I am a very proud Scot and I am also a bit of a teuchter (a Scots lowland word for a hairy Highlander but can refer to anyone not from a city) coming from a village outside of Edinburgh. My accent is definitely broad and peppered with awful colloquialisms like whit? aye! dinnae be daft! ken? While for those of you not in the know, Edinburgh and certainly the city centre where I reside is full of English people. Now I'm not going to paint my face blue and start a war, nor is this a slight on anyone, just a fact. This has been the way for many generations and is possibly something to do with the University I suspect. A result of this is that the Edinburgh accent is a gentle Scots accent. A few of my friends who were raised by English parents in this fair city or have attending one of the prestigious independent schools we have here do not have detectable accents (so much so that I recently found out that the partner of one of my best friends is Edinburgh born and bread despite me being under the impression for the last 6 years that he came from London!). A recent tale of how my accent gets me into trouble sometimes can be found here.
Why did I start rambling on about this? Oh aye... I am recounting this tale as recently I left my teuchter village and moved to the big smoke, Auld Reekie as the books call it. Despite my accent sticking out like a sore (sair) thumb, I simply LOVE living in Edinburgh. While there are many farms and local producers situated in the wilds outside Edinburgh, if you do not have a car it can be difficult to access them. The beauty of living in Edinburgh is that local producers here really are only every a half hour journey (usually by foot) away. Part of the wonder of this place is that every day can really be adventure, with new things to discover around the corner.
It was Forest Gump who said that life is like a box of chocolates, well if you apply that thinking to this city, the adage that Edinburgh is like a chocolate advent calendar, you never know what shape of chocolate lies behind the door, is true. The city has layer upon layer of talented people hiding in nooks and crannies just waiting to be discovered. One of the best things about living in Edinburgh is it is so small! It's size means that you always know what is going on and at the moment there is a wonderful culture of arts collectives going around. This collective spirit is also apparent in our food culture where more and more markets and happenings are centering around local producers. Cafes and restaurants are stocking locally made products, cooking with local produce and it really is a time to celebrate all that this great city and it's surrounding areas have to offer. If any of you guys are thinking of visiting Edinburgh during the upcoming Festival season then bare this in mind. There is much more to this city than See You Jimmy Hats and Princes' Street.
Around the corner from a flat I used to have, lies what I can only imagine to be the olfactory heaven that is Burgh Bakes. Burgh Bakes is a company run by the luscious Nicole who works incredibly hard to delight the sweet teeth of Edinburgh with her delicious gourmet marshmallows.
I was very lucky to be sent a box of samples from her range of gourmet marshmallows. Never again will I buy those pink and white fakes from the supermarket (unless I'm melting them as smores for the kids) as Nicole has changed the way that this house thinks about marshmallows. Now if you're thinking "what's the big deal, they're just marshmallows?", then you clearly haven't tasted these beauties. My passion for sweet things runs deep and a visit to the dentist at the end of the month may prove that it runs deeper still (cavity deep). I have inherited my father's sweet tooth, who himself is a lover of marshmallows and who jumped in the car to make the 30 minute journey to my house the minute I phoned him to tell him I had some REAL ones! And so this father and daughter team sat down one afternoon with a cup of tea to road test Nicole's range and here are the results...
(All images used in this review belong to Nicole and are taken from her website. My father and I are such greedy monsters that I didn't take a picture of the beautiful packaging before ripping them open and stuffing my face.)
Very admirably, Nicole uses only Fairtrade sugar in her marshmallows along with Scottish butter and local organic fruit to produce her range of seven different varieties. The majority of the Marshmallows are not only delicious but Gluten-Free, Dairy Free and low-fat!
Nicole says that the opportunities for flavours is virtually limitless and so new taste sensations are always evolving. You can keep up with the latest specials and even shop now from the Burgh Bakes Facebook page. The range has been such a success that more and more local businesses are stocking them and figuring out how to incorporate the range into their businesses. Amongst the many business that have discovered and are still to discover these wonderful sweets are Candy Cupcake, the Suburban Pantry, The Edinburgh Larder, Barnton Fine Foods
The taste test:
We tried three flavours. The Millionaires shortbread, the Key Lime Pie and the Raspberry. All of which were delicious and unusual.
The Millionaires Shortbread was constructed just like the usual cake with a layer of biscuity base, then the mallow and then caramel and chocolate swirled on top.
The raspberry mallow was just that, so raspberry tasting and very moreish. Mmmmm....
The Key Lime Pie was heavenly. A sugary biscuit base holding up a zingy lime mallow.
The mallows come cut onto generous two bite portions (for when people are looking) or can be devoured in a single bite when the curtains are drawn and no one will laugh at your appreciative noises!
As you can probably tell. We loved these mallows and have since made a few trips to our nearest supplier, The Edinburgh Larder. Nicole is in talks with an organic food market as a potential stockist that is situated about 100 meters from my flat! Uh Oh!
If you are interested in buying the mallows or stocking them please get in touch with Nicole:
The event will take place on the 16th of July from 10am until 3pm so hurry while stocks last (they always sell out quickly!). Directions to Earthy can be found through their website and through their Facebook page.