Cheese festivals are held all over the world, but here are ten great, public cheese festivals. Visit Culture Magazine’s the word on cheese to find a listing of cheesy gatherings worldwide.
Artisan cheesemakers are one of the most endearing qualities about small businesses. Their desire to watch you taste their handcrafted products so that they can see your eyes light up is what makes a festival so special: You get to meet the people who actually make the cheese! Festivals (and frequently, farmers’ markets) are great ways to experience these connections between producer and consumer.
Oregon Cheese Festival
The Southern Oregon Cheese Festival, held at Rogue Creamery in Central Point, is a cheese lover’s dream. A number of wineries and breweries also participate in the event. The four-day festival features cheese makers from around the country and local farmers and chefs. Sample, eat and drink your way through a variety of dairy products, and learn more about ingredients that enhance your favorite food.
Great British Cheese Festival
The United Kingdom’s biggest cheese market is a three-day event that attracts hundreds of foodie fans to venues across the country. Held in late September, it showcases more than 400 cheeses made from cow, goat and sheep milk as well as water buffalo milk—with accompanying artisan wine, beer, cider and perry.
Bra Cheese Festival
This biennial cheese festival attracts cheese lovers and professionals from all over the world. Held every other September outside of Turin in Piedmont, Italy, the events include a Cheese Market; a wine bar featuring DIY cheese plates; a pizza piazza; and workshops, special dinners, and tastings. With a massive array of artisanal cheeses, including ones rarely found outside of their villages of origin and 700 wines, this is a truly special event worth the plane ticket.
The Festival of Cheese, American Cheese Society
The big wheel of U.S. cheese festivals, the ACS Annual Conference boasts educational seminars for cheesemakers and aficionados alike. You can choose tasting or pairing seminars, or spend an afternoon making cheese with an expert. Throughout is a rigorous competition featuring over 1,500 cheese entries in more than 100 categories. On the final evening the event opens to the public for a fee; every single entry is portioned and plated so you can dive in for a sample, making for a stunning display of dairy decadence.
California Artisan Cheese Festival
If you love cheese, the California Artisan Cheese Festival is the place for you! The event takes place every March in Petaluma (about 40 minutes north of San Francisco). Sign up early to get in on local creamery tours, cheese-centric dinners and seminars.
Vermont Cheesemaker’s Festival
Vermont is America’s top cheesemaking state per capita. That’s why when you’re in the state and want to find out everything there is to know about cheese, make sure that you head over to Shelburne Farms for the annual Cheese Festival. Held every year on the shores of Lake Champlain, this three-day festival attracts both local and international cheesemakers who sell their award-winning products. The festivities include food tastings and seminars on how to be a master cheesemaker.
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