Educational activities – The Dairy Chain

How do you make cheese? What are the difference between the industrial versions and artisanal products? What do herders, cheesemakers and affineurs do? Why are some cheeses yellow and others white, red or blue?

“The Dairy Chain” is a space dedicated to playing and learning designed for visitors of all ages, where entertainers and Slow Food experts will guide you through the world of dairy!  

 THE DAIRY CHAIN – PIECES OF THE PUZZLE

It’s easy to forget all the elements that contribute to the character of a cheese when we’re eating it.

Come to The Dairy Chain to put the pieces of the jigsaw together:

  • Grass. The green blanket of the world is the first thing we need to consider, as all dairy animals eat it. But not all grass is the same! It changes according to latitude, altitude, climate and soil. Then there’s hay, and all the other plants animals eat.
  • Animals. We’re used to thinking of cows as all being black-and-white, like the Holstein, and that goats are white, like the Saanen. But the reality is much more beautiful! There are red, white, brown and grey cows, and goats come in lots of colors too. Some breeds are adapted to Alpine pastures, others to lands where nutrition is hard to come by. Every breed has been adapted over time to suit a specific place.
  • Milks. Different grasses and different breeds give us different milks, in terms of aroma, flavor and color. The milk of a grazing cow in summer is rich in carotene, which gives it a rich yellow color! That’s why so many cheeses are yellow, too.
  • Jobs. First there are the herders who take care of grazing animals, then the cheesemakers, the affineurs and even gelato makers. If they work well, they treat milk with care to preserve all its natural characteristics and protect it from contamination. At Cheese 2019 you’ll discover how many different choices one can make when producing cheese – Raw milk or pasteurized? With or without starter cultures? Which breed of animal? – and the main challenges facing all the people involved in the process.
  • Cheese. How many colors of cheese are there? Let’s look at the rinds: from milky white to ivory, grey, straw yellow, golden yellow, all the way through to red and black. Then there are greys, greens and blues of the mold. A world of variety!

Exploring The Dairy Chain, you’ll understand how many things we talk about when we discuss cheese: systems of production, animal welfare, living products which mature over time, raw milk and natural yeasts which connect a cheese to the time, place and season it was made.