'Age is something that doesn't matter unless you are a cheese'
1 village, 4 days, 23 countries, 300 cheese producers, 270 000 visitors. That’s the 10th edition of Cheese in a nutshell. This Slow Food’s biannual event is focused on the rich heritage, undeniable importance and extraordinary biodiversity of raw milk cheeses.
Besides tasting unique dairy products from local and not-so-local producers, somewhat hesitating when the cheese turns out to be green (Tcherni Vit, Bulgaria), the participants could attend numerous conferences and political debates. Milk quotas, the importance of soil health in cheese production, animal welfare and food quality, small-scale producers and young entrepreneurs, the valorization of remote pastures and mountainous areas, the consequences of TTIP on artisanal cheese production, the hows and whys of raw milk, … enough topics to discuss, preferably with a glass of artisanal beer in one hand and a piece of traditional Gouda (Netherlands) in the other! The air was filled with good vibes, as the many young cheese producers talked proudly about the future of their sector and the importance of collaboration.
Visitors tasted their way through the international market, discovering products such as yogurt with ash (Kenya) and our national pride - Herve (Belgium). Sturdy Southern Italians stretched and kneaded the buffalo milk until it became a gorgeous and mouthwatering Mozzarella di Buffala, while their co-nationals gloriously cut open a 36 months aged wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano. Younger participants learned about cheese production with the ‘Cheese Olympics’, while enthusiastic foodies eagerly joined one of the renown cheese degustations. Sold-out and happy with many compliments, the producers confirmed that also this year’s visitors were aware of the value of food produced by hand, with heart and with the sense responsibility towards the future of our planet and the next generations. Once again, Bra successfully turned into the world’s capital of Cheese and Milk!