Friday, September 17, 2010

Specialist Food

The Borders is not a good place to live if you like to cook unusual food. Oh yes of course it has lovely fresh meat and local vegetables in season, but if you want to try artichokes or couscous hmmmm. After being here two years we have discovered that Newcastle is the best place for ethnic foods. Edinburgh is very poorly provisioned except for one or two real finds like Lupe Pintos, who specialise in Mexican and have fresh tortillas daily as well as a superb range of chillis, salsa and other Mexican specials. They also carry the best saltfish we have tasted.


In Newcastle there is a place called M&A which carries a lot of West Indian /African products and several large Chinese supermarkets with a wide range of fresh and dried products.

M A Bros
231 Elswick Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 6SR

Locally in the Borders is the very friendly specialist shop in Melrose which carries a range of pastas, herbs, oils and spices you won't find at the Supermarket as well as some fresh produce and cheeses. In Kelso is the wholefoods store which is more focussed on the grains and health side. Selkirk has a nice deli shop which has some stuff although not a centre for "world foods". Gala is a desert as is Hawick. Duns has a small store that has a good range of cereals and nuts plus they sell fresh fish although limited in types.

I spoke to a good fishmonger and he claims that "Borders people" only like fresh haddock anyway, and that most fish shops have tried displaying other fish only to have them go off for lack of interest.