Tag: Food

Foodie of the month

Local artisan foodie David Polson of Thule Ventus produces air dried salt fish, continuing a long lasting Shetland culinary tradition.

This month David has kindly shared some delicious (and healthy) fish recipes. Find them in March’s Shetland Life, rustle up and tuck in….

November’s issue – out now!

There’s a very strong focus on local food throughout our November issue.

I was delighted to take part in a Come Dine with Me event, genially hosted by local butcher and local food enthusiast Chris Wright. Find out how his meal was rated by our discerning foodie guests! If you think you’ve got what it takes to host a similar event, then please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

Could you manage without imported food? We challenged Aleks McKay to eat local only and keep a diary recording his experiences. How long did he last? You can find out by buying the magazine! (Personally, I’m not sure I could get by on a diet of local food only, but if I lived with the chef who cooked Alex’s meals then I might be prepared to give it a try…)

Bryan Peterson talks about his journey from toasting sassermaet to improvising three course meals. An inspiration for all those who “can’t cook, won’t cook”>

Of course, this issue is also about drink. Neil Riddell talks about his experience of beer brewing and has some of his tipples reviews by our very own beer reviewer.

As usual, there’s a smorgasbord of goodies to enjoy within these pages. Bonne appetite and see you in December for our bumper Christmas special.

Get glowing!

July’s Shetland Life is all about health and fitness. Here’s raw food chef Heather Moncrieff with some top tips on how to look and feel your best −not just this month, but all year round!

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A delicious cheesecake made from raw ingredients

Be Balanced

Need something between meals? Go for a snack – one that includes protein, fat, and carbohydrate. I like green apple wedges with nut butter. Alternatively, spread some pumpkin seed nut butter on a slice of one of the wonderful range of raw breads which are available at Scoop. The fat and protein in the nut butter curbs my hunger and also prevents my blood sugar from dipping or spiking too much.

Get steaming

I steam my veg if I feel like something warm, as this is one of the best cooking methods for maximizing taste and colour, while retaining the maximum amount of nutrients in vegetables (and fish if you are not vegan).  Vegetables have so much flavour: simply by steaming them and finishing off with some fresh herbs, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, you can produce a healthy, satisfying and delicious dish.

Discover coconut oil

Coconut oil is a true superfood. It contains fatty acids with powerful medicinal properties. It can also prevent obesity and improve digestion. Best of all, it only takes 3 minutes to make your own, which will have none of the sugars or additives found in store bought goods.

Find out more about fermented foods

These are chock-full of “probiotics” or good bacteria. Having a healthy gut is a major factor in maintaining optimal health, as a robust immune system is your top defence system against all disease. There are lots of fermented food options out there. Kefir is a fermented milk product which tastes like a drinkable yogurt. It’s available from Scoop. Other more common fermented foods are Sauerkraut, Pickles and Miso.  They are delicious and brilliant sources of protein for any diet, especially a vegan one.

Try a colonic session

Colonics can help improve your body’s overall health and wellness, and may even reduce your risks for colon cancer.  If you wish to feel the health benefits having a colonic can bring you then please phone me at the clinic on 01595 482848, email me at hmm@shetland colonics.co.uk or contact me on my Facebook page at Shetland Colonics.

Songkran in Shetland

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It’s a typically chilly April evening in Lerwick, but a hardy group of Shetlanders have crowded into a tent outside local Thai restaurant Phusiam to take part in a Songkran (New Year) celebration. Inside Phusiam a table is spread with Thai delicacies: aromatic curries, samosa and, for the sweet toothed, sticky rice cakes and banana fritters. Thai women, clad in brightly coloured traditional dresses, circulate among the more soberly attired locals. One of them stops to pour flower petals and water over a small statue of the Buddha which stands at doorway of the restaurant.

This evening’s celebration is not just a celebration of Thai New Year – it also marks a red letter day for owner Sopha Phosoongneon – 30 years since her arrival in Shetland. Sopha vividly remembers her arrival in Sumburgh. “As the plane landed, I was thinking of my home and my tears fell like tap water.” she recalls. “It was a beautiful landscape, but I was so far from home.”

Thirty years later, Sopha describes the local community as being “very kind”. She adds “I love Shetland now. It’s too hot for me in Thailand – it can get up to 44 degrees – that’s just too much and I can’t cope with it.”

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Phusiam chef, Yura Kamcharoen agrees. “I like it here because there’s no traffic. The people here in Shetland are very kind and they are more polite than in Thailand. I like it here because it’s a quiet life and there is no pollution. You don’t need to worry about anything.”

Yura explains that Phusiam’s Songkran festival has been specially adapted to suit the local climate and culture. “In Thailand, people throw big bags of water and flour over people. It’s not really possible to do that here, because it’s too cold – I don’t think that people would be very happy with us!”

Shivering a little in the freezing night air, 
I have to agree with him. The Thai dishes 
have also been slightly adapted to suit the Shetland palate. “This isn’t really what we would eat at New Year, because the dishes 
we have are very spicy. We think it would be too hot for Shetland people – they wouldn’t like it.”

Yura goes on to talk about the special method of Thai cooking. “Thai food has to be cooked at a very high temperature, so we use different type of cookers – water cookers.” Intrigued, I have to admit that I have no idea what he is talking about, so Yura kindly gives me a tour of the kitchen. The cooker is unlike any I have seen before: the hob is submerged in a tray full of water, so that the dishes 
are effectively cooked in water. “This means that the food we cook here really is made in the authentic Thai way,” Yura assures me. “Many of our ingredients are brought from Thailand too – except for the meat and fish, of course!”

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Outside in the tent, the evening entertain-ment programme is kicking off. A young man in traditional Thai costume introduces himself as Thor, master of ceremonies for the evening. He asks the assembled company if they have enjoyed the food and is met with applause and sated grunts of satisfaction. He assures us: “You’re already full with your stomach – now you’ll be full with your eyes!”

Thor begins by teaching the audience a traditional Thai greeting, before going on to describe Thai New Year traditions: “Thai people usually travel to see family at New Year. They go to the temple, and gently pour water on the Buddha. While they are doing this, they ask for good things. Thailand is an agricultural country, so our New Year coincides with spring – we clean our homes and we visit the temple. The water we throw on each other is a symbol of cleanliness too.”

After a Thai dance, (performed by three exquisitely dressed dancers) it is time for some Thai boxing. Thor explains that in Thai boxing, every part of the body is used: not just the fists, but the chin, elbows, knees and legs.

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Thai boxers, Ben Vickers and Wojtek Nartowics have flown from London to take part in the event. Their grace and agility does not mask the power and strength of their movements. Perhaps unsurprisingly the audience is silent when Thor asks if anyone in the audience would like to come forward and try their luck with one of the boxers!

Phusiam’s Songkran provided a taste of a fascinating culture. A hearty khob-kun-Krub to all at Phusiam for organising such a great event!

All food at Phusiam is freshly made to order. From mid -May onwards there will be a buffet meal available on Mondays and Wednesdays from lunch time till 9am.

Photos: Dave Donaldson