Tag Archives: Slow Food

Slow Food Cheese: food trucks, street food, and beer

Molisani street food

Visiting the cheese stands can be quite exhausting if you’re gung ho on seeing/tasting from every single vendor. In earlier editions of Cheese there were street food stands for a quick bite (if the lines hadn’t formed yet), but from 2015 up til now, food trucks are also part of the food-to-go scene. Event organizers did a strategic move this year in grouping food trucks and beer stands together in one big section. Brilliant! There were only a few operators, but one caught my eye immediately when I saw this guy fiddling with a dangling caciocavallo.

Caciocavallo impiccato

At street food Molisani there was an item named Impiccato (hanged) – caciocavallo cheese on toasted bread, topped with preserved garlic scapes and wild asparagus. Suspended above an electric hob, the caciocavallo cheese was lowered until melted and bubbly, then scraped onto a slice of bread. Totally mesmerizing, titillating, tantalizing food porn.

Poormanger

Another food truck to check off my list was Poormanger. They do amazing gourmet baked potatoes (something that I’ve never seen here actually) and who doesn’t love a steaming hot spud? Like this one here with fresh tomino cheese, anchovies, and italian green sauce. It was HUGE! And it was excellent with a cold one from a beer stand less than 10 feet away from us.

Acciughe al verde

Food, beer, and cheese shopping behind us, the perfect end to the day was at the Piazza del Gelato. One flavor in particular was unexpectedly delicious: farina bona. Farina bona is a type of corn flour from Ticino (Switzerland) and the taste was like toasted corn. Almost, but not quite, like really good popcorn that you get at a county fair. I think it would’ve paired well with salted butter caramel gelato but that’s for another project. Now we simply wait another 2 years for the 12th edition of Slow Food Cheese in 2019.

Slow Food Cheese gourmet gelato

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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!

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!