An Angus farm coffee shop is now offering a sourdough panini with gruyere and Scottish kimchi. Brian Stormont tried it out.
Having been meaning to try kimchi for a long time, when I learned that East Scryne Fruit’s farm coffee shop was now making a sourdough panini with gruyere cheese and kimchi, I was on my way.
Kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine. A dish featuring salted and fermented vegetables, such as napa cabbage and Korean radish, it is made with a widely varying selection of seasonings including gochugaru (Korean chilli pepper), spring onions, garlic, ginger and jeotgal (salted seafood), it is a favoured accompaniment in the Far Eastern country.
Having spoken to her cousin, Charlotte Hardie, who she describes as a “food queen”, the duo came up with the gruyere and kimchi sourdough panini.
Describing it almost “guilt-free”, Kate, 47, put it on the menu and the probiotic panini has been proving popular with customers.
“My cousin is all about gut health and I was speaking to her and that gave me the inspiration,” Kate said.
“I just wanted to be able to think of something that is quick to cook, as we do get quite busy, but something that was going to tick all the boxes and wasn’t too naughty, as I know when I come to eating lunch I like to try and eat something that is good for me.”
Brian’s verdict of the gruyere and kimchi sourdough panini
“I think a healthy gut does sort of affect your mental health, your energy and so many things that are important. It is just nice to think that you can come and grab something that you have no need to feel bad about.”
And so far the reaction to the new healthy alternative has been good, with people enjoying the combination of the cheese and kimchi.
“It’s been selling really well, they are disappearing off the shelves,” added Kate.
“The reaction from everyone that has eaten them has been really good.
“Another popular flavour is brie and cranberry and it is so delicious. It really is sweet and makes you want more, whereas the kimchi and cheese panini is a bit bitter, but the cheese kind of balances that out and because it’s spicy it has a bit of a kick and that’s really nice as well. It’s just different.
“It’s definitely an exciting new addition and feedback has been good.”
From a little shack…
An enterprise that started off as a small shack selling strawberries has blossomed after Kate wondered what else people might be looking for when they were out and about.
She continued: “We started off eight years ago as a little shack and people used to buy the fruit through a little hole in the wall, literally.
“We sold strawberries and then we started making scones and everybody liked that. Then one year I thought, let’s try it, and I wondered ‘if I was going to pick up strawberries what else would I like when I was doing that?’.
“I thought if I could grab a proper coffee that would be attractive. So the first thing we added was a coffee machine. Then I spoke to a friend of mine in New Zealand who was telling me about these ice cream machines they have out there that a lot of the fruit farms have, so I thought we will try that, too.
“So it was the coffee, the ice cream and the strawberries that got us started. There are lots of sweet treats as well, but then with the paninis, it was really for people who were maybe coming at lunchtime and we could offer that too.”
East Scryne Fruit, which is open from the second week in May until the end of August, gets support from all over, in particular from the people of nearby Carnoustie who love making a visit part of their weekend plans – which include picking up a punnet or two of some tasty berries.
“Our strawberries come straight from the fields, they are picked that morning,” revealed Kate.
“While you do get some of our strawberries in the local supermarkets, these you get the day they are picked so they are so fresh. No food miles at all.
“We are very lucky that we are close enough to the beach and they will go there and then wander up here.
“Also many members of the Carnoustie community see it as far enough to be a decent walk and one that you can have a treat when you arrive and also close enough for kids, so we get a lot of kids cycling out here.
“Kids can get an ice cream, mum can get a coffee, there is also a fun playpark. It gets them off their screens. Mum and dad can have a coffee and they can have an ice cream while they play on the bales and it gets them out in the countryside.”
A gruyere and kimchi sourdough panini costs £4 at East Scryne Fruit, East Scryne Farm, Carnoustie, DD7 6LL.