We round up our top stories served this month that proved a hit with foodies across P&J country.
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In the month where our favourite eateries were able to open their doors again and none of us noticed that the summer holidays were finally upon us, Scotland’s food and drink sector was at last able to move towards something that looks more like normality – although the challenges of recovery remain significant.
Some excellent stories hit the top spots on our food and drink section over the month of July, including an insight into how two or Aberdeen’s restaurants look with coronavirus restrictions in place, how to perfect that pasta you’ve been hoarding since April, and a recipe that will surely win you friends in no time.
Here, we look back on the top 10 fare-ytales (sorry) that you enjoyed reading.
1. The beer gardens and al fresco restaurants you can grab a drink in now
Perhaps not surprisingly after a long lockdown, thousands flocked to find out where they could source a pint (or two) in the week leading up to restaurants and bars being allowed to open their indoor areas. It was great to see the love for our much-missed local watering holes and we can only hope this continues (and that the weather gets a bit nicer too).
2. Aberdeen’s Belmont Street reimagined: Could it be the saving grace our hospitality industry needs?
Way back when, on July 3, four of Aberdeen’s most popular eateries called for changes to be made to the city’s Belmont Street, which faced numerous restrictions that was expected to affect business when they were to reopen. Julia Bryce spoke to the businesses to find out what the future would hold for them.
3. The biggest mistakes that prevent us from losing weight and how to fix them
As with many who have been taking comfort in food these last few months, I am pleased to learn that there are ways I can shed the six extra chins I’ve gained during lockdown. Here, food and drink team leader Clare Johnston reveals the pitfalls that can make it hard for us to shift the pounds and, happily, the solutions.
4. How what we eat can speed up ageing, and the nutrients that helps us stay healthier for longer
Food scientists have been making some major breakthroughs in recent years about how what we eat impacts on both our physical and mental health. And after two prominent studies suggested diet could speed up or slow down the ageing process, Clare Johnston looked to separate fact from theory with the help of leading dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton.
5. Taco Bell is coming to Aberdeen: Here’s everything you need to know
No, you don’t need your eyes checked, that does say American fast food chain Taco Bell is set to open its doors in the Granite City, making it the fifth store of the chain to open in Scotland. So now your dreams of scoffing one of their seven-layer burritos need not be a dream no more.
6. How to make the perfect pasta every time and why you’ve probably been cooking it wrong
After seeing how popular pasta was at the start of lockdown, we felt it was our duty to ensure that our fellow foodies got their money’s worth by making the most out of their new pantry companion. Sadly, we also found out that we’ve been cooking pasta wrong this whole time.
7. Scottish Grocers Federation hits out over mandatory wearing of face masks
The announcement that face masks would become compulsory in shops, prompted a backlash from some quarters. Food writer Brian Stormont spoke to Scottish Grocers’ Federation chairman Dr Pete Cheema OBE about their concerns.
8. Aberdeen and Inverness bars offer sneak peek ahead of reopening
Before the opened their doors for the first time after lockdown, Julia Bryce got a look behind the scenes at MacGregor’s Bar and Siberia in Aberdeen. The accompanying video has an excellent choice of music too, we’d just like to add.
9. Lady Claire Macdonald shares the perfect get-together dish
One of our regular columnists for the Press and Journal’s food magazine, The Menu, is food and drink stalwart Lady Claire Macdonald. This month she shared her recipe for salmon tart and its popularity may be due to us revisiting the article at least once a day so we can drool over how good it looks in the picture. You can too by clicking on the story below.
10. A delicious strawberry dessert that will have you coming back for more
Another hit that originated in The Menu magazine was this dessert recipe using locally-grown AVA strawberries, which is likely to make you very popular with hungry friends and foes. If you require a taste test done, the food and drink team is on hand to sample the goods.