Conferences

Natural is possible is the theme of the conferences at Cheese 2019, where we’ll consider three foods in this light: cheeses, breads, and cured meats.

We’ll analyze both industrial production and artisanal, tracing each step of the process, and discover the implications they have for their taste, our health, society and the environment.

We start 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”.

We follow this up 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.

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.

Each conference deals with the real experiences of heroic bakers, cheesemakers and butchers, people who’ve refused to accept the cold logic of the market, and asks us a few simple questions: whose side are we on? How easy is it to adopt good practices of conscious consumption, choosing good, clean and fair food?

Watch this space! As we get closer to Cheese we’ll give you further sneak previews to pique your curiosity and bring you closer to products that are distinguished not just for their unique sensory qualities, but also for their benefits for our health, for the environment, and which offer fairer remuneration for the producers.

  • 11:00 - 12:30
  • Bra-Scuole Maschili Courtyard 
  • Casa della Biodiversità | Biodiversity House

Does the European system of geographic indications (PDOs and PGIs) help cheese and charcuterie production or limit it? Does it support artisan producers or obstruct them? Production protocols are fundamental for establishing rules and regulations but, depending on how they’re designed, they may lead to extremely diverse results: either supporting…

  • 15:00 - 16:30
  • Bra-Scuole Maschili Courtyard 
  • Casa della Biodiversità | Biodiversity House

Milk from cows that grazed freely on pastures and meadows rich in biodiversity have a complex sensory and biochemical profile which is indispensable for the production of high-quality raw milk cheese. And that’s not all… milk for drinking which comes from grass-fed animals is of higher nutritional value than the…

  • 19:00 - 20:30
  • Bra-Scuole Maschili Courtyard 
  • Casa della Biodiversità | Biodiversity House

With 70 Presidia dedicated to cheese, Italy is the country with the greatest number of such projects. It’s also the country where Slow Food has started a dairy revolution which gives raw milk the value it deserves and reaffirms the importance of biodiversity in cheesemaking. It’s a value to be…

  • 11:00 - 13:00
  • Bra-Principi di Piemonte 
  • Auditorium CRB

To take things to an extreme, natural cheese and industrial cheese are the two antipodes of the dairy world. While the first category—a tiny percentage of cheeses found on the market today—convey a profound relationship with their place of origin, and infinite layers of aroma and flavor, the second—accounting for…

Free event
  • 11:00 - 12:30
  • Bra-Scuole Maschili Courtyard 
  • Casa della Biodiversità | Biodiversity House

Over 75% of the cultivated food which ends up on our tables is dependent on pollination. Although their importance for the protection of biodiversity and the possibility food production is recognized, our pollinators and their diversity are gravely threatened by intensive agriculture, pesticides and monocultures. How is the process of…

21 September

  • 15:00 - 16:30
  • Bra-Scuole Maschili Courtyard 
  • Casa della Biodiversità | Biodiversity House

Slow Food Presidia in France are natural! From the Presidium for Natural Fermier Camembert, which unites fermier producers of France’s most famous cheese in a natural cheesemaking alliance, to Gwell cheese from the Breton Pie Noire cow, which promotes an ancient local breed whose raw milk is fermented with natural…

  • 19:00 - 20:30
  • Bra-Scuole Maschili Courtyard 
  • Casa della Biodiversità | Biodiversity House

Cheeses aged in sheepskin sacks probably represent the oldest category of cheeses in the world, and they’re still produced across a vast region from the mountains of Elburz in Iran to the rugged hills of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and particularly in Anatolia. The “cheese in a sack” tradition is increasingly at risk,…

22 September

  • 11:00 - 12:30
  • Bra-Scuole Maschili Courtyard 
  • Casa della Biodiversità | Biodiversity House

Sardinia’s herders have been living through a crisis in recent years. In this relatively small land there are three million sheep, whose high-quality milk reflects the rich biodiversity of the island’s pastures, but this milk is predominantly sold to cooperative dairies which use it to make Pecorino Romano and Pecorino…

  • 15:00 - 16:30
  • Bra-Scuole Maschili Courtyard 
  • Casa della Biodiversità | Biodiversity House

Under pressure both to conserve tradition and to modernize, our custodians of dairy biodiversity are at risk of extinction. Here we take a journey through Europe to meet the first Slovakian Presidium, Bryndza 1787, a traditional pastoral production which represents part of the gastronomic heritage of central Europe, as similar…

  • 16:00 - 18:00
  • Bra-Principi di Piemonte 
  • Auditorium CRB

To talk of the origins of a cured meat, we must start with the animal breed and the practices used to raise it. There are cured meats made with the meat of native breeds, raised in wild or semi-wild conditions, free to follow their natural instincts, fed well, supplementing what…

Free event
  • 11:00 - 12:30
  • Bra-Scuole Maschili Courtyard 
  • Casa della Biodiversità | Biodiversity House

We start with one of the extremes of the globe: the first raw milk cheesemaker in Australia. The next stops on our voyage around the world are in the Americas, where in recent years the true quality and value of raw milk has finally been put under the spotlight. From…