Taste Workshops: Italian and international cheese

At Cheese – in the Istituto Alberghiero Velso Mucci (Via Craveri 8) and the G. Giolitti-G.B. Gandino High School (Via Fratelli Carando 43) – we explore the Italian and international cheese and dairy scene, as well as desserts made with milk, in 18 Taste Workshops.

INTERNATIONAL 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. 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.

ITALIAN CHEESES

There are three regional Workshops on offer: first, Sardinia, In homage to a land that has suffered a lot, where sheep milk is a symbol of the gastronomic culture, a culture we can’t afford to lose for mere commercial reasons; the Varaita Valley, with the powerful stories of people returning to the mountains, people like Juri Chiotti, opening new frontiers for sustainable development; and the Lazio countryside is recounted through the experiences of vertically-integrated cheesemakers who do everything themselves, from tending to the grass and the animals to making the rennet and turning raw milk into cheese.

Three more appointments are dedicated to specific narrative strands, starting with the forms of whey and the varieties of ricotta: fresh, salted, baked, hay-aged. In My name is Cheese we explore the world of cheeses without a name, but no less rich in taste: the “formaggio”, “formaggino” o “formaggella” produced with the raw milk of cows reared on grass and hay. And in Milk in the Veins we’ll taste the dairy delicacies made by four young producers who are keeping their ancient family traditions alive, with all the sacrifices and passion that it requires.

SWEET MILK

For the first time, at Cheese we’ll have Taste Workshops to dairy-based desserts. Sheep’s Milk Ricotta is the protagonist in an appointment dedicated to two classic Sicilian desserts – cannoli and cassata. In Buffalo and chocolate we offer an unusual and delicious pairing of seven types of chocolate with as many products made from buffalo milk; while in Recovered Gelato we learn how waste products like cheese rinds and what’s left on a bartender’s shelf can be transformed into creamy, delicious, irresistible gelato.

20 September

  • 16:00 - 17:15
  • Bra-IPC Velso Mucci 
  • Aula Laboratori | Workshop Rooms

A new “culture of recycling” is gaining ground across the world as people pay more attention to good practice in the kitchen. In reality it’s an ancient art that’s been rediscovered and updated for our modern food habits. “Recovered” gelato is an ice cream which recovers a flavor of memory…

  • 16:00 - 17:15
  • Bra-Liceo Scientifico Giolitti – Gandino 
  • Aula Laboratori | Workshop Rooms

Our journey through French cheese biodiversity as protected by fermiers starts in Normandy, where a small group of producers makes Raw Milk Farmhouse Camembert and resists the dairy multinationals. We then move on to Brittany and the Gwell cheese made with the milk of the Breton Pie Noir Cow and…

  • 19:00 - 20:15
  • Bra-Liceo Scientifico Giolitti – Gandino 
  • Aula Laboratori | Workshop Rooms

The United Kingdom has an important dairy tradition which features some of the biggest names in world cheese. Unfortunately, many of these are slowly disappearing, and there remain few producers who make them according to their original recipe, i.e. using raw milk. In a tasting presented by Neal’s Yard Dairy…

21 September

  • 13:00 - 14:15
  • Bra-IPC Velso Mucci 
  • Aula Laboratori | Workshop Rooms

While Italian cheeses often have names that can be immediately connected with their identity, they are just as many Italian cheeses with simple names like “formaggio”, “cacio”, “formaggella” or “formaggino”, which all mean, more or less, “cheese”. This doesn’t mean they lack character, of course, or that they don’t have…

  • 13:00 - 14:15
  • Bra-Liceo Scientifico Giolitti – Gandino 
  • Aula Laboratori | Workshop Rooms

You can’t talk about Dutch cheese without mentioning the polders. It is here, in boundless meadows crisscrossed by a network of canals that run through fields rich in white clover and ryegrass, that cattle breeding has historically established itself as the most important and sometimes only agricultural activity. Today, in…

  • 16:00 - 17:15
  • Bra-IPC Velso Mucci 
  • Aula Laboratori | Workshop Rooms

Chocolate goes well with everything! You can match it with red meat, fish, spices, fresh fruit or dry, and obviously with cheese. Silvia Federica Boldetti, Pastry Queen 2016, has dedicated her life to her two great passions, pastry and writing, will guide us on a novel food pairing, where we…

