Too Good To Go hits Milestone with over 1 million meals saved across the UK

By Beth Murray

Launched in the UK in 2016, the app Too Good To Go has a focus to combat global warming by reducing food waste. Globally, the organisation has saved 21,440,629 meals from being wasted since its launch.

Hayley Conick, UK Managing Director said: ‘While we are thrilled to have hit this milestone, the 1 million meals saved so far is just the tip of the iceberg. Seven million tonnes of edible food is wasted in the UK every year and we are on a mission to change this.’

The concept is simple – cafés, restaurants, hotels and bakeries sign up to the service in a bid to reduce their food waste. Members order a Magic Bag from the café they fancy and pay a significantly reduced price, usually between £2.30 and £4. The bag is made up of a selection of surplus food which would otherwise be thrown away at the end of the day.

Image by Beth Murray

Pirlous café, on the Grassmarket in Edinburgh, is one of the dozens of establishments in the city that use the service. They provide a magic bag costing £3.39. One specific bag contained two full baguettes, each valued at £4.50.

While picking it up, the manager, Jackie, gave some thoughts on the service: ‘In terms of food waste, it does save us from throwing away a lot. However, occasionally we find ourselves losing money as we have sold out of food during opening hours, which means we are making up fresh food for the bags.’

She went on to explain that while she agrees with the goal of the company, it has flaws which are often overlooked: ‘When the rep first came in, we were told they would provide us with all of the packaging we would need, that hasn’t happened so now we have to consider how much money is being spent on packaging the food.’

Jackie also expressed worries that expectations of consumers can often be too high: ‘People need to remember that while they may have expected more food, they are still getting a significant reduction and food which is still fresh.’

Food waste in Britain is a growing problem with over 10 million tonnes of food being thrown away every year. Last month alone, Too Good To Go saved 116,619 meals in the UK.

To put it into perspective, when one baguette is thrown away it is the equivalent of wasting a bath full of water. Saving one meal saves the planet from 2.5kg of CO2 – CO2 being one of the leading causes of global warming.

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In a survey conducted by To Good To Go in March this year, it was discovered that almost 69% of UK adults do not know the extent to which food waste contributes to global warming.

Too Go To Go have set a Global Movement with a series of aims to meet by 2020. These include increasing the number of app users, encouraging more businesses to get on board, educating young people on the importance of valuing resources and fighting labelling policies across supermarkets and business as expiry dates are the cause of 10% of all food waste across Europe.

They are currently working on a food waste movement specifically aimed towards the UK. This will include new figures, content and tips to help more people across the UK understand the importance of reducing food waste in the fight against climate change.

Edinburgh in Autumn

By Laura McCulloch

Nobody will argue with the beautiful Autumn foliage that Edinburgh has to offer, and as the new season descends on the city, here are our favourite events on the calendar. We have got you covered with everything from fire to farming festivals.

Edinburgh Cocktail Week

Image by Erin Kirsop

Scotland’s largest Cocktail Week pours back into the capital in just under two weeks time, from Monday the 14th to Sunday the 20th of October.

Offering a more unique experience this year, ‘Camping with Cocktails’ will transform the festival square into an enchanted forest fit for cocktail enthusiasts. The new extension includes wigwams, fire pits, giant toadstools, pop-up bars and a starlit canopy.

The rooftop cocktail domes at the Glasshouse Hotel are another addition to the festival this year, providing Instagram-worthy views across the city’s skyline.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/edinburgh-cocktail-week-2019-tickets-53915786569

Edinburgh Sausage and Cider Festival

Back on the menu this October is Edinburgh’s Sausage and Cider festival on Saturday the 19th. The event at Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange boasts live music, a selection of craft beers and ciders, eating competitions and of course a selection of sausage meats from around the world.

https://www.seetickets.com/event/sausage-and-cider-fest-edinburgh/the-corn-exchange/1407823

Scottish International Storytelling Festival

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival returns on the 18th to 31st of October across various locations in Edinburgh, including the Scottish Storytelling Centre and the Royal Botanic Gardens. The annual celebration of live storytelling has described itself as ‘a warm,
friendly, invigorating experience, perfect for Autumn evenings’. This year’s theme ‘Beyond Worlds’ will showcase new and traditional stories, communications, music, dance and Canadian headlining acts.

https://www.sisf.org.uk/events/

Agriscot

Image by Sheila McColm

As part of an unsteady industry, Agriscot 2019 offers a chance for the country’s agricultural community to seek answers to the countless questions that farmers may share.

