Check it out! The first ever Minnesota Cheese Festival will be taking place at the State Fair Grounds this Sunday. The following release was sent out from the Minnesota Cheese Festival organizers, and will give you the basic information about the event.
MINNEAPOLIS - April 9, 2012 - On Sunday, June 3 at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds' International Bazaar, foodies can unleash their inner caseophile (cheese lover) at the first Minnesota Cheese Festival. Minnesota's artisan cheesemakers will be joined by Wisconsin cheesemakers for an event celebrating all things cheese.
Open to the public from noon - 6 p.m. (with a private media and industry event from 11 a.m. -noon), the event aims to raise awareness for Minnesota's growing cheesemaking community while allowing cheese lovers to sample and purchase artisan, farmstead and specialty cheeses. While its neighbor Wisconsin is best known for a thriving cheesemaking industry, Minnesota is in fact the NO.6 cheese producing state in the US. In recent years, the state's processed cheese giants have been joined by world-class artisan cheese producers - such as Caves of Faribault, Alemar Cheese Co. and Shepherd's Way Farms. All three cheese producers will be in attendance at the Festival, alongside numerous Wisconsin cheesemakers.
"Wisconsin has incredible, state-run programs that support the cheesemaking community, but the resources for Minnesota cheesemakers are limited," said festival organizer Whitney McChane. "These are hard-working small business owners who are responsible for everything from herd management to product distribution - and marketing often falls to the end of the 'must do' list. This event is hopefully the first of many designed to support and empower the local cheesemaking community while fostering a sense of pride among Minnesota residents."
Timed to coincide with prime milking season and National Dairy Month in June, the festival is expected to draw sizeable crowds, given America's specialty, artisanal and farmstead cheese consumption is at an all-time high. This can be attributed to a combination of factors including more U.S. citizens traveling abroad and trying unique varieties of cheese; more U.S. restaurants offering a cheese course; and an increased interest in ethnic food (Source: Agriculture Marketing Resource Center).
"Minnesota has a long and rich history of dairy farming, and while our output can't compete with our Eastern neighbor Wisconsin, our milk quality certainly can," said Keith Adams, Alemar Cheese Company's founder and head cheesemaker. "And, if it isn't immediately apparent, great cheese can only be made from great milk."
MAIN STAGE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
(Schedule is subject to change)
Noon: Meet the Chef & Recipe Demonstrations - Gastrotruck
12:30 p.m.: Beer & Cheese Pairing Demonstration - Michael Agnew
1 :00 p.m.: Meet the Cheesemaker - Caves of Faribault
1 :30 p.m.: Wine & Cheese Pairing Demonstration - Leslee Miller
2:00 p.m.: Meet the Cheesemaker - Shepherd's Way Farms
2:30 p.m.: Beer & Cheese Pairing Demonstration - Michael Agnew
3:00 p.m.: Meet the Cheesemaker - Ellsworth Creamery
3:30 p.m.: Wine & Cheese Pairing Demonstration - Leslee Miller
4:00 p.m.: Meet the Cheesemaker - Alemar Cheese Co.
4:30 p.m.: Beer & Cheese Pairing Demonstration - Michael Agnew
5:00 p.m.: Meet the Chef & Recipe Demonstration - Chef Shack
5:30 p.m.: Wine & Cheese Pairing Demonstration - Leslee Miller
6:00 p.m.: Event ends
REAR DEMONSTRATION AREA
Cheesemaking demonstrations will be hosted by experts from Midwest Supplies, which offers a full line of home cheese making supplies and kits: http://www.midwestsupplies.com/other-products/cheese-making.html
[where: Sustainable Food, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Twin Cities, Minnesota]