  • 16:00 - 17:15
  • Bra-Liceo Scientifico Giolitti – Gandino 
  • Aula Laboratori | Workshop Rooms

To date there are over 450 cheeses and dairy products on board the Ark of Taste, coming from every continent, and 102 Presidia dedicated to the world of milk and cheesemaking. In this workshop we offer a small panorama of Ark of Taste cheeses and European Presidia cheeses. We’ll taste:…

  • 19:00 - 20:15
  • Bra-Liceo Scientifico Giolitti – Gandino 
  • Aula Laboratori | Workshop Rooms

In some countries raw milk is more tightly controlled than guns. It seems absurd, but’s that the way it is. In some countries, like the USA, Australia and Ireland, the legality of making cheese with raw milk is the result of long and ultimately successful campaigns, while in other countries…

  • 13:00 - 14:15
  • Bra-IPC Velso Mucci 
  • Aula Laboratori | Workshop Rooms

In homage to a land that has suffered a lot, where sheep’s milk is a symbol of the gastronomic culture, with centuries of history that has shaped the very spirit of the island and its people, a culture we can’t afford to lose for mere commercial reasons. A journey through…

  • 13:00 - 14:15
  • Bra-Liceo Scientifico Giolitti – Gandino 
  • Aula Laboratori | Workshop Rooms

Alimentos del Camino de Santiago was the first Slow Food community in Spain, founded with the objective of promoting and protecting the traditional foods along the Way of St. James. Here we’ll taste some of its most characteristic cheeses, but also other foods and drinks which together tell a story…

  • 16:00 - 17:15
  • Bra-IPC Velso Mucci 
  • Aula Laboratori | Workshop Rooms

Among the most characteristic ingredients of Sicilian pastry, as well as almond, is ricotta. Made with sheep’s milk, we explore a panorama of Sicilian pastry in this workshop. We’ll taste: Ricotta cannoli, the typical sweet of Carnival Cassata, which traces its roots to Arab recipes reworked by the pastry chefs…

  • 16:00 - 17:15
  • Bra-Liceo Scientifico Giolitti – Gandino 
  • Aula Laboratori | Workshop Rooms

In the last four years gin has staged a remarkable comeback, leading to incredible growth in the sector and numerous local varieties. Bobby Grégoire, member of the Slow Food Chef’s Alliance and Canadian food culture specialist, presents an innovative pairing of five gins from Quebec and as many Canadian raw…

  • 19:00 - 20:15
  • Bra-IPC Velso Mucci 
  • Aula Laboratori | Workshop Rooms

Mountain valleys are often associated with the idea of abandoned or depopulated places, young people who go elsewhere to search for work. Bucking that trend, we can talk of a “return” to the mountains and valleys, and the protagonists of this phenomenon are young people too. One of them is…

  • 19:00 - 20:15
  • Bra-Liceo Scientifico Giolitti – Gandino 
  • Aula Laboratori | Workshop Rooms

The Lazio countryside is testament to ancient pastoral traditions and a connection with the land that is expressed through unique products. Among these, the Roman Countryside Caciofiore—made with vegetable rennet obtained from the flowers of green or globe artichokes (Cynara cardunculus o Cynara scolimus)—the Conciato di San Vittore Cheese, characterized…

  • 13:00 - 14:15
  • Bra-Liceo Scientifico Giolitti – Gandino 
  • Aula Laboratori | Workshop Rooms

Cheese is a system that puts environmental factors together with animal welfare, milk quality and human skill in order to transform these elements into a quality product. If our objective is to conserve the flavors, consistencies, aromas, peculiarities and—most importantly of all—the pleasure food, we need living cheeses which express…

  • 13:00 - 14:15
  • Bra-IPC Velso Mucci 
  • Aula Laboratori | Workshop Rooms

A workshop dedicated to the virgin soils of the Tatra National Park and the Podpol’anie region, respectively in northern and central Slovakia. Here the hills and mountains provide the ideal environment for the production of specialties such as Zazrivsky Korbacik, a steamed cow’s milk cheese with an unusual braided whip-like shape;…