Now recognised as one of the premium events in UK agriculture, the Highland Hall in Edinburgh,
overflows every year with farming enthusiasts, as well as people curious to learn more about the industry.

A parade of Britain’s finest livestock, talks from industry professionals and trade stands from across the country will take centre stage on Wednesday 20th of November.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/agriscot-2019-registration-71257616449

Oktoberfest

West Princes Street Gardens will be transformed into a traditional Oktoberfest venue from 30th of October to 3rd of November. Aside from the beer, this event invites friends to celebrate food and drink and enjoy traditional live music inside a marquee fit for 1,200 people. Annually known to be extremely popular, this authentic experience offers student deals as well as Bavarian and VIP packages, ensuring there is something for everybody.

http://edinburgh-oktoberfest.co.uk/book-tickets/

Festival of Politics

The Scottish Parliament is welcoming a variety of leading public figures including Andrew Marr and Baroness Helena Kennedy to the 2019 Festival of Politics. Taking place from Thursday 10th to Saturday 12th of October at the Scottish Parliament, the event will focus on
future debates about important political and cultural issues. From Brexit talks, to the 2020 US presidential election, this is an opportunity for the Scottish public to contribute alongside MSP’s, journalists and commentators on some of the country’s largest issues.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dear-scottish-parliament-festival-of-politics-tickets-69273241129

Samhuinn Fire Festival

Image by Erin Kirsop

This fiery extravaganza perched on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill is a perfect way to get into the Halloween Spirit. The thrilling display is a modern replication of the Celtic New Year celebration, which presents a mythical story about the changes of Summer and Winter. Get
ready to wrap up this October 31st to watch dancing, drumming and acrobatics among other performances at the Samhuinn Fire Festival.

https://www.citizenticket.co.uk/event/samhuinn-fire-festival/

 

Get those pancake flippin’ skills ready for Tuesday!

With Pancake Day coming up next week, EN4News has an easy recipe that’ll ensure you celebrate the right way.

One of the best days of the year is just around the corner, but are you prepared?

While Shrove Tuesday, otherwise known as Pancake Day, celebrates the last day of feasting before Lent, it has become better known as the day when it is acceptable to eat as many pancakes as your stomach can manage.

Instead of reading what the day stands for, why not put on your baking apron and preheat the oven to 180 degrees – it’s time to get baking.

Interview: Ayshia Taskin

Edinburgh artist wants to reduce food waste and global hunger – one corn puff at a time.

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Artist Ayshia Taskin (Photo Credit: Rachel Lee)

Meet Ayshia Taskin. She’s a mother, an artist, a wife, a student – and now, thanks to her recent project, an engineer.

With her installation performance art piece, Paradise Corns, Ayshia hopes to prompt visitors into conversations about the impact food waste and modern day corporate consumerism has on world hunger. Paradise Corns – the name of the machine Ayshia built herself – churns out edible corn puffs which visitors of the exhibition are free to help themselves to.

When I first encounter Ayshia, she envelopes me in a friendly hug. In the interview below, Ayshia passionately discusses the personal connection Paradise Corns has to her and about her hopes of a world in the not-too distant future where food waste has drastically reduced and everyone is happy and healthy with a full belly.

I thought that was all my life was going to work in hospitality, I never thought I was going to be an artist. I’m the first in my family on both sides to go to university. I’m really lucky because my husband took the brunt financially, he told me to finish university and focus on my art. Luckily I got funding to go to Venice, there are some really supportive tutors at ECA. I always try and keep myself and my work down to earth. It gives me a good worth ethic.

