Yes, We Cheese! Taste Workshops on International Cheeses

If you’re interested in cheeses from around the world, the Giolitti High School (Via Fratelli Carando 43) is the place to be.

On September 15th at 1pm, we start with a bang. One of finest French affineurs, Hervè Mons, will guide you through Various Takes on Camembert. Mons will present this product in a workshop with the best camemberts of Normandy, which are produced with various methods (pasteurized, thermized, raw milk, fermier) in order to clarify the differences among various types of one of the world’s most famous cheeses.

At 7pm, it’s time for Slovakia: Cheese and Beer, Pastures and Flowers, a workshop dedicated to some lesser known cheeses on the Ark of Taste: Zázrivský Korbácik, a steamed cow’s milk cheese with an unusual braided whip-like shape; Bryndza, a sheep’s cheese produced since at least the 18th century; and Parenica, made with the raw milk of local sheep breeds.

Parenica, Ark of Taste, Slovakia

On Saturday 16th at 1pm we swing by Switzerland at Between Innovation and Tradition: Swiss Wood-Matured Cheeses, featuring the Valcherin Mont D’or among others. At 4pm, Bermondsey: A Neighborhood in State of Fermentation takes you to one of the most exciting districts of London’s food scene. Bermondsey has a high number of craftsmen, and Neal’s Yard Dairy, one of the most important British cheese affineurs, has its maturing cellars here. In this workshop you’ll taste various cheeses aged there, paired with artisanal beers from the same neighborhood.

At 7pm, the protagonists are the Balkans: Pastures and Cheese from East to West. Picture yourself in the mountains between clean pastures and breath-taking landscapes while you taste cheeses like Bucegi Mountains Branza de burduf from Romania (Slow Food Presidium) and Tcherni Vit green cheese (Slow Food Presidium), a sheep’s milk cheese from Bulgaria that is in danger of extinction .

Bucegi Mountains Branza de burduf, Slow Food Presidium, Romania. Branza de burduf is aged in fir tree bark, which gives a resinous flavor to the cheese and enhances its sensory qualities.

On Sunday 17th, at 1pm, in a different room at the Istituti Alberghiero Velso Mucci, the chef Sergi de Meià will be on the scene for Noguera and Western Catalonia: the Return of Raw Milk to talk about a region that, since the 1980s, has been at the heart of a raw milk revival in Spain.

The USA, as the guest country of Cheese this year, will have a workshop as well. Raw in the USA at 7pm is a workshop that covers the the spread of natural fermentation practices and the very best producers from the USA: Jasper Hill Farm from Vermont, Meadow Creek Dairy from Virginia, Rogue Creamery from Oregon and Uplands Cheese from Wisconsin. Thanks to Adrian Walker from Firestone Walker brewery, these cheeses will be accompanied by delicious artisanal beers.

American raw milk cheeses, Slow Food Presidium. Some Presidium cheese makers work with one cheese, while others make several different types. One result of this innovation is a growing consumer awareness and demand for American raw milk cheese in cities and rural areas.

There’s also a workshop exclusively available to Slow Food members, arranged and conducted by Hervè Mons, who’ll introduce us to Hard Magic: the Great Cheeses of Europe. You will get to know how the breed of the animal, its feeding conditions, altitude and land can result in differences in the final product, even with the same production processes. We’ll be examining Parmiggiano Reggiano (Italy), Gouda (Holland), Etivaz and Gruyere (Switzerland), Comtè and Beaufort (France).

Aged artisanal Gouda, Slow Food Presidium, Holland. Some 250 cheese makers in the Netherlands, most of them in the Gouda region, still produce raw milk farmstead cheese (called boerenkaas).


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