Bra cheese exhibition in Italy
Since Italy is one of the leading producers of cheese in the world, cheese festivals are part of the culture in Piedmont, Tuscany, Umbria and Sicily. Italy has been producing cheese for over 3,000 years, when the Etruscans first settled in central Italy and made cheese from sheep’s milk.
The biennial international cheese festival in Bra is an essential appointment for all of us passionate about eating well, not only in Italy.
After 20 years and 11 editions, ‘Cheese’ is certainly the most revered event of its kind in Italy as well as being organised by Slow Food, the City of Bra and the Ente Turismo Alba, Bra, Langhe and Roero.
Hundreds of artisanal producers from Italy and abroad will set up their stands in the streets of this Piedmont town, the birthplace of Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini, located 50 kilometers south of Turin.
Cheese is usually held over the 3rd weekend of September and attracts around 200,000 people. The whole of Bra is involved with stands lining the length of the ‘centro storico’.
This year’s event will focus on products from the fragile ecosystems of the mountains, threatened by industrial development and globalisation. The threat extends to traditional cheese-making techniques, which risk getting lost along with centuries-old cultures
Slow Food has always stood by high quality food production, raw milk, the biodiversity of breeds, our connection to the land, animal welfare etc as well as a respect for the expertise required to make complex cheeses.
The festival will also include Slow Food Presidia related to animal breeds, bread, cereals, honey and jam. As explained by Slow Food, the presidia are “projects that support quality productions at risk of extinction, protect unique regions and ecosystems, recover traditional processing methods, and safeguard native breeds and local plant varieties.”
In particualr, to help children learn about the traditional methods of cheese production, as well as discovering tastes they most likely will not experience in food products from their local supermarket.
The event is not simply a feeding frenzy, but also includes cooking classes and workshops, as well as organized trips to restaurants, mostly arranged through advanced reservations. Multiple exhibit areas allow for tasting of many varieties of cheese and also a wine-tasting area is part of this festival. After all, what is cheese without wine?