Are you up for some cheese? Cheese lovers are in for a treat: The Association of Rural Cheesemakers of Slovenia is holding its 2nd Slovene Cheese Festival at the Brdo Congress Centre in Kranj on Tuesday, October 1, from 12 noon till 7pm.
In just one afternoon, visitors to the festival will get the chance to taste and buy various traditional and contemporary Slovenian farm cheeses, get to know their producers and enjoy cheese-based snacks.
This is Slovenia’s most important cheese festival that features products from all over the country. It also gives visitors the opportunity to get acquainted with boutique cheese production in Slovenia. Farm cheese producers will be on hand to explain whatever people are interested in knowing about their cheese-making processes and products.
Cheese-aging cellar (Photo: Združenje Kmečkih Sirarjev Slovenije)
Vast Cheese Selection
Thirty-two cheesemakers, including both boutique and major dairies, will present their cheeses this year. It will also be interesting to see the influence of certain foreign cheese-making traditions on Slovenia’s more prominent cheesemakers.
Such cheesemakers don’t just stick to making traditional cheeses, simply because they’re limited. Instead, they choose to add to their offering by producing more cheeses in other styles. You’ll be able to see the result of their cheese-making education in France and Germany in their vast cheese selection.
Chef Jože Godec of Resje restaurant in Bohinj will delight festival-goers will his potato- and cheese-based finger foods. Last year, he impressed guests with his goat cheese mousse served on a buckwheat pancake. How he will pamper visitors to this year's festival is yet a secret—to be unfolded on October 1.
This Year’s Novelty
A novelty for this year’s edition is a B2B event that will enable cheese producers to showcase their products to restaurants, chefs, and shops. One main aim of this business section of the festival is to emphasise that businesses in Slovenia should present local cheeses to their customers, rather than foreign ones. This B2B event will take place prior to the festival, between 10 and 11.30am.
The duo Bakalin will provide music entertainment during the festival opening at noon. This duo is from Čadrga nad Tolminom, a village that’s recognised for its rich cheese tradition. Its members are Jani Kutin (voice) of the organic cheese farm Pri Križarju, and Renata Lapanja (accordion).
Cheese occupies a special place in gastronomy today (Photo: Združenje Kmečkih Sirarjev Slovenije)
Special Place in Gastronomy
At a press conference held last Wednesday to present this year’s festival, Cvetko Zupančič, President of the Slovenian Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry, emphasised that cheeses occupy a special place in gastronomy today. “They are gaining value as consumers are becoming ever more appreciative of and interested in cheese products,'' he added.
The festival grand opening begins at 12 noon, with a B2B pre-event running from 10am to 11.30am.
Entrance fee is €15 per person. For groups of 10 or more visitors, the fee is €12 per person. Entrance fee includes unlimited tasting of over 90 different cheeses and one cheese-based snack.
More about the Association of Rural Cheesemakers of Slovenia
The Association of Rural Cheesemakers of Slovenia (ZKSS) is an active member of the Farmhouse and Artisan Cheese and Dairy Producer’s European Network (FACE). ZKSS joined the FACE Network in 2017, and since then has been involved in its activities, including the setting up of policies and priorities. The Board of Directors of the FACE Network met for the first time in July this year in Slovenia.