I am incandescent with RAGE! Some of you know my opinion of Environmental Health as interfering busy bodies who should get a job in the real world. I do know that there is a need for them to perform a function of dealing with people who bend the rules and put our lives at risk, but how can they justify putting a local artisan cheesemaker in the fray?
I found out this morning at Edinburgh Farmers’ Market that Gabriele Caputo and Adriana Alonzi, who make some of the best mozzarella this side of Rome, have been forced to cease trading. They have been making mozzarella, scamorza affumicata, ricotta and Provolone for several years, providing many Edinburgh restaurants and some cafes with their fabulous cheese. And within a blink of an eye have had their business ripped out from under them and depriving us of some fantastic food.
Yesterday they were ordered by environmental heath to dump 500 litres of milk, to stop cheese production and to cease trading. Why? Because, in my opinion, those involved have no real understanding of the cheesemaking process. These officials are making us a namby pamby culture too frightened to eat something that hasn’t been processed to hell and back.
I have been to see the cheese being made and I can tell you this couple keep everything scrupulously clean, no-one is allowed in without protective hats, overalls and foot coverings. I cannot believe that there is anything they haven’t done to confirm to the strict regulations needed to make cheese. I’m at a complete loss, totally gobsmacked and thoroughly outraged and angry at this travesty.
Gabriele and Adriana’s letter above tries to explain why this has happened but clearly still leaves us all confused by the decision by Environmental Health. What do they (EH) mean by ‘insufficient’? Please give us a clue as to why S.S dei Naufragati have been told to cease trading, because ‘insufficient’ isn’t a good enough answer.
Gabriele and Adriana will be appealing against the decision and they have set up a petition. The comments I read on there this morning is one of disbelief and anger. Hopefully this stupidity will be rectified and I , as well as other regulars of the market, will be able to get back to buying some of the best ricotta and mozzarella outside Italy!
© Lea Harris, Off the Eaten Track 2011.