Edible insects and savoury ice cream to headline this year’s Edinburgh Food Festival

Edible insects and lobster-flavoured ice cream will be among the more unusual delicacies at a five-day food festival kicking off in the Capital today.

Published 26th Jul 2017
Updated 8 th Aug 2023

Now in its third year, Assembly’s Edinburgh Food Festival will also feature goods by some of the country’s finest producers.

Returning to the city’s George Square Gardens following a hugely successful event last year in which 25,000 people attended, the foodie event will run until Sunday 30 July, and will kick off the Festival season which will take over the city this summer.

Organisers of the free food and drink event say they will welcome guests of all ages to the gardens, with stallholders offering everything from GROATS porridge, to Alanda’s Scottish lobster, and Crema Caravan’s Crème Brulee.

Not to be outdone, artisan juices and drink vendors will also be on hand to quench thirsts throughout the five days with the likes of JUS, Poco Prosecco and Fyne Ales, all putting in an appearance.

For those seeking a gastronomical challenge or those just curious to try something new, Philippa Marsden, graduate of Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University Gastronomy MSc, will be unveiling the joys of edible insects in the Piccolo Tent. Regarded by many as a future source of protein, Philippa will delve into the what, where and why of this curious new cuisine trend, while ‘fresh’ samples will be given to the first 50 guests.

Also taking to the stage to talk all things food and drink are key industry figures such as Shirley Spear (founder of The Three Chimneys), Carina Contini (chef and restaurateur) and Blair Bowman (whisky writer and consultant).

As a summer festival, there will be the usual focus on products like ice-cream – with a twist.

This year, Jannettas Gelateria will be fusing their award-winning ice-cream with savoury ingredients to create unique flavours – think basil and oregano, avocado and blue cheese.

Sharon Burgess, MD of Assembly Festival and Edinburgh Food Festival, said: “We’re excited to be back, bigger and better for a third year with the finest line-up of Scottish stallholders yet.

“At Assembly we love to push boundaries which is why we’ve brought you edible insects, savoury ice-cream and not to forget, Scotland’s biggest brunch!”

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Looking to end on a high, the Edinburgh Food Festival is hosting the nation’s biggest Sunday Brunch on July 30, 11am – 2pm.

Set on the cobbled streets just outside George Square Gardens, a 60-seater table will be in place for the hungry hoards to enjoy a brunch dish specially made by the festival stallholders.

Entry to the festival and the talks is free and non-ticketed. For talk times and further information visit www.edfoodfest.com.


Day in the Life: Emma Airley, co-owner of Glasgow's Pasteis Lisboa

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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