Raw in the USA

 The United States is the guest country at the 11th edition of Cheese, the biennial international event dedicated to high-quality and artisanal dairy products that will be held in Bra, Italy from September 1518, 2017.

The theme of Cheese 2017 is The State of Raw Milk. The emphasis on the American presence at the event is more meaningful than ever this year. In the United States, as in many other countries in the world, defending raw milk has become a true political battle. The sale of raw-milk cheeses aged for less than 60 days is in fact illegal in the USA and, despite growing interest, very restrictive federal rules and communication difficulties between producers located in different parts of the country are hindering both the production and import of cheeses made with unpasteurized milk.

Over the past 25 years a movement of cheesemakers who care about quality and local character has led to the creation of the American Raw Milk Cheeses Presidium, which currently includes 31 cheeses and will be represented at Cheese 2017.

American producers from Oregon, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin will be displaying their artisanal raw-milk cheeses in the affineurs’ area. There will also be 15 raw cow’s milk cheeses from American farms available for tasting in the Great Hall of Cheese.

A Taste Workshop, Raw Milk Cheese Plus Craft Beer, on Sunday September 17 at 7 pm will celebrate American fermentation with raw-milk cheeses from Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont, Meadow Creek Dairy in Virginia, Rogue Creamery in Oregon and Uplands Cheese in Wisconsin paired with craft beers thanks to the presence of Adrian Walker of Firestone Walker, one of the most highly esteemed breweries in the country.

A conference on Saturday September 16 at 10.30 am will be dedicated to the raw-milk cheese movement in the United States. It will likely be the largest conference on US dairy production held outside of the country and will focus on the obstacles and challenges that artisanal producers face on a daily basis, such as regulations imposed by state and federal laws and the lack of public support for this type of production.

Slow Food has been working to support cheesemakers who are trying to overcome these obstacles. Carlos Yescas, director of the Oldways Cheese Coalition, who will be at the event, says: “I see a positive future: not only for large production but also for consumers, who are increasingly asking for better cheeses. The consumption of industrial dairy products is decreasing in favor of more traditional ones, which guarantee greater transparency and flavors more related to the identity of a territory compared with standardized cheeses. This means that on the industrial scene there will always be new enthusiasts, but also that consumers will become more and more conscious and will try to eat better. Cheese offers to the Italian and international public the opportunity to be at the center of the world of high-quality and artisanal cheeses for four days but it also reminds them that these cheeses continue to exist only because there is someone who produces them with love and commitment.

The full program of events is available online at cheese.slowfood.it/en/

To apply for press accreditation for Cheese, please click here.

For further information, please contact:

Slow Food International Press Office

internationalpress@slowfood.it, +39 0172 419 645 – Twitter: @SlowFoodPress

City of Bra

Elena Martini and Erica Asselle, +39 0172 438278, urp@comune.bra.cn.it

Slow Food is a global grassroots organization that envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet. Slow Food involves over a million activists, chefs, experts, youth, farmers, fishers and academics in over 160 countries. Among them, a network of around 100,000 Slow Food members are linked to 1,500 local chapters worldwide, contributing through their membership fee, as well as the events and campaigns they organize. As part of the network, more than 2,400 Terra Madre food communities practice small-scale and sustainable production of quality food around the world.

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