I think what happens in your childhood really affects you when you grow up. When I was a kid in Cyprus, me, my brother and sister would see the British tourists with an abundance of food and enjoying their holiday. I think that sticks in my brain that I was born in Britain but only had a bit of couscous to eat. It is very surreal to look back on.

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“Paradise Corns” produces an abundance of corn puffs (Photo Credit: Ayshia Taskin)

When I look and see people still starving in 2018 when we shouldn’t be – we have all these factories and mechanisms to make things available to people – it’s very irritating in my mind the way the system works and they don’t necessarily want everyone to have an abundance of food or anything because it’s all about the capitalist system. I think we are at a point where we don’t need capitalism anymore. There’s enough food in the world but it’s not distributed properly.

I don’t like to see the waste. It’s unnecessary. In the West we are so disconnected from other countries who don’t have access to food at all. If everyone was just more aware of the rest of the world, and how people in the world are struggling to survive then things will change.

“Paradise Corns” is the amalgamation of performance, multi-sensory methods, i.e. olfactory senses, sight, smell, taste and auditory. Visual stimuli in the form of video and the literal production of food – auditory stimulation in the form of the sounds of the milling machine, extruder and videos. I created a set of films as part of the Paradise Corns project that are inspired by adverts from the 90s. They were very child-focused…bright colours…very appealing. ‘You can have this, when you want it’…but not really if you don’t have any money. It helped create a spoiled society and food waste.

I harbour a fascination of mass food production and consumerism. When I watch documentaries about starving people, food waste, countries unable to feed their people and my son asks, ‘well why don’t we just send food’. I always think ‘yeah we could, but that’s not going to sustain them’. People need to eat everyday so if I make a machine, you can make a machine too.

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Ayshia constructs her masterpiece (Photo Credit: Ayshia Taskin)

I didn’t study engineering but I built a machine. It shows that women can engineer things. I’m not an engineer – I’m not even good at basic mathematics – but when you have such a desire to make something or do something for a purpose you just have to go for it.

Women are held back from doing engineering jobs because they don’t have the belief they can do it because it’s so historically male dominated. I think we have to encourage girls from young age to be interested in engineering and building things. The logic brain is considered masculine and the creative side of the brain is considered the feminine, sensitive side. To this all starts at childhood, so I think it’s important for parents and teachers to give girls mechanical sets.

We should all try our best but it shouldn’t be the sole responsibility of individuals. The Council should provide more outdoor space to grow your own things – fruits, vegetables, corn – whatever! It’s more sustainable. I would love for anyone to be able to walk into a supermarket and buy whatever they want and to have an abundance of food, but it’s just not possible.

I set up a free-for-all pantry in the studio. I wouldn’t say it was me, I would just do it. I set myself a budget of five pounds a week to get as much as I can and then everyone can help themselves. People in the studio can add to it they want but not forced to, or don’t have to spend as much as a fiver.

With Paradise Corns, I’m creating the food waste and I want it to look shocking. The project has so many layers. I don’t want to tell people what to take away from it – they may want to just take a corn puff! But I hope the work inspires people to question how food is made and consumed so we can create a future where people do not starve.

My low carb life

Avocado salad for lunch (Photo credit: Dave Paul)

In the famous words of Ziggy Stardust, “I’m not a prophet or a stone aged man just a mortal with potential of a superman. I’m living on.”

I have no idea what he was talking about, but over the last week, I have committed myself to eat a Keto diet; the one which is low carb and high fat. The very idea of cutting carbs from my diet made my stomach rumble, but I have forged ahead nonetheless.

I should explain a little of what ‘keto’ actually means. Keto is short for Ketogenic diet, where you reduce your carbohydrate intake to 10-15% of your calories and get the majority of your calories from fat. This puts your body into a state of Ketosis, where it starts to burn your body fat for fuel instead of converting carbs which are stored as fat. So you have to lower your carb intake but increase your protein and fat intake. That essentially means I have to stop eating chips, but I can eat loads of butter, cheese, eggs and meat.

