Popped up to Paisley in Scotland for the food and drink festival which now features a vegan section.
Paisley is famous for the ‘paisley’ pattern, a decorative woven teardrop, known in Persian as a ‘boteh’. The local museum is closed for refurbishment until 2022, but the brief history is that 19th century soldiers, returning from the colonies, brought back fine cashmere shawls for their sweethearts and wives. Weavers in Paisley were the only ones with the requisite skills and complex looms to reproduce the pattern.
The April food and drink festival is next to the river, the cherry blossom trees and further down from the gothic Victorian buildings at the top of the town. Queen Victoria, a fan of Paisley shawls, visited the town in 1888. It is said by locals that her statue in the centre has her back turned to the town.
This year, for the first time, the festival features a vegan section which is less surprising than you might think, in that Glasgow, nearby, is a centre for vegan cuisine in the UK. I ate:
- Vegan fish and chips and vegan satay with peanut sauce from There’s No Catch.
- Fried cabbage balls from The Sly Fox
- Cauliflower pakora, a Scottish-Indian fusion street food in Scotland, from Cafe Zique.
- I saw very Scottish takes on vegan food: haggis and Irn bru chutney, and mince and tatties.
Gin making has boomed in Scotland: distilleries waiting three years to set up for whisky, make gin in the meantime.
For dessert I reverted to non-vegan ice cream millionaires shortbread ‘tacos’ (the wafers in a taco shape), served in generous Scottish style portions at Chunks ice cream
Finally at The Kilted Fudge Company stall, I discovered the difference between Scottish tablet and fudge: tablet is cooked at a higher heat rendering a crisper, more granulated texture than fudge which is softer. Ultimately it’s all boiled sugar!