10 Things Not to Miss at Cheese

From 15 to 18 September, our biennial event Cheese returns to the town of Bra in northern Italy. The home of the Slow Food movement will surrender to cheeses. With just four days to go, we decided to make a list of the essentials. Note that many events have already sold out, so make sure to book by tomorrow. You can book some of the activities also during the event at the registered stands.

During Cheese the streets and piazzas will be packed with food, drink, markets, workshops, conferences and people from around the world! There is something for everyone.

1. Spanish Cheeses

No, Spain is not the host country of Cheese this year but, after the country’s success at the 2015 event, this year Spanish sheep’s milk cheese producers will be out in full force among the market stalls, so much so that we recommend that you start your visit to Cheese with the products of this country.

Finding them is easy: after leaving the train station, if you came by train, you’ll find them to the right of Piazza Roma. Then move towards Poncelet’s stand on the Affineur Avenue. We also have the event Spain’s Heroes on Saturday, September 16 at 1.30 p.m. in the Biodiversity House, to discover exceptional cheeses such as Queso de Guía Trashumante, Queso Palmero de Manada and raw milk Requeixo.

2. Events by Partners

The official partners of Cheese offer a wide selection of workshops and tastings. Parmigiano Reggiano hosts daily workshops with the presence of exceptional creameries in Italy. Parmigiano Reggiano workshops will have free entry and take place at the Parmigiano Reggiano stand at the Piazza XX Settembre.

Meanwhile, Quality Beer Academy’s experienced sommeliers will be guiding many workshops to get to know rare beers. At Bra Sausage and Malt Beer, for example, one of the top gastronomic delicacies of Piedmont’s gastronomy will be paired with three types of toasted malt beer. Just pass by the QBA’s stand to book a spot and pay in advance.

Click here to see all the events by partners Parmigiano Reggiano, Lurisia, Quality Beer Academy, Velier and Pastificio di Martino.

3. Traditional Lambic

Traditional Lambic beer is a true rarity, one to be found only in a specific area of Belgium, Pajottenland. Because of spontaneous fermentation and the long aging in wooden barrels, the final taste will be under the influence of many living factors. The result is the union of various natural yeasts and bacteria combined with the ability of assembly of the brewer master.

This specialty will be featuring at three events: Natural Aperitif on the 15th of September at 6:30 pm, Spontaneous Fermentation on the 16th of September at 5 pm, and the Taste Workshop Traditional Lambic on the 16th of September at 1:00 pm. To appreciate it to the full, the secret is to sit back, take a sip or two and let it speak for itself. 

4. Pizza Square

At an event dedicated to cheese, in Italy, pizzas couldn’t be missing. During the event, the Pizza Square in the courtyard of Scuole Maschili will be packed with the best pizzaiolis from north to the south of Italy. The square will be hosting many discussions, tastings, and workshops. Click here to see all the events that will take place in the Pizza Square.

5. Toscano Cigars

Sigaro Toscano Company is a classic at Slow Food’s events. From Friday to Sunday, Sigaro Toscano cigar company offers five sensory education workshops where cheeses are paired with distillates, cocktails, sparkling wines and, of course, different versions of historical Italian cigars. Click here to see the events.

6. Street Food

Street food stands and food trucks  will be set up near the Piazza Spreitenbach, together with the beer stands. Pass by to try delicacies such as Olive Ascolane, typical fried olives from the Marche region. The olive trees for this fried delicacy are grown in the whole province of Ascoli Piceno, in a small, limestone-soiled area not bigger than 100 hectares which cannot satisfy all of the market demand. The Tender Ascolane Olive are on board the Ark of Taste, as they have become a rarity in the last decades. Start with the olives, move on to food trucks and have a beer to quench your thirst!

7. Artisanal Gelatos

Cheese is not just about cheese. We even have a square dedicated to gelatos. Not “ice cream”, but gelatos. What is the difference? Pass by the square and find out. Gelato Square is a project by Alberto Marchetti in collaboration with Inalpi. It’s the place to be for good, clean and fair gelatos made with carefully selected ingredients. Inalpi works with 100% alpine pasture milk from Piedmont, and all its products are totally traceable. Click here to see what you can find at the square.

8. Screenings and Shows

 

Two movie theaters in Bra will open their doors to Cheese in collaboration with CinemAmbiente, Life, and Slow Food. During the days of the event, you’ll find a rich selection of projections related to cheesemaking, pastoralism, food waste, climate change, and good agricultural practices. Each screening will include a tasting. There will also be four concerts with free entry, from the 14th to the 17th of September at the two stages: Main Stage at Piazza Caduti per la Libertà, and the Farm Stage near the Region of Piedmont’s stand at Piazza Spreitenbach. The concerts are open to all! Click here to see the screenings and shows offered.

9. Activities by the University of Gastronomic Sciences

At Cheese, future gastronomes and professors of the University of Gastronomic Sciences offer a rich calendar of events held at the stand of the university in Piazza XX Settembre and in Pollenzo, where it will be possible to visit the campus. UniSG stand will be set up in Piazza XX Settembre where you’ll be able to attend conferences and educational activities by the professors of the university. At the stand, you can also book your personal shopper. Bottega Local, a locally-sourced food shop launched by the university will also be busy hosting conferences and meetings with producers. 

10. Cooking Workshops at the Pollenzo Cookery School

The Pollenzo Cookery School was launched in early 2014, along with two innovative Master programs in Italian cuisine. The Pollenzo Cookery School will host two cooking workshops with the  renowned chefs, Sergi de Meia and Salvatore Tassa. Sergi de Meia will guide a class focused on pairing cheeses with vegetables. The second cooking workshop, the Italian chef Salvatore Tassa will explain us the concept of eco-sustainability in the kitchen as an act of responsibility to society and the environment, through the preparation of two dishes: a spaghetti cacio e pepe with alpine pasture cheeses and cod filled with fondue of various consistencies. This lesson will focus on the creative union of pasta and cheese. Book your spot in the last few remaining places!

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