Edinburgh Science Festival is back, with foodie sessions that include Cheeseology

This year, most of the events will be virtual and free

Published 24th Jun 2021
Updated 18 th Sep 2023

If you’re a foodie and a boffin, you’ll enjoy what they've got in store at this year’s Edinburgh Science Festival (June 26-July 11).

The theme is One World: Science Connects with Us and there are over 200 events, with 70 per cent of these available online for free.

The food-related sessions will mainly cover themes of sustainability and production.

It’ll kick off with SciMart (June 27, 10am-5pm, booking essential) at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh), which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the World Food Programme with a farmer’s market that has a scientific twist.

One of the other physical events taking place at this location is Botanicals: The Art of Gin on (July 9, 6pm, £35). It’ll involve Edinburgh Gin’s head distiller, David Wilkinson, and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s botanist and author of Scottish Plant Lore, Dr Greg Kenicer, on an after-hours tour to discover the plants used in Edinburgh Gin's 1670 Gin and their Seaside Gin.

Along with more high-brow and serious highlights, such as free online talk Ending Hunger with chef and author Anthony Warner (July 11, 1pm, free), there’s also The Science of Sweets Science Show online (July 8 and 9, 10.30am, then available to watch online for two days, free, ages five plus). It involves television presenter and author Stefan Gates and his daughter, Poppy, who will be discussing the science behind sugary treats, including the engineering of chocolate fountains and the quantum mechanics of glowing spaghetti.

Conclude this smorgasbord with the return of the popular Edinburgh Science Festival event, Cheeseology (free, Jul 6, 7pm), which will take place on Zoom this year. Fromage experts, Paul Thomas and Patrick McGuigan, will be discussing the chemistry behind this dairy product, followed by a tasting of cheese from I.J. Mellis. Sadly, the wares are not included, though you can purchase a special Edinburgh Science Festival Cheeseology box directly from the cheesemonger’s website and they will deliver nationwide. For £30, there are five 150g wedges, all sourced from the UK and Ireland, including Sir Lancelot, Anster, Killeen, Gubeen and Hebridean Blue, and a tasting booklet. We could really get to enjoy science.


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Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.
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