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Omelette, olives and cucumber meal. (Photo credit: Dave Paul)

From what I’ve been reading, the diet has many health benefits. There have been a lot of studies carried out that show that keto can actually help diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as giving you lot’s of energy. How can that be bad? It also apparently burns fat faster, and if I want that Christmas body I’ll have to move quickly. Here is how I got on:

Saturday – Day One

The first day was a shopping day. I made a trip to Waitrose because I like to think I’m middle class, and got myself a selection of low carb, high fat, protein-rich foods to eat; Italian meats, butter, cheese and more eggs than Michael Phelps. It seemed like a herculean task at first, but I found I actually had to buy LESS stuff as I was cutting out potatoes, pasta and rice which are basic food items. I then realised that all of my meals will be glorified ploughman’s for the next few months, and decided that there is definitely nothing wrong with that. Bring on the meat.

Sunday – Day Two

Off to a strong start. I made a low carb bread sandwich of mixed meats, pickles, piccalilli, cheese and salad leaves. I took a hit mid-afternoon when I realised that milk has carbohydrate in it. Damn you lactose, you natural milk sugar you. In fact, I found out that pretty much everything has carbohydrate in. Sugar is classed as carbohydrate. Everything has sugar in it. This is going to be harder than I thought.

My ‘builder’s tea’ isn’t the same without milk. And, no biscuit, no point.

Monday – Day Three

I can eat certain vegetables and still stay on keto, as long as I’m careful to choose low carb ones. Celery and spinach yes, carrots and parsnips no. I made a nice salad with meat, avocado, cheese and lettuce. I have decided that I cannot deprive myself of milk in tea and coffee. No milky Lattes though, a basic Americano with milk for me

Tuesday – Day Four

I have eggs for breakfast, again. As an ex-chef, I can’t help but turn out my omelette perfectly cooked and folded neatly onto my plate. I try not to think about the fact that I can’t have cereal, bread, bagels, rolls, toast, porridge, or French toast but I’m not focusing on what I can’t eat. It’s what I can eat that should be my focus. Mmmh, bacon. My breakfast usually keeps me full until dinner, but not today. No crisps. No chocolate. Unless it’s dark chocolate that has over 70% cocoa solids. Then I can have two squares, and still be low carb. I miss Dairy Milk already. Jerky to the rescue! I can eat lots of this, it’s 0% carbs, and I like to chew it like a cowboy as I play video games.
Sausages for dinner but with no mashed potato so I cook up pak choi and spinach and have it with a garlic and double cream sauce. Delicious.

This low carb thing is fine, why aren’t more people on this diet?

Wednesday – Day Five

I thought that lunch at university would be tough to keep low carb. Sandwiches, paninis, wraps; almost all convenience foods you buy have quite a high carbohydrate content in them, so I didn’t think I would be able to manage. To my pleasant surprise, the salad bar at the university is well stocked with low carb options. By avoiding the chickpeas and the jacket potatoes, but having extra cheese and olive oil, I had a lovely lunch and another omelette for dinner. I don’t know how Michael Phelps does it. I have a craving for salt and chilli chips though. Stay strong Dave.

Thursday – Day Six

Weirdly, this diet actually isn’t very difficult. Apart from the aforementioned not being able to get anything without carbs in it pretty much anywhere, you actually end up having to buy less food and saving yourself some money.

The other strange thing is that I am almost never hungry.

Something about not eating carbs that I thought was inevitable was constant hunger, but there was none! I have discovered how many things go with eggs, and being able to eat an entire packet of Italian cured meats and not feel bad about is incredibly liberating.

I think my face has lost some weight, I’m certainly looking thinner. Finally, a diet I can really stick to. I actually think I can finally lose some weight before Christmas and be happy at the same time. YES!

Friday – Day Seven

I got drunk and ate a Burrito at 2 am.

Saturday – Day Eight

The keto diet was fun while it lasted.

Scottish Vegan Festival back for another year at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange

 

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The Edinburgh Corn Exchange was packed with activity on Saturday. Photo by Olivia Hill.

The Corn Exchange was full to the brim on October 20 as visitors flocked to the many stalls available at this year’s Scottish Vegan Festival.

