Ben Reade

  • I Went to the Fatherland of All Modern Apples

    Nikolai Vavilov, a Soviet-era botanist concluded that the domestic apple had evolved from a species of wild apple endemic to Southern Kazakhstan. Naturally, we followed in his footsteps to the Tien Shan Mountain range in search of wild apple forests.

  • Why Everything You Know About Scottish Food Might Be a Myth

    From the whisky sold in foreign liquor stores to tartan-boxed shortbread clutched by Edinburgh tourists, we’re told that Scotland’s food is rooted in history. But many traditional dishes aren’t as “Scottish” as we might think.

  • Why Scotland Needs Its Own Food Lab

    Food is so complex and to have to tick the box of either being a supermarket or a cooking school or a restaurant or a cafe is so limiting.

  • How I Brought Black Market Haggis to Four Different Countries

    After it’s paraded around the room to the accompaniment of bagpipes, an ode is recited to this giant sheep sausage. Then it’s stabbed and ripped open to reveal its warm, reeking, and rich innards. It’s perhaps the most iconic of offal dishes, the great...

  • Eating Toadstools and Buried Lamb Near the Arctic Circle

    I flew to the wee Norwegian town of Mosjøen for the Arctic Food Festival, where a group of local and foreign chefs gathered together to bury lambs' legs, eat fly agaric mushrooms, and exchange food knowledge.

  • You Should Be Cooking with Blood

    For those of us who aren't vampires, blood is inherently sensationalist and a challenge to our perceptions of cooking, but it's both wonderful to eat in restaurants and a great tool to use in home cooking.