Slow Food
   

CHEESE 2005 - New International Cheese Presidia


Italy - 19 Sep 05

On Saturday, at ‘Cheese 2005’ (Bra, September 16-19), Piero Sardo, President of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, presented a series of new Slow Food Cheese Presidia from all over the world.

Agnesa Sargsyan, of the Motal Presidium (Armenia), accompanied by producer Vanik Chgroyan spoke about their distinctive goat cheese, matured in clay to preserve it for the winter. Today it is only produced by families, but the Presidium hopes to create new markets, hence improved development prospects.

Kamal Mouzawak, a journalist and Slow Food representative based in Beirut, amazed the audience with Darfiyeh, a raw goat’s milk cheese preserved with layers of ricotta in a goat skin, washed, sewn and salted on the inside.

Another product that captured the public’s imagination was Yak Cheese from the Chinese province of Qinghai. Paola Vanzo, a representative of the Trace Foundation, a New York City-based non-profit NGO for the promotion of the cultural continuity and sustainable development of Tibetan communities within China, explained how, in collaboration with AVEC (Association of Veterinary Surgeons for Developing Countries) and the Slow Food Foundation, it has been possible to build a dairy for a school for nomad children founded by the Tibetan monk, Jigme Gyaltse, who was also present at the meeting.

Two young Italian cheesemakers, Massimo Nurisso and Massimo Mercandino went to Tibet for a few months to teach herders a processing technique that allows them to produce a cheese suitable for aging, hence for surviving the long journeys required to reach new markets.

Mihai Pasku of the Brânzá de burduf Presidium (Romania) proudly described the history of his native area and the cheese that reflects its identity. As the producer Dorin Olteanu pointed out, Brânzá can age from 40 days to several months and the more it matures the more piquant it becomes.

Last but not least, Pascale Baudonnel, dressed in a colorful traditional Norwegian costume, outlined the history of artisan Geitost, produced in the village of Undredal on the fjord of Sogne, a sweet brown cheese made with the whey from raw goat’s milk. It is currently produced only by the Undredal Stolsysteri cooperative.