Highland Centre between 12th and 14th September, will bring to life the rich diversity of Scotland’s brimming larder by featuring exhibitors from the length and breath of the country. One for the foodies, it will be offering something for every palate, plate and price range and with a regional focus, it will be providing opportunities for smaller rural food producers to share centre stage with more established brands. The weekend will also include demonstrations and masterclasses such as chocolate workshops, cocktail making, game butchery and craft bakery.

Follow the search on Twitter @EatDrinkSco


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