Science Festival Focus on Food

The Edinburgh International Science Festival is very much on the Edinburgh Festival scene and this year it is running from 26 March – 10 April where they are venturing forth to explore possible brave new worlds and science, technology, engineering and design’s ability to help improve our lives through our Festival theme Building Better Worlds. I love the food orientated aspect of the Festival and here are a few selections:

Back to the Future Food

Tuesday 5 — Wednesday 6 April

We’re going back to the future, without the rehydrated pizza. Discover the science of tastier, more nutritious food with scientists from the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health. Journey into the past to find out how vegetable ancestors could improve food today and peer into the future to see how technology could change the way we think about food.

A cocktail is a scientific masterpiece, the perfect combination of ingredients, processes and equipment. From the first cocktail made in 1806 to the proliferation of drinks available today, it has had an exciting life throughout the eras. Join Donald Reid, food and drinks editor at The List, food scientist Steve Pearce and award winning mixologist Rosie Patterson, colour psychologist Angela Wright and Paul Donegan from Pickering’s Gin, for an evening of mixology mastery that will show how the art of cocktail making has become a science.

20:00 — 21:30

Dissection Room,    Summerhall

Standard Ticket £20.00

Saturday 2 April


What makes a brie taste like a brie and a cheddar taste like a cheddar? What does salt bring to the flavour and durability of cheese? How has culture shaped the evolution of different cheeses by subtly influencing the production technology? Cheeseology is an exploration of the food science that lies behind the development of flavour in different cheese varieties. Presented by Paul Thomas – dairy technologist, cheesemaking trainer and former professional cheesemaker – Cheeseology takes the turophile on a journey through the microbiology and biochemistry of this much loved food, bringing science to life with a tutored cheese tasting.

The Medicinal Meal

Friday 1 April

It’s no longer good enough for foods to be simply tasty and filling. We now expect them to be nutritious, balance our gut microbiology, protect us from illness and even heal us. With the rise of the health-conscious consumer, few would doubt the marketing potential of ‘superfoods’, but just how super are they? Sample a taster-menu meal featuring some of the most popular superfoods with host Cate Devine, food writer for The Herald, NHS dietitian Catherine Collins, botanist Dr Greg Kenicer from Royal Botanic Garden, chef Paul Wedgewood and gut biologist Dr Lindsay Hall on hand to talk you through what’s fact and fiction.

Adventures in Viticulture 

Tuesday 29 March

‘In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas’ – ‘in wine there is truth, in water there is health’; a great hypothesis with which to start our exploration of the world of wine! This event will raise a glass (literally and figuratively) to the wonderful art and science of wine making and challenge some common assumptions: Does expensive wine taste better? Will we ever see vineyards in Scotland? Is there a difference between corked bottles and screw tops? Join food ambassador Christopher Trotter and other sommeliers in this wine safari.

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