Following a trial run during the summer, Potterrow Market returned last Wednesday, for the first of seven confirmed dates over the next few months. As the rain poured down in Bristo Square, a sense of anticipation grew as more and more stalls took shelter in the Dome to set up their mouth-watering displays.
From delicious tasters of smoked trout and mussels from The Caithness Smokehouse, to vast pans of colourful paella and the smell of Au Gourmand’s fresh bread, the diverse range of produce on offer was every foodie’s dream.
Whilst sitting down to a lunch of black rice and cauliflower salad courtesy of Casa Angelina (with a gooey chocolate brownie for afters), it was amazing to see the bustling excitement of students discovering delicious new tastes while supporting local businesses. And at a 10 per cent discount, what is not to love?
As well as eating my way through creamy Italian cheeses and spicy samosas, it was great to chat to some Edinburgh-based charities that work in support of the environment that produces this amazing array of food.
Compassion in World Food was particularly inspiring in its plight to prevent the decline of rural businesses whilst campaigning to stop factory farming and live exports of animals. They explained that these issues are more critical than ever with factory farming leading to increased global warming, the national obesity crisis and a dangerous immunity to antibiotics due to their presence in the cheap meat which we consume.
This concern is heightened by post-Brexit uncertainties surrounding the quality and regulations of trade. The overall message throughout Potterrow was evident: to buy less often perhaps, but to buy local produce of a better quality.
Edinburgh University Students’ Association’s desire to use this event to connect the university with this passionate group of traders that appear every weekend in Leith, Stockbridge and Grassmarket, is a great opportunity to make this message a reality for the student consumer.
As the tables are folded away and the room begins to empty there is a noticeable feeling of involvement in a special new edition to the university calendar, and the market organiser says she has been delighted with the response. The success of the day can clearly be seen all around, both by fully satisfied tummies and by happy local traders.
image: Erwan LE BELLEGUY via flickr