#Cheese19: Natural is Possible

We’re finally ready! The program for #Cheese19 is online, and there’s a little over 80 days until the event starts in Bra, from September 20-23.

Now, as it’s not possible to give you an exhaustive itinerary in this article, we’ll limit ourselves to two important pillars of the event: the international protagonists of the Taste Workshops, and the three big conferences dedicated to the theme of Cheese 2019: Natural is Possible.

Ph. Paolo Properzi

TASTE WORKSHOPS: AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 CHEESES

Two great affineurs, Hervé Mons of France and Neals’ Yard Dairy of the UK, will guide us through the traditional cheese panoramas of their respective countries, showing us how great cheese combines a healthy environment, animal welfare, quality milk and human skill, which transforms these diverse elements into a single, delicious product. We stay in la République for the Tour de France: historic cheeses conserved by farmers: Raw Milk Camembert, Gwell, made from the milk of the increasingly rare Manex Tête Noire and Manex Tête Rouge sheep, the Auvergne Salers Breed Cheeses and finally the Rove Brousse Goat Cheese, all small-scale productions which proudly resist the expansion of dairy multinationals.

Moving south into Spain, from Asturias, Castile and León, and Galicia we trace the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage through the cheeses, foods and drinks of the first Slow Food community founded in Spain. In the Netherlands, most milk is mostly produced in large quantities, and only a small percentage of dairy production comes from small-scale farms. It is on these products, protected by Slow Food Presidia, that we focus our attention.

FURTHER AFIELD

From Slovakia the virgin soils of the Tatra National Park and the Podpol’anie region, respectively in northern and central Slovakia, offer the ideal environment for cheese production—many are already on the Ark of Taste—as well as being home to numerous desserts, drinks and honeys which express a largely uncontaminated environment. In Ireland and Australia a continuous battle is underway in defense of raw milk cheese, as well as in many other countries where rebellious cheesemakers make a culinary and political stand in choosing to make raw milk cheese where the law prohibits it.

From Québec, we propose an adventurous journey between raw milk cheese and gin, as selected by a chef of the Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance. We’ll also take a wider tour of Europe, highlighting unique products that have boarded the Ark of Taste, or whose producers are united in Slow Food Presidia. For example, Traditional Feta from Greece, made in barrels, comes to Cheese for the first time.

It doesn’t finish there: check out all the Taste Workshops dedicated to Italian and international cheeses, as well as the Taste Workshops dedicated to wine and cheese pairings and the four unmissable Dinner Dates.

NATURAL IS POSSIBLE, FROM CHEESE TO BREAD TO CHARCUTERIE

Cheese is much more: it’s new places to discover, producers to meet, opportunities to learn… many of which are free. Treat yourself to a walk around Bra, and attend our three big conferences dedicated to the theme of #Cheese19: Natural is Possible.

We start with natural cheeses, rare delights in a world which has largely surrendered to pasteurization, and even more often, to the use selected starter cultures produced by a handful of multinationals. This broken link is part of a chain of relationships between communities and consumers, which, if properly protected, is capable of producing unique cheeses, which tell the stories of different breeds, and the grasses and flowers of each individual pasture through their flavors and aromas.

We follow this up with the world of grains, yeasts and natural bread, to show how the flavors and aromas of sourdough breads made with high-quality flour are light-years away from those lethal loaves made with enormous amounts of brewer’s yeast and white flour, along with additives, preservatives and “improvers”.

Finally, we explore the world of natural charcuterie ,whose production involves a “return” to natural preservatives—salt, pepper, chili, spices and smoke—which the art of butchery has always used, as well as farming practices which are respectful of animal welfare, being attentive to their diet and growth times.

#CHEESE19 on Social Media

As ever, access to Cheese 2019 is free. See you there, from September 20-23 in Bra, Italy!

Photo: Martina Camporelli

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