Ten unmissable Taste Workshops at Cheese

The event program is available at https://cheese.slowfood.it/en/
A selection of pictures from the last edition: https://media.slowfood.it/Cheese-2021/

Consider the Animals is the theme of the 13th edition of Cheese 2021, the most important event dedicated to raw milk cheeses and artisanal dairy products, from September 17 – 20 in Bra, Italy. The claim of the event will be the fil rouge of our Taste Workshops, among the most popular activities within the Cheese program. Cooks, producers, affineurs, wine and beer experts will offer the unique opportunity of listening to their stories, while tasting their products with original pairings. The Taste Workshops will be held in person in compliance with safety regulations to stop the spread of Covid-19.


  1. A bolt from the blue… backed by big beers https://cheese.slowfood.it/en/event/a-bolt-from-the-blue-backed-by-big-beers/

Marbled and bloomy rind cheeses are strongly influenced by their molds, which are inoculated during the cheesemaking process and which work actively throughout the cheese, radically modifying its structure. A marbled cheese—a family to which gorgonzola belongs—is a cheese whose form presents streaks of green or blue mold of the Penicillium roqueforti variety. Marbling is typical of some great cheeses like stilton, roquefort (from which the mold takes its Latin name), gorgonzola and other blue cheeses from around Europe with unique flavors and aromas. Beers offer an extraordinary opportunity in accompaniment , particularly the barley wines with their intense caramel tones, the imperial stouts with their toasted, licorice feel and some clear beers aged in barrels.


  1. Natural is possible: alternative charcuterie https://cheese.slowfood.it/en/event/natural-is-possible-alternative-charcuterie/

Charcuterie is not made just from pork.  Cured meats made with beef, lamb or goat meat often have the same goal of promoting pastoralism and marginal areas, creating an extra revenue stream beyond dairy products. Natural charcuterie made without nitrites and nitrates and only with natural preservatives like salt, pepper, chili pepper, spices and smoke are also healthier, as well as representing farming practices that are more respectful of animal welfare, and which are particularly mindful of the animals’ diet and growth.


  1. Affineurs: Joseph Paccard, France https://cheese.slowfood.it/en/event/affineurs-joseph-paccard-france/

Farmer and mountaineer Joseph Paccard stopped growing food in 1972 to dedicate his time to affinage, the art and practice of aging cheese. Eighteen years later he founded a workshop (https://www.reblochon-paccard.fr) in his hometown of Manigod, Haute-Savoie. Since then, Joseph Paccard has been patiently perfecting his working methods together with his sons Jean-François and Bertrand. There’s lots on offer from Paccard’s aging cave: from Abondance to Beaufort, and Tome de Savoie to Raclette, and Paccard’s flagship cheese, Reblochon, created in the 13th century in the Thônes Valley in Haute-Savoie. Produced using the fat-rich milk of the second milking, Reblochon owes its name to the verb re-blocher which, in Savoy dialect, means to milk the cow’s udders a second time.  Click here to watch the interview with Joseph Paccard.


  1. Affineurs: Kaasaffineurs Van Tricht, Belgium https://cheese.slowfood.it/en/event/affineurs-kaasaffineurs-van-tricht-belgium/

Among the evergreen guests of the international market at Cheese are the Belgians of Kaasaffineurs Van Tricht, whose slogan is “Cheese aged to perfection”. To experiment the perfect aging, the American astronaut Shannon Walker has taken Van Tricht cheeses to the International Space Station not once but twice… The public will  taste a wide range of Belgian raw milk cheeses, such as Blankaar, organic, white-mold cheese from West Flanders; Juliette, organic goat milk cheese, Limburg; Landloperke, cheese with vegetal rennet, Antwerp; Herve Le Vieux Moulin, washed-rind cheese, Liege; Bio Bleu Fumé, organic smoked blue, West Flanders.


  1. The Cooks’ Alliance: from Lazio to Egypt and back https://cheese.slowfood.it/en/event/the-cooks-alliance-from-lazio-to-egypt-and-back/

At Cheese we welcome cooks from Lazio and Egypt and learn more about the intertwining experiences of Tiziana Favi and Hassan Ismail Gafar of Namo Ristobottega (https://www.namoristobottega.it/) in Tarquinia (Lazio).  Hassan brings to Cheese an Egyptian dish of fava beans, fava bean falafel (as opposed to chickpea falafel), while Tiziana offers lemon rice with Roman Tonda Gentile hazelnuts and Roman Countryside Caciofiore (https://www.fondazioneslowfood.com/it/presidi-slow-food/caciofiore-della-campagna-romana/), a Slow Food Presidium made with sheep milk and a vegetable rennet extracted from artichoke and cardoon flowers. A workshop that offers a balance of tradition and innovation, in the spirit of Namo.


