The ninth edition of Cheese, the international biennial event organized by the City of Bra and Slow Food with the participation of the Italian Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, will be held in Bra from September 20 to 23, 2013. Dedicated to milk in all its shapes and forms, the event has led to the formation of an international network of cheesemakers and dairy artisans, who come together every two years to present their products, meet the public and debate the challenges they face and new critical issues in the dairy world.
On the website http://cheese.slowfood.it available in English and Italian, visitors can secure their place at the Taste Workshops, Master of Food courses, Dinner Dates, conferences and activities for families and schoolchildren. The regularly updated site is packed with useful information, including a list of participating exhibitors.
This year’s theme is the Ark of Taste, the project run by the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity that aims to catalog traditional food products at risk of disappearing. And because each one of us can contribute to saving them, Cheese 2013 is launching the initiative Save a Cheese! Slow Food is asking everyone who comes to Bra to bring a dairy product that they believe deserves to join the Ark. Protecting a cheese means saving breeds, pastures, landscapes and the knowledge preserved by small communities, which has often been passed down through the generations. Biodiversity is not the only subject at Cheese, however: During the event’s four days, there will be discussions about issues relating to raw milk and starter cultures, pastures and the increasing rise of food fraud.
The Great Hall will be offering 150 different types of cheese from around the world, with a particular focus on the British Isles, while a selection of 800 Italian wines will be available for tasting from the nearby Enoteca.
The streets of Bra’s historic center will be filled with the stalls of the Cheese Market, where visitors can buy many cheeses impossible to find through normal commercial channels, brought by the Terra Madre food communities from every corner of the world. The producers will be on hand to explain their cheeses and communicate with the public.
The unmissable Via degli Affinatori will showcase of the art of cheese agers, the experts who know how to use the perfect combination of time, humidity and temperature to coax their cheeses to the peak of maturity. Among the masters of the craft will be Jason Hinds, the mainstay of London’s Neal’s Yard Dairy, one of the Europe’s best affineurs.
Cheese is also an opportunity to sample the best of Italian regional cuisine at the Tasting Booths, the Street Food stalls and the Pizza Piazza.
As well as an educational and cultural event, helping consumers to identify quality and bringing them into contact with cheesemakers and farmers, Cheese is also an opportunity for fun, with learning always accompanied by the pleasure of tasting or discovering. This edition features many Taste Workshops, where participants can taste French cheeses under the guidance of Laurent Mons and Susan Sturman, founder of the Opus Caseus Concept, or sample cheeses from the Pyrenees with Montserrat Ferrer, or discover the cheeses of South Africa, the Balkans and many other places, learning the geography of a territory through its products.