Whisky and cheese pairings among projects given funding

A total of 21 initiatives and businesses from across Scotland have been handed cash to promote locally-sourced food and drink.

A scheme to introduce whisky and cheese pairings at distilleries and restaurants is among projects awarded Scottish Government food and drink funding.

A total of 21 regional initiatives and businesses from across Scotland have been handed cash to promote locally-sourced food and drink.

They will share £95,550 from the Connect Local Regional Food Fund, which is supported by the Scottish Government.

Fine Cheesemakers of Scotland has been given £3450 for a range of projects, including ways to promote cheese as a pairing to whisky at distillery visitor centres and in restaurants.

Rural affairs minister Mairi Gougeon announced the funding on a visit to IJ Mellis Cheesemonger in Edinburgh, where she met some of the producers in the group.

The cheesemonger has previously held whisky and cheese tasting events, recommending matching fruity drams with creamy cheeses and blue cheese with peaty tipples.

Fine Cheesemakers of Scotland chairwoman Jane Stewart said the funding will enable the group to boost its marketing of Scottish cheeses.

She said: “Whisky is already such an established Scottish product, recognised as such the world over, and artisan cheese-making is an up-and-coming thing in Scotland once again – and the two go together superbly.”

Ms Stewart said she was “astonished” to find out how well-matched the products are and has already has success with a whisky and cheese event in the US.

She added: “We are proud to be producing award-winning cheeses and excited about targeting different sectors so more people have the opportunity to enjoy our wonderful cheeses, which are part of the diverse selection of food and drink Scotland has to offer the world.”

Ms Gougeon said: “I have been hugely impressed by the standard and range of food and drink initiatives across Scotland.

“Innovative projects like these not only help local economies grow, they also promote the importance of locally-produced food and drink, and the environmental benefits of sourcing produce close to home.

“This fund helps collaborative groups such as Fine Cheesemakers of Scotland create new opportunities for small businesses and producers, and promotes Scotland’s world-leading food and drink sector.”

Other projects given funding include £5000 each for a pop-up shop from Lerwick fish market in Shetland, ScotRumFest 2020 and the Taste of Orkney Festival.

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