Cheeses 2023: ten things not to miss

17 July 2023

Sensory journeys, conferences, Dinner Dates, and Aperitifs on the Grass. From classic formats to innovative experiences at Cheese, from September 15 to 18, 2023.

Cheese is the world’s largest event dedicated to artisanal dairy craft, bringing together cheesemakers, herders, affineurs, and eaters. The theme of Cheese 2023 is The Taste of the Meadows.

  1. Explore original pairings at the Taste Workshops

Balsamic vinegars and aged cheeses from the shores of Lake Iseo, wines from Roero and stretched curd cheeses from Alto Molise, Franciacorta with goat and sheep cheeses from Slow Food Presidia. Not to mention some emblematic European examples, such as Swiss alpine Sbrinz, a Slow Food Presidium, and raw milk Afuega’l Pitu from the Ark of Taste in Spain. There are also honeys, extra virgin olive oils from ancient olive grove Presidia, and natural cured meats that reflect all the essences of meadows and forests. The Taste Workshops of Cheese 2023 allow us to explore a universe of pastures and meadows, animal resources, and artisanal savoir-faire. They also provide an opportunity to experiment with unusual pairings, like those featuring grappa.

2. Dinner Dates and cooking lessons

At Cheese 2023, Slow Food chefs take on the role of educators and communicators, bridging the gap between herders and eaters. In addition to many Taste Workshops, you’ll find them at Dinner Dates hosted in the Garden restaurant at Albergo dell’Agenzia in Pollenzo.

3. Discover traditions from around the world

From breakfast to aperitif, tasting and pairing experiences to the presentation of new research projects: At the University of Gastronomic Sciences’ stand in Bra, as well as the campus in Pollenzo, there is a showcase of inventiveness. At Casa Battaglino they blend different cultures and experiences to create unique combinations: from a workshop that combines medicinal herbs and spirits led by Nicola Robecchi, founder of Wilden Herbals, to a bread-making lab with the staff of Tone Bread Lab Milano, teaching the recipe for Acharuli Khachapuri, a typical Georgian bread, and a wild dinner with the crew from Cascina Lago Scuro.

4. Check out the Market

Walking through Cheese means engaging in conversations with those who create and care for cheeses every day. Every day, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., in the squares and courtyards of Bra, the Market showcases the finest products from cheesemakers, herders and affineurs from around the world. You can take a tour of Italy, and find a wide selection of international cheeses, including France, Spain, the Netherlands, and the United States. Beyond cheeses there are other dairy products, like gelato, as well as other products from the meadows: honeys, natural cured meats and preserves.

5. Take a stroll through the Market

What scents do herbaceous and floral essences emanate? What is the difference between fertile soil and soil impoverished by monocultures? But above all, what sensory characteristics do cheeses that respect the environment, animals, and our health possess? Discover a sensory journey across five stages that will challenge your sense of smell, hearing, sight, touch, and taste. It’s an opportunity to uncover the goodness, beauty, and vitality of alpine meadows and pastures. It’s also a chance to deeply understand their role in terms of ecosystem services, their importance for pollinators, birds, and overall biodiversity, as well as their cultural and anthropological significance.

6. Explore the highlands in the Conferences

In the Conferences, we venture into highlands and explore issues and opportunities from multiple perspectives. Mountains, the climate crisis, and transhumance: we learn about the many challenges that herders and producers face, in Italy and abroad. We discover how consumers can support sustainable herding and livestock farming, and we look to the future alongside young individuals who are building their own paths in the mountain ecosystem.

7. Visit the Great Hall of Cheese and the Enoteca

Under the arches of Via Garibaldi, the Enoteca of Cheese offers 400 carefully selected labels from the Wine Bank, including a rich representation of Piedmontese wines reviewed in the Slow Wine Guide 2023 and from producers who are part of the Slow Wine Coalition. Don’t miss the selection of Triple A wines and labels from the Franciacorta Protection Consortium, perfect for pairing with the Italian and international cheeses offered in the Great Hall. Here, every day, a choice of four different cheese plateaux are presented, designed as captivating journeys through breeds, pastures, and meadows.

8. Aperitif on the Grass

An aperitif, but also a narrative that allows you to discover all the beauty and goodness of products from meadows and pastures: from cheeses to gelato, from natural cured meats (made from animals raised in semi-wild conditions) to honey and herbal liqueurs. The Aperitif on the Grass is an opportunity to explore the diverse characteristics of products originating from pastures and meadows and to understand their implications for our health. There’s nothing better than experiencing them with the producers themselves!

9. Taste some regional specialties!

Whether it’s lunch, dinner, or a snack, at Cheese, there are multiple possibilities to find the right place to eat and drink something delicious. For example, from Milan, La Polpetteria, a traveling project dedicated to one of the most versatile and common dishes in world cuisine; FaMù, offering products based on yogurt and cheeses, a project born in Cervasca; and the Migliori family, a Marche-based business that has always participated with a wide range of stuffed olives. You can also pair these dishes with offerings from craft breweries such as Canediguerra from Alessandria, interpreting international beer styles; Beerfirm Terra di Lavoro, an agricultural brewery that enhances local products in Roccaforte; and Birra Impavida, a project that has transformed a former industrial space in Arco di Trento into a destination for all beer enthusiasts.

10. Cheese on the screen

At Cheese 2023, we don’t just talk about meadows and pastures through in-depth discussions and tastings; we show them to you through images and the voices of their guardians in the Cheese on the Screen documentaries. These three evening events hosted at the Biodiversity House start with cheese but delve into fragile ecosystems and the balance between animal and plant species and human work. We explore the role of hedges that characterize the French landscape and learn the story of Will Schmid, a master cheesemaker who had the courage to heed the call of nature and become a true Master of Cheese.

Cheese 2023 is organized by Slow Food and the City of Bra with the support of the Piedmont region and various partners who believe in the project, including Main Partners: BBBell, BPER Banca, Confartigianato Cuneo, E-viso, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pastificio Di Martino, Quality Beer Academy, Reale Mutua. In-Kind Partners: Liebherr, Bormioli Luigi & Bormioli Rocco, Acqua San Bernardo. Green Partners: Pool Pack and Ricrea. Area Partner: Baratti&Milano e Pepino.The event is made possible with the contribution of Fondazione CRC & Fondazione CRT, ATL Langhe Monferrato Roero, the Cuneo Chamber of Commerce & Ascom Bra. Our cultural partner is the Central Institute for Immaterial Heritage.
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