From 18 – 21 September, our biennial event Cheese returns to the town of Bra in northern Italy, home of the Slow Food movement. With just two weeks to go, we decided to take a look at what’s in store this year.
During the event, the entire town surrenders to cheese and dairy products, with the streets and piazzas packed full of food, drink, markets, workshops, conferences and people from around the world! No cobble has been left unturned in preparation for this year’s event; there really is something for everyone…
1) A selection of cheese like no other
With over 15 countries represented at the event, you’ll be able to try cheeses from all over the globe: Italian Mozzarella, British Stilton, Swiss Emmentaler… Cheesemakers, herders, dairy farmers and affineurs are brought together in the Italian and international markets, not only through their love of cheese, but also their commitment to sustainability, quality and respect for the whole supply chain.
2) The best pizza outside of Naples
At the Pizza Piazza not only will you be able to try some of the world’s best pizza, but if you’re into cooking, you can also learn how to prepare dough and pick up some tips from expert Italian pizza makers.
3) There’s beer, and lots of it
Whether you fancy a blonde, a Belgian or an IPA, the 30 or so breweries gracing the Beer Piazza are sure to have something to quench your thirst.
4) You’ll be spoilt for choice if it’s Street Food you’re after…
Whether you fancy a burger made with the finest Piedmontese beef, Panzerotti (stuffed dough parcels) from Puglia or the most succulent stuffed olives, the Street Food area has enough on offer to satisfy your tastes across the entire weekend. Also, new to this year’s event, Antica Focacceria San Francesco will be serving up Sicilian specialties, including Arancini: deep-fried risotto balls.
5) If wine is your tipple…
You’ll be able to choose from over 700 types in the Enoteca, with expert sommeliers on hand to help you choose and tell you more about how and where the different wines were produced.
6) Taste while you learn…
Taste Workshops provide an opportunity to be guided through tastings in the expert hands of producers and connoisseurs. Discover how to pair whiskey, beer and wine with cheese; as well as learning more about how milk, seasonality and different animal breeds all make a difference to the final cheese aroma and taste. Raw-milk cheeses, tipsy cheeses, butters and fondues represent a mere slither of the biodiversity of products that these informative events expose you to.
7) Find out about the real issues behind Cheese
The Milk Workshops (conferences) will delve into topics such as animal welfare, the consumption of meat, milk and dairy, and the importance of mountain pastures – an area of focus at this year’s edition – while the Biodiversity House will address a variety of issues in the company of tastings and mountain specialties prepared by cooks from the Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance.
8) Have top chefs cook just for you
Dinner Dates provide the opportunity to dine in style, with this year’s meals featuring numerous Slow Food Presidia, renowned restaurants from Italy, Spain and the UK, and a variety of wines and beers to accompany the specially prepared pleasures.
9) This year’s focus is on Spanish Cheeses…
…and that means you’ll be able find out about lesser-known regions, such as Asturias, and their cheesemaking traditions, and in the Great Hall of Cheeses you’ll be treated to over 20 cheeses from this year’s host nation. What’s more there will be particular attention on the Spanish dairy industry at the conferences, while top Spanish chefs will also be in the spotlight.
10) A chance to visit the home of Slow Food!
Not only will you benefit from the abundant activities, events, tastings, products and characters on offer at Cheese, you’ll also be able to discover the place where Slow Food all began. Bra also happens to be in the heart of one of Italy’s most prominent wine regions and home to it’s famous raw sausage, salssicia di Bra: a must try!