The festival has been successfully running for the last two years and is the ideal event for vegans or those eager to learn more about veganism. Organised by Farplace Animal Rescue, an animal sanctuary and campaigns group, the Scottish Vegan Festival hosts a series of stalls including many hot and cold vegan eats, cosmetics, clothing and animal rights charities.

There are currently around 600,000 vegans across the UK and as the number of vegans increased by 350% in the last decade in Scotland alone, it seems to be a trend that will continue to rise in popularity. Whatever reason it may be — for, ethical, dietary or weight loss — there is a growing interest in how and why people should adopt a plant-based diet.

This rise in the number of people taking on a vegan diet means there is an increase in demand for vegan options, not just at restaurants, but in other public places such as schools and hospitals. ‘Go Vegan Scotland’, a group of volunteers who spend their time away from work trying to encourage others to see the benefits of veganism, was at the Scottish Vegan Festival campaigning for the introduction of legislation which would guarantee plant-based options on every public sector menu.

Barbara Bolton, a volunteer for Go Vegan Scotland, spoke about how the group approaches conversations about veganism with those who may be interested in or unsure of adopting a plant-based diet.

”We have information stalls where people approach us, ask us what they want to know about veganism and we try to have conversations with them to bring out what they think about other animals and whether or not they are truly comfortable with killing them when we don’t have to,” she said.

”Every time we buy a product that has come from an animal, whether it’s from their body or we have taken their eggs or their milk, what lies behind that is animal exploitation. So we tease out from people whether or not they’re genuinely comfortable that they’re spending their money, paying people to use and kill other animals for them.”

Barbara also emphasised that it’s important to approach veganism in a certain way in order to stick to it:

”If you think of veganism as a diet or a lifestyle, then you may find it challenging but when you understand what veganism really is, when you understand veganism is simply living in a way that respects other animals’ right to exist and that it’s about not exploiting and killing animals, then it will become much easier.”

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Lots of vegan treats were available on display including these Halloween inspired doughnuts. Photo by Olivia Hill.

The festival also provides small businesses with an opportunity to showcase their products in a suitable environment.

Emma Lean, from new independent clothing company ‘East Coast 88‘, said the festival was a great place to introduce people to their products:

”All of our t-shirts are organic, they’re all printed using water-based inks and they’re all  Fair Wear Foundation certified as well which means the people who have made them have been paid a living wage, they’re in a safe environment and they’ve got workers rights as well.”

”We wanted to get our name out there and we wanted to meet people who would be interested in buying the t-shirts. So we started coming along and I think this is our 3rd festival so far and it’s been the best one. The atmosphere here has been really nice, it’s really cool.”

The festival was heaving with ticket holders who had come along to try delicious vegan eats and buy the latest vegan-friendly clothes and cosmetics. But there were also a number of animal rights charities present, including OneKind, Scotland’s largest animal campaign group.

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OneKind sells vegan-friendly t-shirts to help fund their campaigns. Photo by Olivia Hill.

OneKind has held a number of successful campaigns including Scotland’s ban on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses. Sarah Mackenzie, the events and volunteers officer, discussed its latest campaign.

”The campaign we’re running today is to stop the growth of the salmon industry in terms of salmon farming in Scotland. At the moment the welfare issues within the industry are unacceptable and we’re asking the Government to put a stop to the plans for growth before these issues are dealt with.”

There is a significant problem with sea lice (parasites that feed on the scales and flesh of the salmon) on Scottish salmon farms and mortality rates are extremely high; 11 million salmon died last year alone. If you would like to learn more about this campaign, click here.

The Scottish Vegan Festival will be back on April 7 and October 20, 2019. To keep up to date with the latest news, take a look at their website here.

 

 

Documentary review: Chef’s Table Season 5

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A cinematic consideration of diversity.

The documentary series ‘Chef’s Table’ showcases some of the world’s most renowned chefs and allows each to divulge their profoundly personal experiences and motivations, ultimately realising the unique styles that shape their cuisine.  In its first four seasons, the Netflix original ​series ​became known for its artistic cinematography and creative elevation of what cooking programmes had become. Launched on the September 28th, season five explores a new sense of diversity in both its approach and its subjects.

