Scotland’s Foodscape Soylent Social
At the recent Scotland’s Foodscape food symposium at Summerhall, aside from some very delicious food and drink from the Edinburgh Larder, Appetite Direct, Brew Dog, Williams & Johnson, Pekoe, One Square and many others, I attended a food replacement beverage lunch, the Soylent Social. It seemed worthy of Lunchquest consideration.
The event featured three liquids that were variants on a seemingly joyless theme. The three different types of beige goo were served in plastic taster cups. Were they a smooth porridge delight or a grim wallpaper pasting? Only the taste test would tell.
I started with cup number one, having been instructed to savour every drop by session lead Molly Garvey. It was called Mana. It was referred to as “barnyardy” by a fellow audience member. It was sweet, gloopy and grainy.
Cup number two was whiter and lighter. It was the “real” Soylent. It had a whiff of popcorn and tasted somewhere between baby formula and melted white chocolate. It was ghastly.
We finished with mango Joylent. It smelled strongly of mango, which seemed like a good omen. It tasted like chemical hell. It was seriously unpleasant. I made many more tortured faces in that one moment than I usually do when eating an entire munchy box.
We got a bonus treat of some baked goods made from more solid versions of Soylent. They provided a suitably gruesome end to the meal.
So overall, without the additon of paired wines (!) Soylent solutions do not seem to offer a palatable future foodscape. They provided me with a really powerful motivation to ensure we all get our shit together and move towards a more positive and responsible food culture in Scotland, as fast as possible. And you’re all formally enlisted to be part of that project, too.
Blythe scores the Soylent Social
1/5 for food
1/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 10/20
I drank/ate: cup numbers 1, 2 and 3
I wore: action footwear
Total emotional bill: several tears, brutalised tastebuds
Address: Summerhall by way of the Centre for Genomic Gastronomy
With huge thanks to Molly Garvey for what was a really enjoyable session, despite the manky grub. The organisers of the Foodscape event, including “barnyardy” commenter Charlotte Maberly, get their fair share of the credit, too. And it was lovely to be joined by Edinburgh Food Studio legends Sashana and Ben, amongst others, in the audience.