A husband and wife team of artisan cheesemakers from Fife are representing Scotland at an international congress showcasing traditional and small-scale food producers.
Jane and Robert Stewart are attending the famous Slow Food Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre, which is taking place in Turin this week before 200,000 visitors.
They are part of an emerging new breed of Scottish cheesemakers, committed to the highest standards of milk production and passionate about the cheeses they create.
Their St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company, a member of the Fife Food Network’s “Food from Fife” initiative, is the only artisan farmhouse cheesemaker in Fife.
It lies in the East Neuk, where their cows graze lush pastures overlooking the North Sea and produce the unpasteurised milk used to create a range of award-winning cheeses.
These are: Anster, a crumbly, tangy cheese; Red Anster, its ‘sister’ cheese, flavoured with annatto, fresh chives and fresh garlic; and St Andrews Farmhouse, a medium-strength cheddar with a creamy texture and a well-rounded full flavour on the finish.
Jane said that she and Robert are very excited to be going to Terra Madre, where they hope to fly the flag for Scotland and also to learn about and experience the food and drink from across the globe. “We anticipate a taste sensation!” she said.
Over 200,000 people are expected to attend the Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre, a five-day event that is the world’s biggest international gathering celebrating the diversity of food and the work of the small-scale farmers and food artisans who produce it.
It is organised by Slow Food, an international grassroots movement founded in Italy in 1989 to link the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.
Jane and Robert will be part of a six-strong Scottish delegation of producers, restaurateurs and food businesses, whose participation is supported by the Scottish Government.
As well as showcasing their quality products and telling the great stories behind them, they will be able to share experiences with small-scale and traditional producers in other countries and bring home their learning to help shape a better food system in Scotland.
Daniel Gotts, Chair of Slow Food Edinburgh, whose committee nominated the five Scottish representatives, said that Scotland is rich in traditional and local foods.
“It is entirely right that we should be taking part in what is the world’s biggest celebration of food biodiversity.
“Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre will be a great way to showcase local Fife produce on a world stage and I know that Jane and Robert are going to have a fantastic time meeting and spending time with people who are as committed as they are to food that is good, clean and fair,” he said.