Tag Archives: french cheese

11th edition of Slow Food Cheese: the coolest ever

French cheese display

Cheese: pungent, spicy, sweet, hard, soft, creamy, fresh, aged, and the list goes on and on. Like every single edition in previous years, the Slow Food Cheese fair this past weekend was an enormous success, attracting visitors in the hundreds of thousands. The layout was pretty much the same as 2015 with a few new additions: an area for food trucks and beer stands, and a gelato stand that had this amaaaazing toasted corn flavor.

We went on Friday, opening day, just before lunch. In my opinion it is the best day to go if you want to have a look around, nibble, taste, and stock up without feeling as if the hoards have already been there before you. The pressing crowds have yet to arrive (the shuttle bus to and from was practically empty on our ride) and the whole town of Bra has a nice, clean feel to it. A big plus was the weather which was much cooler in comparison to past events.

Slow Food cheese stash

Firm, semi-firm: Keen’s cheddar and Stichelton (UK), Montébore and Macagn (Italy). New to us is the Stichelton, which is similiar to Stilton but uses raw cow’s milk instead.

Slow Food cheese stash

Soft, semi-soft and downright oozing: Anneau des Gors and Figuettine (France), Tartucrem (Italy), Capri Algas (Spain). With the exception of the Tartucrem (truffles and soft gorgonzola) the remaining 3 goat cheeses are already half gone. Capri Algas has flecks of seaweed in it, and hidden within the Figuettine is a candied fig!

Figuettine
Figuettine

Caprí Algas Bahía de Cádiz
Caprí Algas Bahía de Cádiz: oozy goat’s milk cheese with seaweed.

Anyone who went to/blogged Slow Food Cheese 2017 is welcome to add a link to their post in the comments!

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Team Castelli at the cheese fair

Slow Food Cheese stash 2015

Slow Food Cheese, (Bra, Piemonte) – it just keeps getting better and better. A pity that this occasion happens only every 2 years because like all the fairs before this one, Cheese 2015 had us sniffing, tasting, and buying a good variety of items that we probably would’ve never seen in our lifetime. The weather was ideal – sunny yet cool – on our late Sunday afternoon and Monday morning visit, and for whatever it’s worth, we now know that Monday (the last day of the fair) is waaay less crowded than the weekend. We even scored some freebies!

The new addition this year were food trucks to help sate the appetites of the masses. Beer on tap at the beer piazza and Ales&Co booth were very popular stops, while the street food vendors pumped out lots of fried things. Switzerland did not make a repeat appearance with their raclette station this time around, so I’m really happy that I got to make a video of them in 2013. Oh why, Switzerland, why? I was looking forward to some melting cheesy goodness!

As Team Castelli is comprised of a foursome, I gotta say that the dynamic duo were patient and well-behaved although the doxie was shaking in his boots. People kept asking me why I would put a muzzle on a little dog (like I was mean or something). At first I replied that he bites when stressed, but eventually switched to “because he eats all the shit on the ground”. With a knowing nod of their heads they believed that response over the biting issue. He didn’t get to be toted along in the trolley, but to make up for all his troubles, I let him nap on the Spun chair that was in our b&b. Look at the westie sleeping like an angel. Tired and stuffed from sneaking cheese scraps on the ground.

Mister having fun in the Spun Sleeping Westie on a Spun

It’s all about personal taste when it comes to cheese and ours run along the more pungent notes. More photos can be seen in my album on Flickr but rest assured that this isn’t the last you’ve seen of cheese on my blog. Just yesterday we attended a cheese sagra and bought – you might have already guessed it – MORE CHEESE!

Provence unpacked

Baguettes for the freezer, wine, a couple of rose plants and various only-in-France items. The difference between two days in Provence (compared to last year’s 6) is going home with less stuff. The flipside to that is that less becomes more with every bite of cheese, every sip of wine, and everytime I lick my fingers clean of those potato chip flavors that aren’t available in Italy. A visit to Le Petit Jabron’s farm is totally optional as their products are sold at Super U (large shopping center just north of Sisteron). For yummy sandwiches, breads and desserts, Boulangerie Marie Blachère in Peipin is excellent, and so is the Intermarché next door.

Cheese purchases in Provence
On the board…an assortment of goat cheese from Le Petit Jabron

Provence unpacked 2014
I have a real weakness for new potato chip flavors, and the Wasabi one was spicy!

Radis noir
What, you never seen a black radish before? It isn’t hot like the smaller red radishes, and it’s probably a little old since the interior was a bit woody.

Not yet lavender time in Banon
Having found the perfect petit village that is Cruis, maybe there’ll be a same time next year?