Every two years at Cheese we have a guest country, whose presence is highlighted inside the Market and the Great Hall of Cheese and with special Taste Workshops and conferences.
This year we have chosen the United States, where a historic Presidium for American raw-milk cheeses supports those cheesemakers who over the past 25 years have developed an extraordinary variety of products able to exalt the fragrances and flavors of their home areas.
The cheeses included in this Presidium project have a few common denominators: They are made with raw milk from either the cheesemaker’s or a local farm, and created by individuals with a strong commitment to sustainable agriculture and artisanal production. In the United States, the sale of raw milk cheeses that are aged less than 60 days is illegal. Due to the lack of a regional identity and the difficulties in collaboration between different producers (they may be hundreds of miles apart), establishing production standards for American raw-milk cheese has been extremely challenging.
This is why, in the year of The State of Raw Milk, placing an emphasis on the American presence is more meaningful than ever. In the United States, as in many other countries in the world, defending raw milk has become a real political battle.
At Cheese 2017, American products, from Oregon, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin, will be available for sale in the affineurs’ area. To taste them, we recommend a visit to the Great Hall of Cheese, where many cow’s milk cheeses from American farms will be on display. Or come along to the Taste Workshop on Sunday September 17 at 7 pm. Raw-milk cheeses from Jasper Hill Farm, Meadow Creek Dairy, Rogue Creamery, Uplands Cheese and Marieke Gouda-Holland’s Family Cheese will be paired with craft beers from the legendary brewery Firestone Walker, one of the most highly esteemed in the country.
For an even more complete overview of the American picture don’t miss Raw in the USA, the conference on Saturday September 16 at 10.30 am. Here the founders of the raw-milk cheese movement will share their stories and their struggles and the obstacles and challenges they face every day, including state regulations and, more generally, the lack of public support for this type of production.