On the Isles of Scilly it’s all about food metres rather than food miles. You can see the lines of carrots, potatoes, squash and spinach growing in the fields and then just a few hours later they’ll appear lovingly prepared on your restaurant plate that evening.
In recent years the island’s food industry has flourished. New businesses are popping up every season. This year there are at least three exciting new starters. On St Mary’s Salakee Farm will soon be providing hand reared duck for the islands’ restaurants and shops. Reared in lush green fields, overlooking the Atlantic you can’t get happier meat than that! And farming will play a big part at the new Farm Deli in Hugh Town. Situated between The Bishop and Wolf and The Paper Shop it’s promising to bring more local produce to the town centre as well as a Cornish deli and cafe. Over on St Martin’s sea salt production should be up and running meaning your fish and chips will be even more locally produced…island fish, Scilly potatoes and now salt straight from the sea.
This year you can pick up a free Little Scilly Food Guide which details many of the outlets on all the islands that produce and use local food. If it’s a crab sandwich you want to try or you’re hoping to buy a dollop of clotted cream it is all listed in an attractive booklet (available from the Tourist Information Centre and outlets across the islands.)
When you’re on Scilly it’s worth heading to the local produce market on St Mary’s. See www.simplyscilly.co.uk for details of dates and times. It’s made up of producers from across Scilly and it’s a great opportunity to try vegetables, fudge, artisan breads, local apple juice, cream, meats and chat to the chefs and farmers who bring them to the market. Many of the passionate stallholders have been producing food on Scilly for decades.
As autumn approaches the Tresco and Bryher Food and Drink Festival takes place. (13th/14th September) This year more stall holders from across the islands will be exhibiting their wares as well as free demonstrations, talks, children’s activities, pop up restaurants and much more!
So if you’re visiting the islands this year make sure you watch this video to make the most of what the culinary scene on Scilly has to offer, as you’ll never have tasted anything like it before.