Talk to producers, find out more about your favorite cheeses—maybe even discover some new favorites: all this and more at the Taste Workshops in the Cheese 2017 program. We have 40 events around Bra and Pollenzo, for anyone who wants to try new foods and drinks, learn more about their characteristics and hear their stories from the people who make them.
At Bra’s Velso Mucci School, the spotlight will be turned on Italian cheeses and Slow Food Presidia dairy products, taking participants on a journey around the country’s pastures and mountain dairies to discover rare breeds, unique milks and ancient skills.
There will be many opportunities to learn, from a comparison between the main types of washed-rind cheeses, or those made with stretched curds—round, square, pear- or balloon-shaped—to in-depth explorations of very different places, like mountains and islands, and their cheeses.
A special workshop will be dedicated to cheeses from earthquake-stricken areas: pecorino from the Sibillini Mountains, Amatrice and Norcia and Valnerina ricotta salata. Proceeds from the event will be donated to a support project for producers and local communities.
Four workshops will also have a focus on beer, showing that it is not just wine that makes the perfect pairing for cheese.
Cheeses of the world—all raw milk, of course, and some Slow Food Presidia—will also be showcased at the G.Giolitti-G.B. Gandino Scientific High School in Bra. This will be a unique and unmissable opportunity to get to know “raw in the USA,” the American raw-milk cheeses that are the star of this year’s Cheese, but also many quality cheeses from around Europe, such as the hard cow’s milk cheeses selected by Hervé Mons, France’s greatest affineur, or those aged by Neal’s Yard Dairy in their maturing rooms in the London neighborhood of Bermondsey.
The Taste Workshops will also be exploring natural wines, wild-yeast-fermented Lambic beer, cured meats free from nitrites and nitrates and sourdough bread. Fermentation and natural foods will be two of the themes at the center of Cheese 2017, with nine dedicated workshops, all held in the Scuole Maschili courtyard, giving participants a chance to return to the origins of taste.
One of the more unusual Taste Workshops will investigate the unusual pairing between natural mountain cheeses and rhums agricoles from Haiti and Martinique, while another will delve into the fascinating world of edible molds.
Over in the Wine Bank in Pollenzo eight workshops will focus on Italian wine culture and the labels promoted by Slow Food’s Wine Project. Of course pairings with cheese won’t be ignored: Barolo with mountain Castelmagno (a Slow Food Presidium), for example, or Brunello with Modena white cow’s milk Parmigiano Reggiano (another Presidium).
As in the past, Cheese this year will also include Taste Workshops with Sigaro Toscano, with five events featuring cheese plus spirits, beers, cocktails or sparkling wine and, of course, different versions of the historic Italian cigar.