One of the reasons we started Scottish Scran was to discover and highlight the depths of Scotland’s larder.
We knew the basics, but as we develop more and more recipes, we came across some amazing foodies and suppliers of food and drink that perhaps deserve some extra recognition. Or we just love their products so much we wanted to say hello to them!
Below is our chat with the Strathearn Cheese co, a Scottish Artisan cheesemaker operating from the Cultybraggan camp (an old WWII prisoner of war camp) near Comrie in Perthshire, Scotland.
Strathearn Cheese make exciting cheeses made with local flavours, they won an esteemed gold medal at the World Cheese Awards in 2016 and we love them!
TELL US WHO YOU ARE, WHAT YOU DO AND DESCRIBE STRATHEARN CHEESE
We are a small artisan cheesemaker who specialise in soft and semi-soft cheese. Run by business partners Pierre Leger and Drew Watson, the cheese is made using pasteurised cow’s milk and flavoured with local tastes.
Strathearn cheese is rind washed in a whisky-based brine and made with veggy rennet. We currently produce three kinds of cheese: Wee Comrie, a mild and mellow cheese, Lady Mary, a soft creamy cheese dressed with wild garlic and truffle oil and lastly, Truffle Mary, a soft creamy cheese infused with truffle pieces.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE SCOTTISH CUISINE IN THREE WORDS AND WHY?
Best sourced locally.
Scotland has a great larder and needs to be rediscovered.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE SCOTTISH DISH GROWING UP, WHO MADE IT AND WHY WAS IT YOUR FAVOURITE?
Clootie dumpling made by my mother.
Warm, rich pudding made as a treat for birthdays instead of cake. Served with custard…..of course.
Scottish Scran note – Though we don’t have Drew’s mother’s recipe we do have our own if you want to try Clootie Dumpling for yourself.
TELL US THE STORY OF STRATHEARN CHEESE’S BEGINNING, HOW DID IT COME TO BE?
We started the business because we both needed a change in the pace of life and were looking for a new challenge. Cheesemaking fitted the job description, Pierre is French and has a real passion for cheese.
Little did we know that we now work harder than before.
WHAT MAKES SCOTLAND THE PERFECT PLACE FOR WHAT YOU DO?
Cheesemaking is on the up in Scotland with some great producers. The climate is good, surprisingly and there is room for business growth.
WHAT’S THE HARDEST PART OF DOING WHAT YOU DO?
Artisan cheesemaking varies with the weather, quality of milk, humidity, etc. Balancing all these to produce a consistent product continually challenges us.
WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF WHAT YOU DO?
Cheesemaking is fun and very rewarding when you get consistent quality.
WHAT DO PEOPLE ASSUME ABOUT CREATING CHEESES? IS IT CORRECT?
That it is difficult to do but practice makes perfect!
WHAT DO PEOPLE GET WRONG WHEN MAKING CHEESE AT HOME, ANY TOP TIPS? WE TRIED IT AND IT WAS NOT EASY!
Use fresh milk, a day old at most and PH levels are important.
Also getting the curd size is important and stirring the curds and whey.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR STRATHEARN CHEESE?
We’re working on developing a Smoked Wee Comrie, we already have customers asking for it. We also wholesale other Scottish cheeses to our customers, there are a lot of excellent cheeses out there!
OTHER THAN YOURSELF, WHO OR WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE SCOTTISH PRODUCTS/PRODUCERS?
Scottish Scran note – We have emailed both of these excellent foodies to see if they’d like to appear in our 11 Questions series!
A HUGE thank you to Drew and the team at Strathearn Cheese for taking the time to talk to us, their message was very simple – Eat Scottish Cheese! Do contact them if you’re looking for excellent Scottish artisan cheeses!
You can find more information about Strathearn Cheese on their website here, we can’t recommend their cheeses enough, particularly their ‘Lady Mary’, the soft cheese with garlic and truffle oil!
Next time, we speak to The Scottish Bee Company, experts in all things honey, passionate about creating Bee-friendly products and growing the bee farming industry in Scotland.
Which Scottish foodie, server or producer would you like us to talk to? Let us know and we’ll drop them a line!