Saturday, 30 October 2010

REVIEW: Earthy Foods and Goods, yum cafe

Discovering a hidden gem always feels victorious, however, the downfall is realising you should have known all along. Earthy Foods and Goods, for example, has been at my fingertips for some time, and I feel like the most foolish foodie in town for its very late appearance on my radar. I am certainly making up for lost time.

Earthy, situated on Ratcliffe Terrace in Newington, began as a market/ treasure trove of all things organic, local and ethically sourced; it has evolved into not only a place to shop for beautifully dusty vegetables seemingly just pulled from the earth itself, but also a place to relax over delicious lattes and lunches at its yum café.

Yum’s blackboard menu changes daily but is consistently impressive. Uniquely, the chefs can walk around the shop plucking ingredients, creating the menu as they go. Inside the café, customers sit at community tables sifting through cookbooks, newspapers and copies of Bite magazine (plug!), or they can wander while they wait.

Menu items available on a recent visit included lamb and mint burgers with ‘Earthy sauce’ (£6.95), spicy harissa chicken (£4.25), quiches, paninis and soup. Salad plates (£6.95) are tempting with various choices as fresh as they are diverse.

My favourites lately: an Aiket cheese, sausage and just- foraged-for greens-filled baguette and, second, a Cromail cheese toastie on walnut bread with chilli jam, both resounding testimonies to food that's fresh from the ground or the cow, and supplied by passionate, local makers. The leaves were so good I had to ask what they were. The answer? Simply spinach, like I’d never had it before.

Goodies that can be purchased from the shop include everything from organic baby food to East Lothian ricotta, Black Isle Brewery beers to Chocolate Tree bars, and organic washing powder to rapeseed oils. An array of potato and mushroom varieties will leave you indecisive, as will the many flavours of ice cream.

Earthy also hosts cookbook swaps, baking and jam competitions, craft fairs and special dinners hosted by one of their many local suppliers. Event updates as well as their ever-growing supplier list can be found on See you soon, Earthlings. (K. Smith)

– Earthy Food Market
– 33-41 Ratcliffe Terrace
Edinburgh, EH9 1SX
– 0131 667 2967

– Open everyday 'til 6pm

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