The BLE at Science on a Plate

On 2 and 3 March, the Biodiversity Library Exhibition was presented at the Science on a Plate-exhibition in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Jiri Frank of the National Museum in Prague joined Graham Hardy from the RBGE and a number of volunteers to explain the visitors the BLE and the BHL-Europe project, the BLE and also Europeana.
A few hundred people came by our stand to enjoy the food and spices featured in our virtual exhibition. Since we were in Scotland, we were sure to offer the visitors homemade haggis, the recipe for which we detailed in a previous blog post. But there was also a much less adventurous option in the form of pepper nuts, which were baked by Graham Hardy himself. And for the culinary daredevils out there, our stand featured the scoville scale, which measures the spiciness of a specific kind chili pepper. Only a handful dared to taste the Jolokia chili pepper, which is the spiciest of them all.

The Scoville scale
There were also several spice samples, such as cardamom, fennel, ginger, curcuma and even several spice plants to get the idea from where is the spice coming from.

The Scoville scale and the corresponding spices. The plants in the background are, from L to R: Juniper, Turmeric, Lemon grass, Guinea pepper
A selection of spices
One of the highlights of the event was the visit by a group of blind women and their guide. They smelled the spices and tasted the food; it was a great moment demonstrating the power of taste and aroma.

And if you’re in the vicinity of Edinburgh at the end of March, you would do well to visit the Science on a Plate-festival, which runs from 31 March to 9 April. More info is found on the official website.

The BLE-team prepares the BLE-presentation
The BLE-stand
Visitors were happy to come by.
A blind woman tastes one of the spices.

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