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Spreading the word about our rare breeds

Wow Monday night was a busy one! I love being a member of the Slow Food Chef’s Alliance and we regularly host Slow Food Edinburgh Big Table events.

At short notice we managed to get our hands on half a Black Pig (yes, you read correctly). This is a rare breed heritage ingredient that is being championed for inclusion in Slow Food’s Ark of Taste listing for Scotland.The Ark of Taste is a ‘let’s use it so we don’t lose it’ campaign to bring awareness to native species, plants and artisan produce, for example real blood black pudding. Believe it or not, we can only find two butchers in the whole of Scotland who is actually using real fresh blood for this heritage blood pudding. Most are made using a dried blood powder that is often imported from as far afield as Argentina! Not as local and sustainable as we’ve been led to believe I hear you say.

So we managed to get our hands on 50kilos of Rayner, the Black Pig from Gorgie City Farm. After a slight change of venue we were delighted to host the supper at Contini Ristorante. It was a lovely evening. Wendy Barrie and her wonderful husband Bosse educated and informed us all with their staggering knowledge of rare Scottish breeds and general farming practice. And thank you Gorgie City Farm for the most delicious porchetta!

By the way, the leg of the Black Pig is being salted to make a ham for The Scottish Cafe, the belly is heading to Cannonball for our classic pork belly house dish and the loin was roasted off for the Slow Food supper. Oh, and I almost forgot. The head and cheek is being confied off with lard to make the best stuffing ever for our ravioli at Ristorante. All shared and nothing wasted! Slow Food at its best.

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