Unlike the past episodes, which revealed an unwelcome penchant for the male Michelin-starred chefs and fine dining exclusivity, the new season is seemingly a response to the audience critique of its predecessor (the pastry season). It showcases the most diverse and accessible cast so far, with two out of four chefs being women and two of the restaurants exhibiting a dining experience that seems more plausible to its audience: relativity inexpensive and void of bookings stretching a year in advance.

Season five shows deep consideration of how and why food stories should remain compelling even in 2018 when everything – or so we thought – has already been covered. Since its initial release in early 2015, across the 22 episodes that have led to the latest season, all of five female chefs had been featured on the show. It could be argued that discussing why such a lack of diversity is still prevalent in this rapidly modernising era would be worth our time, but why not give these award-winning filmmakers the benefit of the doubt and focus on how Chef’s Table is marking a major discourse of correction.

This distinctly new direction was spearheaded by the compelling story of Philadelphia chef and undocumented immigrant, Cristina Martinez. Fleeing an abusive husband, Martinez left Mexico eight years ago and throughout the episode it becomes clear that the trauma she experienced from this time will never fade. Despite all her efforts to become integrated, she was denied a green card and remains officially undocumented, living a life constantly at risk in Philadelphia.

Dissimilar to many of the series’ chefs, Martinez never sought to over complicate the traditional ingredients she used to create gastronomical elevations. After losing her job at a local restaurant – where her employer refused to write her a recommendation letter in her application for a green card – she and husband Ben Miller began cooking the food of Martinez’ childhood out of their one-bedroom apartment. Now, they are both co-owners of and chefs at their restaurant South Philly Barbacoa. Martinez is celebrated for her traditional Barbacoa cuisine: lamb that is laced with citrus and slow-cooked over an open flame. What started as the simple necessity of living, eventually grew into a platform for a greater understanding of Mexican food.

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In this episode, Martinez’ story explores the challenges of immigrants worldwide. Her constant battle to be accepted in a place so far from home, paired with the sacrificial nature of everything she does, solely to support her daughter and family, whom she hasn’t seen since she began her 15-day trek across the desert. Not only does this first episode shed light on the challenges faced by undocumented workers across the American food industry, it somehow still delivers what viewers clicked on Chef’s Table hoping to see; a beautifully filmed depiction of new world cuisine that fully defends the ability of food to provide comfort when it is most needed.

With nowhere else to go when the doors of acceptance were slammed in her face, Cristina Martinez stood her ground. Fuelled by the love from her family in Mexico, she managed to make a home for herself in South Philadelphia by sharing the food of her ancestors. But it’s not just Martinez who steers the new-found theme of diversity within the season. Episode two travels to Turkey where mentor and chef, Musa Dağdeviren, expresses the loss of knowledge about native cuisines.

“When you define food in ethnic terms, it sets communities against each other, and can create a serious alienation and extinction of our food culture,” Dağdeviren explains as the documentary films him at his restaurant, Çiya, where he aims to converge dishes from regions across Turkey. Producing food traditionally served in homes, that connect the customers to their long forgotten ethnic roots.

In another episode, ‘Chef’s Table’ travels to Thailand to meet Bo Songvisava, who was voted Asia’s Best Female Chef in 2013, and whose authentic Thai cooking draws influence from both the city’s impassioned street food and the rediscovered flavours of home traditions. At her restaurant, Bo.Lan, Songvisava and husband Dylan ‘Lan’ Jones use only organic and locally sourced produce in their commitment to fight the industrialisation of the food industry.

Finally, the collection ends with Albert Adrià of elBarri in Barcelona. Although the chef can be considered a success in his own right, he feels his life is constantly overshadowed by the status of his older brother and fellow Catalonian chef, Ferran Adrià Acosta. With a constant obligation to create new and exciting culinary advancements, Adrià recounts the immense pressure of working in a world-renowned restaurant, its effects made clear to the viewer.

