Cheese Wrapped Up

25 Sep 2013

Slow Food’s international event, Cheese was held from 20 – 23 September 2013, with four days of markets, taste workshops, conferences, dinners and festivities – all with this great food at center-stage. The biennial event brings Slow Food’s network of artisan dairy producers, cheesemongers, herders and experts to the streets of Bra – a historic cheese aging center for northwestern Italy and home to the association’s headquarters.


An estimated 250,000 visitors came to this edition of Cheese, animating the city from early morning till late at night. While curious shoppers sampled diverse dairy products on display by exhibitors and Presidia, and visitors sunk their teeth into hot street food, the various halls, rooms and tents across town were packed out for Master of Food courses, education activities for families, Taste Workshops, numerous conferences and a line-up of events at the Literary Café and Biodiversity House.


“Save a Cheese”, was the theme of the event, with visitors asked to bring along a cheese they would like to save and add it to the list of nominations for the Ark of Taste, Slow Food’s catalogue of endangered products. Visitors surprised us, bringing a total of 250 cheeses, filling the display cases in the Ark of Taste space with diversity, stories and color.


“Every cheese is an expression of a profession, an economy, production from the pasture to the maturation. We have seen it and we have touched it with our own hands over the last few days,” said Roberto Burdese, president of Slow Food Italy.


The challenges facing modern small-scale producers of quality food were never far off the agenda. “There are many cheesemakers, shepherds and retailers who are fighting for healthy food and to revive small-scale cheesemaking,” said Burdese. “But we need to keep talking about these themes beyond festivals, scandals and television. We need to begin to reinvest and favor professions in agriculture, cheese aging and shepherding, not impede them. Let’s collaborate to change things and give back these professions the dignity they deserve.”


So as the final visitors leave town, marquees are taken down and the curtain falls on Bra, still lit by a warm autumn sun, make sure to put September 2015 in your agendas.


Read more about some of the highlights of Cheese 2013 in our coverage, and view mini-galleries on the below links: 



Three, Two, One… Cheese! Now in its ninth year, Slow Food’s biennial international event – Cheese – kicks off, with producers, visitors and rare and unusual cheeses from around the world taking over the streets of the small Italian town of Bra…


And the Slow Cheese Awards Go To… For the second time in a row, Cheese is inaugurated with the Slow Cheese awards, which recognize the tremendous efforts of individuals to maintain cheesemaking traditions in times of mass-production. See the gallery of portraits of the proud prize-winners.


A Cheddar By Any Other Name… Is an artisanal product with the same name as the world’s best-known cheese a blessing or a curse? The first Milk Workshop of Cheese 2013 focused on this year’s guest of honor – the cheeses of the British Isles – and what’s really in a name…


Dairy in Africa: Keeping Cultures Alive Africa might not be the first continent that comes to mind when we talk about cheese, but there are a number of rich dairy traditions around the continent. A workshop at Cheese discusses how to protect these traditions…


Ethiopian Coffee – A Ritual All coffee in the world originates from Ethiopia, but in its birthplace it’s consumed very differently compared to the rest of the world, in a ritual that can last hours. Everyday at Cheese visitors can get front row seats to witness this ancient tradition…


The Positive Impact of Presidia Can Slow Food’s Presidia projects, which protect and promote specific food products and the communities behind them, offer a solution to increasingly challenging mountain environments? The results from a recent study are discussed at Cheese…


Buying Mozzarella: Tips and Tricks What to do, what not to do and how to know you’re getting the real thing…


An ABC of Balkan Cheeses The rich variety of cheesemaking traditions and hidden treasures of this diverse region are discussed and discovered at Cheese…


See photo highlights from Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4.

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