Food glorious food! Whether it’s hot sausage and mustard or buttered rowies and stovies, Aberdeonians have always been known to love their grub.
And that’s pretty understandable given the vast array of good quality products we have on our doorstep.
Whether it be prime meat from Aberdeenshire or delicious seafood from the Buchan coast, the region is awash with world-class produce.
It is also home, too, to some of the most successful food and drink businesses, not just in the country but around the globe.
So it may be of no surprise to find out almost 6,000 people flocked to P&J Live at the weekend for a whole day of foodie fun at the Taste of Grampian.
Exhibitors from around the region packed into the hall to sell their wares. Within a matter of hours, many were sold out.
Crathie-based Balnault Farm doubled the amount of meat they took to the event this year having been stripped bare before lunchtime in 2022.
But the team was stunned at the response to their offerings when they were left with just a handful of supplies by noon this time.
Helen Lambert, who runs the independent business with her husband Neil, said next year they would need to triple the order.
Stonehaven favourites, the Seafood Bothy, also reported having an exceptional day of trade.
And on Sunday, hundreds turned out to the second-ever farmers market in Aberdeen’s west end.
After such a successful weekend for local producers, it had me thinking, how could the city capitalise on this even more?
One of the things that struck me is people are clearly keen to buy local and get excited about the variety of goods on offer at these events which can not always be found in our supermarkets.
But convenience is key.
I would love to buy from Balnault Farm and the Saefood Bothy every week but there’s no way it’s feasible for me to travel the length and breadth of Aberdeenshire to get my groceries.
So what would it look like if something like the Taste of Grampian could be facilitated on a more regular basis than once a year?
Aberdeen needs a more regular happy medium between food exhibition and local farmer’s market
The event is a huge undertaking so I am not suggesting we roll out the celebrity chefs willy-nilly, but perhaps there is a happy medium between an extended farmers market and a full-on food and drink exhibition.
I remember when I was studying at university one of my favourite weekends was when the international market rolled in and pitched up on Union Terrace.
It was great to be able to have a little taste of Europe on our doorstep, especially when it took the sunshine with it.
I know plans are afoot to develop the old indoor market into a new food and drink haven.
But realistically that is still some way off yet.
Could food be the key to Union Street success?
Our Union Street is due to host its first public event today. It’s looking for ideas of ways to breathe new life back into our city centre streets and what better way than a summer of scran?
When the group was established around 4,000 ideas were put forward to transform the ailing high street – including installing a zipline.
And while these ideas are to be encouraged it feels some could take some effort to achieve and could prove to be a bit of a gamble in terms of return.
We have seen the pull the likes of Spectra (and hopefully Nuart this week) can have on bringing people into the city centre so why can’t we do the same with our own homegrown foodies?
We know the interest is there, last weekend just proved that.
It could well be that the appetite exists for a city centre market in addition to the runaway success of the west end event.
Could visitors popping in to peruse the produce then be persuaded to spend some more time visiting other businesses in the struggling area?
With our newly revamped Union Terrace Gardens, now would be the perfect time to clear a space for our local producers to welcome back the crowds.
I have no doubt that not only would this be an attraction to pull in the locals but, if you combine it with some of our well-loved festivals it could draw in crowds from around the country.
So, what are we waiting for?
Rebecca Buchan is Deputy Head of News and Sport for The Press and Journal and Evening Express