Besides eating,photographing, reading and dreaming cheese – traveling cheese is what Gustav and I maybe like to do best. After all it combines all of the above with seeing new places, meeting new people as well as getting together with old friends.
Our first stop this year was Formaticum, a small high-level cheese festival taking place in Rome´s *Città dell´Altra Economia* on the first weekend of March.
Over the course of two days small, mostly family run cheese makers from all over Italy present their cheeses to the public, let you taste everything and answer all your questions no matter how big or small they might be.
Naturally everyone of us knows about Italian cheeses and big players such as Parmigiano Reggiano and Mozzarella, but alongside the large scale dairy production Italy offers a lot of niche cheeses as well as well-known names produced by small dairy farms with their own live stock.
Give small, dedicated cheese makers a voice and present them to a larger audience is one of the main objectives of Formaticum -Mostra Mercato Di Rarità Casearie Italiane, the market for rare Italian dairy products.
The Formaticum festival grounds, La Città dell´Altra Economia by the way are located in the renovated 19th century buildings of the ancient live stock farms neighboring Mattatoio, Rome´s former slaughter house. Adjoining is a restaurant and bar as well as a big festival area hosting a farmers- and a design market.
The mood I can tell you is a great one and beside the many new friends to discover there are also lectures eg. this year on pasta filata and yeast, differences between raw and pasteurized milk cheeses as well as guided tastings of cheese, wine and beer! [here the link to this year´s programm]
Time flies – so plan ahead and think about a trip next year – it´s more than worth it!