Food from Britain at the Salone del Gusto 2002
17 Sep 02
Slowly but surely - and in spite of the news headlines - a quiet revolution has been taking place throughout the British countryside as consumer curiosity and interest in food has increased, leading to a renewed passion for all that is local and regional, traditional and new. Suddenly, regional diversity is being celebrated again. As Renato Sardo, International Director of Slow Food says, As anybody who has recently travelled throughout Britain knows, there are many extraordinarily good products from both land and sea, yet to be discovered and enjoyed by the rest of the world.
In common with consumers throughout the industrialised world, the British have become increasingly concerned for the environment and for the provenance and traceability of the food that they eat, renewing their demand for all that is regional and artisanal. Since the late Nineties, this has stimulated the vigorous growth of food and farmers' markets, particularly throughout England, Scotland and Wales. Today there are over 390 farmers' markets alone and the calendar year is once again filled with local food festivals, agricultural shows, weekly and monthly fresh produce markets - in both rural and urban areas. This has given producers both the inspiration and the lifeline that they have needed in order to safeguard their livelihoods, and consumers the ability to reconnect with the food, the people and the landscape from which it is produced. In turn, this has reinvigorated many market towns, providing a much needed boost to rural areas, helping to lay the foundations for the recreation of vibrant and prosperous rural and coastal communities - and giving British consumers greater access to local food and renewed pleasure in their own culinary traditions. The renewed passion for regional food has also spurred the growth of Slow Food in the UK, where there are now over 16 regional branches, 'convivia', in England, Scotland & Wales, which through their programme of local and regional events provide a unique forum for producers and consumers.On top of this and significantly, increased support for regional producers has come from the British Government, which like its European neighbours, has commissioned extensive research into the future of its food production and farming in advance of the forthcoming review of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). As part of its remit to promote speciality regional food and drinks domestically and internationally Food from Britain is providing a package of support to enable British producers to participate at this year's Salone del Gusto, the biennial, international event of the eco-gastronomic movement. According to Charlotte Lawson, Director of Business and UK Services at FFB, “Food from Britain is committed to helping food and drink producers win full recognition for their high standards, and also to highlighting the strength of the UK’s culinary heritage. The Salone del Gusto provides a chance to set British food in the context of the world’s finest gastronomic delights.
Renato Sardo, International Director of Slow Food, applauds the British government's participation, We are delighted that Food from Britain has been able to provide producers with the financial and logistical support to enable Slow Food UK to realise its goal of letting Britain's artisans benefit from all that the Salone del Gusto has to offer. Working in partnership with Slow Food UK, over 35 regional producers have been selected to participate this year. According to Wendy Fogarty, Slow Food's UK representative, The Salone del Gusto gives small producers a much-needed bigger voice on an international stage and within an environment in which ignorance is replaced by curiosity and a quest for knowledge, new tastes and time-honoured traditions. The culinary treasures of the British Isles will be a pleasant surprise for many. For more information on the British products that will be available for tasting and sale at the Salone del Gusto, please see attached.
BRITISH PRODUCTS AT THE SALONE DEL GUSTO
The British bounty destined for the Salone includes the following:
From the highlands, islands and rivers of Scotland - a selection of single malt whisky from the Single Malt Whisky Club* (the unique and distinctly different tastes of which tell their own story of terroir and production), together with pickled herrings and hot- and cold- smoked salmon cured according to local tastes and traditions;
From the fells and farms of Cumbria - the locally distinct Herdwick lamb and mutton (from older sheep and aged for a stronger and distinctive flavour), together with bacons of different cures and cuts made from local and rare breeds of pig and wild boar, sausages and cheeses;
From the North and North West -: the prehistoric looking, 4-horned Manx Loaghtan sheep from the Isle of Man and the venison, game, pies and puddings of Lancashire;From Wales: farmhouse cheeses and Anglesey Sea Salt;
From the South and South West -- salted Cornish pilchards (known as Salacche Inglesi in Northern Italy where they have been enjoyed for over 100 years); Plymouth Gin that derives its purity from Dartmoor water; from Dorset air-dried hams (cured in local apple juice, honey and herbs) and dry cured bacons and from Devon, preserves and jams made by hand according to time-honoured traditions and from wild and cultivated berries (tayberries, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries and more) and from Wiltshire, tracklements (the sauces and condiments (mint jelly, mustards, horseradish etc.) traditionally served with the great British family get-together, the ”Sunday roast dinner.
And alongside these, a selection of award-winning farmhouse cheeses from England's great cheese-making regions and regional, cask conditioned ales from small family breweries, courtesy of the Real Ale Society*.For more information on Food from Britain, refer to www.foodfrombritain.com
The on the Single Malt Whisky Club, refer to: www.singlemaltclub.it
For more information on the Real Ale Society, refer to: www.realalesociety.it