  1. The Cooks’ Alliance: the pastures of Switzerland https://cheese.slowfood.it/en/event/the-cooks-alliance-the-pastures-of-switzerland/

Giovanni Melis, originally from Sardinia, member of the Slow Food Cooks’ Alliance in Switzerland, is the protagonist of this Taste Workshop. The Swiss highlands are particularly well-suited to the production of creamy, natural milk, whose flavor is enriched by the roughly 150 types of plants that the cows graze on. Here the public  can taste pumpkin gnocchi with Mountain Pasture Sbrinz (https://www.fondazioneslowfood.com/en/slow-food-presidia/mountain-pasture-sbrinz/), steam cooked and presented with late-season tomatoes; a roll of Traditional Emmentaler (https://www.fondazioneslowfood.com/en/slow-food-presidia/emmentaler/) with fig cream and raw ham.

  1. Piedmont: Barolo 2007-2017 and Valchiusella toma https://cheese.slowfood.it/en/event/piedmont-barolo-2007-2017-and-valchiusella-toma/

A purely Piedmontese journey among Barolo vintages and the finest toma cheeses of Valchiusella produced by small, family-run farms. Each family works exclusively with the milk of their own local breed cows and produces their own raw milk toma cheeses without the use of ferments. The wide range of aromas present come from the variety of plants which the cows graze on in pastures over 2000 meters high. The Villa family has dedicated their work to the rediscovery and promotion of this dairy heritage, made even richer by the wide panorama of sensory profiles these cheeses present. To pair we have two Barolo vintages, ten years apart, from three producers: Gianfranco Alessandria of Monforte, Cerequio of La Morra, and Bricco Sarmassa of Barolo itself.


  1. Once upon a time there was a cow, a sheep and a goat… https://cheese.slowfood.it/en/event/once-upon-a-time-there-was-a-cow-a-sheep-and-a-goat/

Valentina Bergamin, a dairy enthusiast from Lombardy and first winner of “Best taster in Italy” as awarded by the italian National Cheese Tasting Organization (ONAF), tells us three stories of producers who work with three different animal species. Cows, sheep and goats, their cheeses and an unbreakable link between the people who care for these animals, who consider the animals in the best way possible, raising them wild. From Trentino, we have two cow milk cheeses from Agricola Foradori (https://www.agricolaforadori.com/) made with the milk of Alpine Gray Cattle who graze in the farm’s vineyards from the end of harvest to the beginning of the next germination, providing a rich milk full of character. To pair, a wine from the same vineyard, and another from Pojer e Sandri (https://www.pojeresandri.com/). From Tuscany, two pecorino cheeses paired a Chianti from Corzano e Paterno (https://www.corzanoepaterno.com/) and a Sangiovese from the Tuscan coast by Podere il Carnasciale (https://www.caberlot.eu/). Then, from Sicily, two Girgentana Goat milk cheeses paired with wines from CVA Canicattì (https://www.cvacanicatti.it/) and Marco De Bartoli (https://www.marcodebartoli.com/).

  1. Oxygen and ferments: oxidized wine and aged natural cheese https://cheese.slowfood.it/en/event/oxygen-and-ferments-oxidized-wine-and-aged-natural-cheese/

One of the first things you learn about wine is that oxygen is generally considered harmful to it, but the beauty of the wine world is in its variety. Exceptions are to be found everywhere, even regarding the perception of oxygen. This workshop focuses on producers at the forefront of oxidized wine. All the wines in this workshop are part of a new selection of Triple A (https://www.triplea.it/it/magazine/selezioni/vini-ossidativi-imprevisti-o-opere-d-arte-1605.html) labels that aim to demonstrate how for some wines oxidation is an essential feature of their sensory profile: we’ll taste two Marsala wines, a sherry, and two other Italian bottles. Oxygen for wine, and aging with natural ferments for cheese. The Triple A wines are proposed together with these spectacular natural cheeses: Queso de Cabrales from Asturias, Spain,  Mountain Pasture Castelmagno https://www.fondazioneslowfood.com/en/slow-food-presidia/mountain-pasture-castelmagno/), Historic Rebel (https://www.fondazioneslowfood.com/en/slow-food-presidia/heritage-bitto/) and Shepherd’ Fiore Sardo (https://www.fondazioneslowfood.com/en/slow-food-presidia/shepherds-fiore-sardo/).


  1. Spain meets Turin: great Iberian cheeses and vermouth https://cheese.slowfood.it/en/event/spain-meets-turin-great-iberian-cheeses-and-vermouth/

Here we present the cheeses of Quesería Cultivo (https://queseriacultivo.com/), renowned affineur of Madrid, who ages, selects and distributes some of the finest Spanish cheeses: Isla Corazón, Picón Bejes Tresviso DOP Javier Campo, Mahón Curado DOP Nicolás Cardona and Jondal. To pair we have a Torinese drink that’s perhaps even more popular in Spain than its homeland: Vermouth, which has had an institute dedicated to preserving it since 2017, and since 2019 a Consortium that brings together a wide range of producers –for their size and history – as well as cultivators of medicinal herbs and bottlers… all the experiences of lie and work behind this specialty recognized the world over.  Click here to watch the interview with Quesería Cultivo.

Cheese 2021 is organized by the City of Bra and Slow Food with the support of the Piedmont Region. The event has been made possible by the support of companies who believe in the values and objectives of the event, including Main Partners: BBBell, BPER Banca, Consorzio del Parmigiano Reggiano, Egea, Pastificio Di Martino, Quality Beer Academy (QBA) and Reale Mutua.


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