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The British Cheese Weekender: 8-10th May 2020

In recent years, the British cheese industry has re-invented itself and we now boast hundreds of amazing cheeses to rival anything the rest of the world has to offer.

But right now, our wonderful cheese makers need our help.  Overnight, when the 'Covid-Crisis' forced the closure of hotels, restaurants and cafes, many of them lost up to 90% of their business.  Added to this, many consumers have switched to buying factory-made block cheese from supermarkets during the crisis.  All this means that the future of hundreds of small farmhouse and artisan cheese makers sadly hangs in the balance.

So what can you do?  Don’t worry – it’s nothing awful… all you have to do is buy and eat wonderful, delicious, amazing British cheese!  And to encourage you to do this, some of the country’s best known cheese experts, cheese makers, cheesemongers, chefs and food writers have joined forces with The Academy of Cheese, The Guild of Fine Foods & The Specialist Cheese Makers Association to bring you a virtual weekend of British cheese.

The British Cheese Weekender runs from 3pm on Friday 8th May until the evening of Sunday 10th and aims to raise awareness of British cheese makers through a full program of live streamed talks, tastings, farm tours, quizzes and cookery demos. 

There are a total of 30 talks to choose from, each one lasting for about 30 mins.  For me, some highlights include:

8th May:

3.00pm: Ty Caws: Welsh Cheese Unwrapped

6.30pm: The British Cheese Revival with award winning cheesemonger Andy Swinscoe

8.30pm: How to Eat Cheese with Patrick McGuigan

9.00pm: Beer & Cheese Matching with Ned Palmer

9th May:

6.30pm: Neal’s Yard Dairy: Behind the Scenes

7.30pm: Paxton & Whitfield: Cheese Myth Busting

8.00pm: Cheese Lover's Question Time

10th May:

3.30pm: Fen Farm Dairy – Farm Tour Live (this is the dairy which makes the wonderful Baron Bigod cheese)

6.30pm: George & Joseph & Olianas: God's Own Cheese Country

7.30pm: Trethowan Brothers: A Dairy Story (this is the dairy behind 2 of my favourite British Cheeses: Pitchfork Cheddar & Gorwydd Caerphilly)

8.00pm: Save British Cheese

If you fancy joining in, this is what you need to do:

1. Buy some delicious British cheese from a small cheesemaker or independent retailer (although buying any British Artisan cheese will help, blue cheese and soft cheese makers particularly need our help, because of the relatively short shelf life of these cheeses).

2. Log on over the weekend & get involved in the events.  For details of the full program visit:

www.academyofcheese.org/british-cheese-weekender

3. Continue to eat and enjoy real British cheese, rather than plastic, supermarket cheese.

Hopefully this will help to protect our cheese makers until things can return to normal.