Photo of
March 19, 2020

From the chemistry of ripening cheese to the use of seaweed in seasoning, the GastroFest events is a mini festival of the science of food and drink.

For some reason, our bleary, red-flecked eye was drawn to the Coasts and Cocktails event on Saturday 18th April.

Scotland has over 10,000 miles of coastline and this 90 minute evening bash celebrates our watery fringes with entertainment from photographer and author, Anna Deacon; poets Janette Ayachi and Neu Reekie's Michael Pedersen; plus songs and stories from host Nicolette Macleod. Sea-themed cocktails will add to the atmosphere.

Is that a Martini I sea before me?

Is that a Martini I sea before me?

Cheese lab

Over the last couple of years, more and more people have been dipping their toe and more into veganism.

On the afternoon of Saturday 18th April, Josiah Meldrum of the award-winning company Hodmedods and Prof Wendy Russell of the Rowett Institute will help their audience explore the science behind plant-based plates in the Eat Shoots and Leaves event. Leith's Harmonium will supply a range of snacks which are 'free from meat, dairy and judgement'.

At the top of the blog, we mentioned the chemistry of our old friend cheese. Fans of fromage may wish to check out the Cheeseology session on Friday 17th April.

Dairy technologist Paul Thomas and journalist and cheese expert Patrick McGuigan will be guiding guests on a cheesy journey through some of Europe's finest exports. We are told that 'Cheeseology combines a tutored tasting with an exploration of cheesemaker practices and physicochemical parameters which influence texture and flavour development'.

Your blogger got lost at 'physicochemical parameters' but our ears perked up again at the mention of samples.

Seafood and eat it

We also liked the look of In Seasoning on Sunday 19th April. Food science expert Dr Stuart Farrimond, Fiona Houston from Mara Seaweed, and Jan Hodel from the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling will be taking a deep dive into the spices and seasonings which we might find on our coastlines.

Other GastroFest delights include a session on the physics of gluten and an exploration of the symbiotic relationship between whisky and water.

All the GastroFest events take place at the Pleasance. Tickets here. Edinburgh Science Festival runs 4-19 April.

Whisky and water: a happy combo.

Whisky and water: a happy combo.