The presentation of the third edition of Cheese, the most important national quality cheese exhibition, was held on May 17 in the medieval Palazzo Traversa of Bra (Cuneo).
The program for the four-day exhibition, which will take place in the old town center from September21-24, was illustrated by Roberto Burdese of Slow Food, with special attention to European DOP and IGP cheeses. There will also be areas dedicated to regional cheeses from Italy (Abruzzo, Lombardy and Sicily) and France (Midi-Pyrénées, Rhône-Alpes and Auvergne) as an expression of their food traditions and culture.
The Mayor of Bra, Francesco Guida, spoke about what the exhibition means for the town: ‘The 2001 edition will be more mature, providing openings for the whole area while playing a fundamental role for the image and tourism of the town itself. In the last few years Cheese has contributed towards the discovery of this vocation for quality tourism, a sector that has the potential to create wealth and employment. Cheese was born from a strategic alliance with Slow Food and is a great opportunity to enhance the local economy’.
Claudio Alberto, chairman of the Alba Bra Langhe Roero Tourist Board, agreed with the mayor on the exhibition’s potential: ‘Thanks to Cheese, Bra has become an important element in the promotion of tourism in this area. Exhibitions of this kind are an opportunity for our area to benefit from the kind of tourism that combines quality products and great wines. From this point of view, an ambitious project like the Agenzia di Pollenzo could become a showpiece for the area on a worldwide level’.
Cesare Baldrighi, chairman of AFIDOC, expressed the expectations of the cheese sector: ‘We are glad to take part in Cheese because our association has much in common with Slow Food. AFIDOC brings together the consortia for typical Italian cheeses, coordinating the activities and principally promoting small and medium producers of quality cheeses. For this reason Cheese provides us with an opportunity to present the cheeses of our consortia’.
The Chairman of Slow Food, Carlo Petrini, concluded the meeting: ‘The Cheese 2001 exhibition aims to be more than simply a festival: the content is also fundamental and takes shape from the new political and cultural strategies of the farm food sector. Cheese represents the cultural identity of the age-old European dairy and cheese heritage which must be made known and preserved. This is what the exhibition undertakes to do. For this reason our book, European Cheeses, will be translated into the languages of all EU member nations and sent to all Euro MPS to create an effective lobby and solidarity between the EU nations. Then in September we will present EU representatives with the signatures for the campaign to protect raw milk cheese and a huge editorial project necessary to circulate these issues as widely as possible. The President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, has also been invited to attend’.
The complete Cheese 2001 program will be available in the next few days at www.slowfood.com