Slow Food

UK at Cheese 2009

Italy - 25 Jun 09

The United Kingdom is one of the stars of Cheese 2009, with many events dedicated to British cheesemaking during the event’s four days. During the Taste Workshops cheesemakers, affineurs (cheese agers) and buyers plus Slow Food experts will guide you through a tasting of a selection of cheeses. You will receive direct information about the products, compare them, sample them, discover the best pairings and refine your senses so that you can make conscious choices. Here are the ones starring UK: Saturday September 19, 7 pm at Liceo Scientifico Giolitti New Age Blues from the UK - LC017 Over 500 unique cheeses are made in the United Kingdom, including 60 blue cheeses. Together with Juliet Harbutt, author of The World of Cheese, you’ll taste seven exceptional examples that showcase the extraordinary complexity and diversity of which blue cheeses are capable. The cheeses will be complemented by three typical and hard-to-find Anglo-Saxon spirits - sloe gin (gin in which a type of plum is left to macerate), quince liqueur and a brandy from Somerset made from apple cider – and with the Italian passito Giardini Arimei by F.lli Muratori from Forio d’Ischia, in the Province of Naples. Saturday September 19, 7 pm at Scuole Maschili International Blues and Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Modena - LC018 Explore the unusual pairing of these two extraordinary natural products, both of which rely on the slow action of specific bacteria and the skill of artisans to reach their full potential. You’ll sample a selection of blue cheeses from Italy, France, the UK and Ireland, paired with traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena aged for at least 25 years, presented by Luca Gozzoli, “Gran Maestro” of the Spilamberto-based Guild of Modena Balsamic Vinegar. To drink, wines and special spirits imported by Fazi Battaglia. Sunday September 20, 1 pm at Liceo Scientifico Giolitti Five European Affineurs and Their Favorite Cheeses - LC020 Five of the best international affineurs at Cheese will introduce you to the cheese that best represents their work. Five exceptional examples will show you the heights that cheese can reach. Representatives from Neal’s Yard Dairy in the UK, Hervé Mons in France, Manuel Maia from Tradifoods in Portugal, Poncelet in Spain and Sheridans Cheesemongers in Ireland will talk about how they search out, select and age cheeses, and present their own cheese alongside its perfect pairing. The Presidium The UK will also be represented by Artisan Somerset Cheddar, a Slow Food Presidium that will have an exhibition space in Via Principi di Piemonte, the street dedicated to showcasing protection, promotion, consultation and support projects put into practice by the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity in Italy and abroad. Cheddar is one of the most famous cheeses in the world but also one of the cheeses most often produced industrially. Barely 5% of the 400 producers who made Cheddar in the cheese\'s home territory—the county of Somerset in southwest England—a half-century ago remain in business. The centralization of cheesemaking in the years following World War II had significant effects on traditional Cheddar production in Britain. But an artisan, handmade version still exists, made in the rich dairy pastures surrounding the town of Cheddar in Somerset, where a few farmers continue to produce the region\'s traditional cheese. A single form of Presidium Cheddar weighs 50 to 60 pounds, and is aged for at least 11 months, though it can be aged up to two years. 
Artisan Somerset Cheddar has a richly moldy brownish gray rind and an intensely hay-yellow curd. The texture is firm yet buttery, and the curd has flavors of caramelized milk, hazelnut, and bitter herbs.

 All three Presidium members make only ten to twenty cheeses a day and—from start to finish—each form takes three days to make. Presidium members only use milk produced on their farms and they use it, untreated, within a day of milking and solely local \'pint starters\' are used to culture the milk. The Presidium has been created with the goal of educating consumers about a different type of Cheddar made from fresh local raw milk and crafted by hand. This Presidium will also promote taste education, participate in local and international gourmet events (where the presence of an ‘artisan’ Cheddar often raises eyebrows), spread the understanding of traditional British farming techniques, and adopt sustainable cheesemaking and agricultural techniques. 

 Production area Somerset County 

 Presidium Coordinator Randolph Hodgson 
Tel. +44 20 7645 3550