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July 24, 2009

Edinburgh’s two Urban Angel branches have just  introduced a fifty mile menu. With all ingredients sourced from within a fifty mile radius of central Edinburgh, the two course, £18 menu aims to support local farmers, reduce food miles and allow customers to enjoy the very best of local produce.

The menu changes daily but typical dishes might include baby black pudding with bacon and herb cracked wheat salad, smoked mozzarella crostini with organic cherry vine tomato stew and organic lamb gigot with mint crust and garlic potatoes.

‘Yom’ as that nice Mr Valentine Warner might say on his TV show.

Eating locally is about supporting local producers as much as possible rather than pulling on a hairshirt and denying yourself anything that has ever seen the inside of a cargo hold. Still, thinking about it did make me question what imported food I really could not do without.

Coffee was pretty near the top of the list but it was trumped by rice. Those little white grains may not have the glamour of an exotic coffee bean but I’d rather go without my java then never eat another risotto and curries just wouldn’t be the same without a delicate bed of Pilau.

What imported food would you hate to see banned from our shelves?