The Garden’s exclusive catering partner, Sodexo Prestige has been working with experts at Scotland’s best known ice cream lab to develop the new flavours.
Now the delicate rose, jasmine and lavender ices, specially produced by Mackie’s of Scotland, will be on sale exclusively to Garden visitors over the rest of the summer.
Paul Mitchell, Catering Services Director at RBGE for Sodexo Prestige, said: “We are excited by this, because nothing says ‘summer’ better than a scoop of ice cream in the sunshine at the Botanics.
“These three gorgeous flavours really do capture the essence of what is so special about a beautiful summer garden and are easy to enjoy whatever the weather.
“Using sustainable Scottish suppliers is at the forefront of what we do which is why we were so delighted to partner with Mackie’s of Scotland. They share our passion for local provenance and make ice cream on the Aberdeenshire family farm with fresh milk and cream from their own dairy herd and renewable energy generated by their wind turbines and solar panels.
“For that reason we believe this really is the very finest ice cream Scotland has to offer, making this a fitting launch as part of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink.”
Kirstin Mackie, is Development Director with the renowned Scottish family business, which is best known for its ice creams and other indulgent treats like potato crisps and chocolate bars. She said a 12-strong team was involved in developing the three new flavours at the Mackie’s new product development kitchen on Westertown farm, Aberdeenshire.
All of the flavours were rigorously vetted by an in-house expert taste panel, who sample hundreds of potential new flavours every year and who chose rose, jasmine and lavender ahead of alternatives including camomile and heather.
Kirstin added: “We’re delighted these have worked out so well, because the cream in ice cream can actually mask such subtle flavours, which makes it rather tricky to pull off a floral ice cream. Normally flavours like this might be more at home in a sorbet.
“However, What we’ve come up with here are dairy ice creams with delicate flavours which taste fantastic on their own, with chocolate sprinkles on top, or with something like a passion fruit coulis. They work just as well in a cone or to add an exotic twist to a traditional dessert.
“What is particularly lovely about the new floral ice cream experience is that these flavours also have a floral aroma, which is unusual for an ice cream and is also very refreshing – and tempting.
”All in all we’re very proud of the results and really hope these flavours will help make an even more memorable summer experience for visitors to the Botanics.”
Fiona Richmond, Project Manager at Scotland Food & Drink said she was delighted the floral flavours were being launched during August, the organisation’s month of focus on dairy products.
Fiona added: “It’s great to learn of the delicious floral flavour ice creams developed by Mackies of Scotland and inspired by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, where they will be served.
“These products are very much in line with the ethos of the Year of Food and Drink to celebrate Scotland’s fantastic natural larder and encourage people to discover the quality and variety of Scottish produce.”
All three flavours are now on sale at the RBGE ice cream kiosk on the decked area of the John Hope Gateway Visitor Centre, which also houses the Gateway Restaurant, renowned for using fresh produce from RBGE’s Edible Garden project, which is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.