Each account from season five seems to highlight a different modern-day challenge. Whether the main theme is identity, acceptance or a loss of culinary connection, ‘Chef’s Table’ has somewhat explored and conquered a widened scope of subjects. Encouraging the audience to feel at ease in the hands of these new characters, who are undeniably more relatable than those who came before them.

 

 

 

 

What’s happening in October

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Picture of October cocktail at a pop-up bar in Edinburgh. Photo by Rachel Lee.

Five events to get you off your couch!

It might feel like winter is just around the corner with the recent onset of autumnal weather, but that doesn’t mean you should be mourning the death of your social life and going into hibernation just yet! Edinburgh has many amazing events and places to try in October. Whether you’re looking for foody, spooky or boozy, we’ve got you covered.

The Spooky One

It’s impossible to get through October without thinking about Halloween, and if you don’t want to be at the beck and call of trick-or-treaters, then it’s best to hit the town for the night. The Rocky Horror Picture Show will be on at the Edinburgh Playhouse at the end of the month, so getting dressed up and dancing the night away has never been easier. This infamous show, which is part of a sell-out world tour, is sure to impress. The show is only in town for six days, starting on October 28th, so make sure to get your ticket to hell soon. Get your fishnets on and get ready to party.

The Foody One 

If you’re lusting over bygone holidays or for the trips you never got to take, then why not take America to Scotland. The City Café offers a little taste of the States without the hefty flight prices. Adorned with neon lights and memorabilia, their menu serves all the American delights you can think of with pretty wallet-friendly prices too. Go for a heft milkshake or their killer sweet potato fries.

The Boozy One 

If you feel like you’ve tried every tipple in Edinburgh, then The Pop Up Geeks will always prove you wrong! Their bar is in the same location as their last temporary treasures (The Stranger Thing’s ‘Upside Down’ and the Rick and Morty inspired wubba-lubba-dub-dub) but the theme changes every few months. This month, they’re running a Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory event between October 15thand 21st. Don’t look for a golden ticket, it’s a glossy wristband you need to enter this magical world.

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Picture of Afternoon Tea at The Dome in Edinburgh. Photo by Rachel Lee.

The Classy One

The Dome might seem like a really classy joint, but it’s the perfect place to spoil yourself if you’re looking for a bit of TLC. Its afternoon tea is an experience in itself and the Georgian Tearoom, where it’s held, is luxurious and opulent. The perfect treat to get you out of the house. You don’t need to break the bank to feel like royalty.

 

 

The Educational One 

The International Storytelling Festival kicks off for its 30th year on October 18th with a jam-packed agenda of 66 events local to Edinburgh, covering everything from Scottish folklore to the Scottish Suffragette movement to children’s literature. For those who are feeling inspired, there are a variety of workshops available too, so you can get stuck into all the action. With something on offer for everyone, this festival is sure to satisfy even the fussiest of readers.

Five of the best food challenges Edinburgh has to offer

For some reason it’s particularly enjoyable to watch someone suffer through all manners of food challenges; from outrageous quantities of food to ridiculous hot hot heat. Equally mystifying is people’s unwavering desire to go out and do just that!

Scotland has a surprisingly large amount of food challenges. We just love eating that much. Below, I’ve gathered 5 of the most monstrous and difficult trials of the gut that we could find. If you like your meals to be more ‘Man vs Food’ than fine dining, take a look at some of these challenges right here in the capital.


WHAT: Kismot Killer Curry

TIME ALLOWED: One sitting

PRICE: £19.95, free if you finish the whole bowl

Kismot’s Killer Curry Disclaimer

This challenge comes with the biggest and scariest reputation on the list. It’s put 2 people in hospital in 2011 after they spent their evening throwing up and writhing in pain on the floor. Competitors are required to sign a legal disclaimer before taking part, a disclaimer that also encourages participants to pre-plan their suffering by putting toilet roll in the freezer for when they get home… Jeez.

Curie Kim, one of the participants taken to hospital, said: “It was very painful and felt like I was being chainsawed in the stomach with hot sauce on the chainsaw.”

The curry itself has been toned down a little since the events of 2011, but still poses a significant challenge. The curry contains 17 of the spiciest chillies in the world, and participants must give the restaurant 24 hour’s notice so that it can be prepared to its full strength.

