A cheesy tour

Every once in a while, I like to get on a hair net and go visit a cheese site. Last week, it was a trip to Sardinia and a visit to the Maoddi family enterprise that makes Pecorino Romano cheese on the island. Rather interestingly, this was put together by a European Union programme, “Europe for the Senses,” with a view to increasing exports from certain PDO regions to external countries and showcasing the local cuisine and food offerings. It was for the UK and Switzerland, on this trip. Future trips will include delegates from Japan and Canada.

This three-year campaign is offering information about the PDO designation. Pecorino Romano has had such a designation since 1996 and covers the sheep cheese that bears its name. More than 95 per cent of this type of cheese is made in Sardinia, and in a place where there are two sheep for every occupant (three million sheep), it amounts to about half of the island’s agricultural output. It is no wonder they would like to promote it.

I also found it interesting as a rather traditional journalist, to spend time with the emerging generation of journos who use Instagram and TikTok, and spent a lot of time documenting the whole trip on their phone. It is a way to reach many people quickly and efficiently, and I was quite impressed with their skill (when I video anything I move my hand around too much, and half the time I cut out the important portion of the scene when taking a photo) and their diligence in documenting what is an ancient method of preserving milk, in a way that brings the viewer in.

The past met the present on this trip, and as someone who began her career behind a typewriter, I appreciate the work and the speed of these “influencers.” This is often a pejorative term for some folks, but these people are smart and funny, and the future of the publishing and journalism industries. Plus, I now have a few more followers on my personal Instagram account. #futureisnow

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