Our good friends over at Greener Monday (‘local food delivered to your door’) offered us a treat – to review their ‘virtual farmers market’ food gift-box, so here we go.

The first thing is that it knocks you out of the sense that local food has to be some sort of trial, the packaging is great (minimal, biodegrabable etc) but the contents shout out ‘TREAT’.

It’s packed…Blaeberry Bouvrage, Red Onion Relish, Lemon and Basil Ola rapeseed oil, Tomato and Chilli Oatcakes, Handmade Cinnamon Shortbread, Isabella’s Carrot and Lemon Marmalade, and Apple Sultana and Cinnamon Porridge. The whole lot was scromphed in a couple of days, the shortbread (from Shortbread House) attracting a mob of amateur ‘reviewers’ (some under-age and clearly unable to write never mind type) declared the food ‘yummy’ through gobs stuffed with demerara shortbread fingers.

Award-winning Cairnsmhor Oatcakes were similarly despatched with a slab of anster cheese and a  coating of the Red Onion Relish. The porridge was superb. The Ola dressing presented a challenge, conventional wisdom here at the Fife Diet being that rapeseed oils a) don’t taste as good as olive, sunflower or vegetable oils and b) depend on pesticides to the extent that their ‘localism’ is superceded by their production methods. This lemon and basil dressing th0ugh – produced in Aberdeenshire by the Steading – certainly tasted great, tangy and sweet and subtle. More research is needed into the production methods.

The whole box was lovely and the food was great and the basic idea that this project can develop as a social enterpise free from the cycle of grant-dependency is a winner. The aims are the same as the Fife Diet: “We want Greener Monday to play a role in developing and promoting a healthier local food system, as we passionately believe that both our customers and the local producers we work with can really benefit from a convenient alternative to supermarket shopping.”

I’d like to see the box contents being sourced from within 50 miles rather than 100 (is Aberdeenshire ‘local’ to Edinburgh?) but the box is a foodie delight, and Greener Monday is a wonderful addition to Scotland’s growing local food movement.

  • Crafty Green Poet December 3, 2010 at 14:08

    Interesting review! I think local can be so relative, I have noticed that when I’ve read about local food in the USA they talk about much larger areas than we in the UK do! I agree with you though, 100 miles is possibly too far. i always try to source my food very locally where I can. I was interested in your comments about rape seed, when I reviewed the Ola product in my greener monday box, I said that rapeseed was better than palm oil (which it is) but had kept quiet otherwise because I hadn’t known enough detail about the negatives, so thanks for the info.

  • Ally December 2, 2010 at 14:32

    Thanks for such a marvelous review and I’m glad you enjoyed the food so much. We’re in the process of scoring all our products with a ‘local food score.’ Part of this will involve giving producers that are closer to Edinburgh a higher score than ones that are further away. We’d welcome folks thoughts on how we can make this score reflect all the things we want from our food thogh. See this blog post: http://www.greenermonday.com/blog/2010/11/25/the-pi-of-local-food-goodness.html – and add your thoughts!