If you want to have a peek before you attempt the feat, click here!


WHAT: Wings’ Armaged Wing Challenge

TIME ALLOWED: One sitting, then 30 minutes ‘burn’ time

PRICE: £4.20

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#Picaday #339: ARMAGEDWING CHALLENGE- So I sort to seek glory in the food challenge realm by finally taking on the Armagedwing Challenge at @wingsedinburgh Needless to say I was nervous in the lead up to this, kinda like waiting to fight the bully after school, as it will be the single hottest thing I've ever attempted to comsume! The air around me alone was spicy hot at this point. The challenge is eat the six wings that have about 1.2 million skoville units of heat (a jalapeño is about 5,000) and then I have to wait 30 mins before I can have anything other then beer or water (which did nothing to stop the burn btw) #wingsedinburgh #spicyfood #hotwingchallenge #armagedwing #chickenwings #wings

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Six wings coated in a sauce so hot it’s got 1.2 million scoville units of heat. To put that into context, your average Jalapeno has about 5,000 units. AKA, IT’S VERY HOT.

There is no time limit on eating the wings, but regardless of how long you take, from the second you’re done you have a 30 minute burn time. In this burn time you’re not allowed to move out of your seat or be sick, and the only thing you’re allowed to drink is beer or water.

Very few have defeated this fiery tongue battle and sat out the burn time, but those that do get two free bowls of wings a day for life. If you still want them that is…


WHAT: Taco Mazama’s Giant Burrito

TIME ALLOWED: 10 minutes

PRICE: £14.99, free if you finish

 

Burritos are often pretty hearty fare anyway but if you’re feeling extra hungry Taco Mazama can provide you with a supersized triple burrito. If you can polish it off in ten minutes, you’ll get the giant burrito for free and your photo on the wall. The fastest time at each Taco Mazama restaurant will then compete in a head-to-head eat-off at the end of the year to try and win a year’s free burritos. You better get practising!

Many professional competitive eaters have taken part, with one man finishing in only 2 minutes and 33 seconds!


WHAT: Boozy Cow’s Chilli Challenge

TIME ALLOWED: 15 minutes

PRICE: £28.50

You get 15 minutes to completely devour 1 chilli dog, 1 chilli burger, 1 portion of chilli cheese fries and 1 milkshake of your choice to cool down with during the challenge. Many have tried, many have failed, some have won!

The chef laces the standard chilli served in the Boozy Cow with Scotch Bonnet and ghost pepper sauce to ensure that the chilli is extra spicy for the contenders. Ghost pepper (bhut jolokia) was the first pepper ever to be registered to have over 1 million Scoville units and trust us, it packs a punch!

Across the restaurants, over 1500 people have tried the chilli challenge, and just over 400 have completed it successfully. That’s a 26.6% success rate. Easy peasy. Right?


WHAT: STEAK’s Man V Steak

TIME ALLOWED: 1 hour

PRICE: £160, free if you finish

Livingston FC footballer Keagan Jacobs struggling with the steak. Image credit: STEAK

Do you love steak? Lots and lots and lots of steak?

After you’ve signed the contract absolving the restaurant of liability from any health issues you might experience, STEAK will serve you up a 92 oz rump steak with five sides and three sauces.

Now this is an expensive one, but hey, maybe that will motivate you to finish it! You have one hour to demolish the slab of meat, sides and sauces if you want the £160 challenge struck from the bill, a t-shirt and your picture on display in the restaurants reception. Good luck!


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Lady Doritos

Last week PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi claimed that Frito-Lay, a subsidiary of the soda company would release ‘female friendly’ Dorito crisps, that were ‘low crunch’, and therefore easier for women to consume in public.

EN4News reporters Megan Fletcher and Claire Stevenson headed out into Edinburgh City centre to find out what the public think of this idea.

Click the link below to listen to the full story.

However, updated statements have been released, and the company have now contradicted the claims of their CEO due to harsh criticism received online, with many taking to social media to mock the idea of a ‘Lady Dorito’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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