Last week’s Fine Food Fayre, organized by RAG Week and the Fine Food and Dining Society, was a huge hit among students and townsfolk alike. There were so many companies, some that I recognized, others not so much. As volunteer Francesca Bifolco pointed out, “Companies that we don’t really know stock our town.” It was really nice to finally be introduced to many of the fine foods that appear on kitchen shelves all over St Andrews. The Fayre was a definite highlight of the events put on by RAG Week, and dare I say it, my personal favorite! Yes I know, you’re all wondering how I could possibly have liked the Fayre over such events as Mr St Andrews, where there were half naked men to be had, but honestly, you would be thinking the same if you’d tried any number of free samples on offer!

From cupcakes and chocolates to jams and chutneys, there was no shortage of fine food to be tasted. As I made my way around Younger Hall, I couldn’t help but be excited over all the free samples! Anyone who knows me can attest to my love of all things chocolate, so The Chocolate Tree was a definite must for me! I spoke with a representative from the shop who told me that they were one of the first ‘bean to bar’ chocolatiers, and that The Chocolate Tree is about transparency and quality. I was even able to try one of their delicious chocolate truffles, a decadent dark chocolate that truly melted in my mouth, and discovered that some of the most popular truffles of the day were venison and rowan jelly!

Next on my list was the homemade jams and preserves of Days Gone Bye. Tasters included Strawberry Jam and Rhubarb Jam, which were simply divine; the perfect combination of sweet and tart! Days Gone Bye seeks to create ‘real’ jam that is “the full flavor, additive free version Granny would have had bubbling on the ‘Range’.” In my opinion, they have definitely succeeded in providing some seriously yummy jams! I even purchased a small pot of Rhubarb and will absolutely be going back for more!

Walking around, I spotted Rocca Bar & Grill (they’ve also added a Deli on Bell Street). A favorite restaurant of mine for those special, romantic dinners, I quickly made my way over to find that they were selling (among other things) tortelloni! Looking at the different kinds, the Pumpkin flavor really stood out. As a Pumpkin Pie loving American, you can imagine this was quite an intriguing idea for me: a savory take on a Thanksgiving staple. I decided to buy it, in the hopes that it would be just as good as it sounded. Rocca gave me everything I would need to cook the meal: a recipe card, fresh thyme, fresh pumpkin tortelloni, and two amaretti biscuits to crumble over the top. The box served one person, and the meal was absolutely incredible! I’ll definitely be visiting the deli in the near future!

Finally, as I dragged myself away from all the scrumptious tables inside the hall, I meandered over to the one thing I’d had my eye on since walking through the door. As soon as I smelled those heavenly Belgian waffles, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to leave without having a taste! I honestly haven’t smelled anything so wonderful since my trip to Belgium last year. While I was in line, the man working The Cocoa Tree stall informed us that there were no waffles left as they’d run out of batter. I could actually hear my heart break! What would I do without my waffle? Luckily, they still had some batter left for crepes. While not quite what I’d had in mind, my crepe was fantastic! With just enough chocolate drizzled on the top to satisfy my sweet craving, the crepe really hit the spot! I will definitely be making a trip to Pittenweem though for a truly authentic Belgian waffle.

All in all, I think the Fayre was a huge success. With so many of these local shops available at the St Andrews Farmers’ Market, I will definitely be making the effort to get up early and take a stroll through all the yummy food stalls!

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