The secrets of Borders store cupboards revealed

Tamworth pigs on Peelham Farm
Tamworth pigs on Peelham Farm

Celebrity chef Mark Greenaway is on a mission to find the ultimate secret ingredient found in Borders pantries.

A shortlist of the region’s favourites ingredients will be drawn up and the eventual winner will be given a free stand at the prestigious ‘Eat Drink Discover Scotland’ event at the Royal Highland Centre nxt year.

This year’s ‘Eat Drink Discover Scotland’ event takes place from Friday, September 12 to Sunday, September 14, and Edinburgh based chef, Mark Greenaway, who has appeared on BBC 2’s Great British Menu, joined forces with the organisers to scour the country for its best secret ingredients.

The public is being invited to reveal its favourite ingredients by detailing what they are and where they’re purchased. The criteria range from herbs to condiments, alcohol to meats and vegetables, providing they are either grown or produced in Scotland.

Eleven regional zones have been drawn up and one winner from each zone will be selected, the winners announced after August 15.

Mark Greenaway said: “It’s all too easy to keep using the same ingredients for the same dishes, so this competition is all about discovering new ingredients and new ways of using them.

“I’ll be sharing my favourite products from the length and breadth of Scotland on my website’s blog, suggesting ways to make the most of them. But I want others to follow suit and share their favourites with me.

“This is what food and cooking should be about and, with Scotland’s truly amazing larder, I’m sure I’ll find it extremely difficult to choose a winner.”

An ‘Eat Drink Discover Scotland’ team were in the Borders last week searching out fresh local ingredients and during the tour they visited award winning organic farm, Peelham Farm, in Foulden Berwickshire.

Peelham produces organic, free-range pork from its Tamworth and Tamworth cross pigs, grass-fed lamb, mutton, beef and ruby veal. Products include organic charcuterie, gluten-free gourmet sausages, cooked sliced ham and salted mutton, cold-cutting pies and whole lot more.

They have won Pig Producer of the Year 2014, and ‘Eat, Drink Discover Scotland’ is convinced there is a secret ingredient in there somewhere?

Denise Walton from Peelham Farm said: “We aspire to the highest standard of ‘Scottish Terroir’ through our methods of organic farming and craft, artisan food production.

“We are a very proud part of the burgeoning artisan Scottish food culture, the growth of which is as much a testament to the dedication of producers as to the imaginative engagement of our customers.

“The best regional produce is regionally distinctive. It is ‘of-the-place’, using the best local raw materials and local artisan skills to make distinctive produce for the market.

“The Eat Drink Discover Scotland campaign is raising the profile on regional food which can only help to stimulate the market and accessibility of local food.”

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