Even with cheese rock and rollers like Blackberry Farm, Looking Glass Creamery, and Sweet Grass Dairy, southern cheese still has to work its butt off to be taken seriously. They’ve proven over and over again that there’s more to southern dairy than just pimento cheese and warm Velveeta cheese dip, but many are still not familiar with the area’s bounty.
I mean, tons in the south know of the region’s dairy magic, and people in cheese nationwide talk about it, but some- perhaps the same folks who think there’s nothing more to California than the ocean, granola, and birkenstocks- need a little convincing.
Introducing the Southern Artisan Cheese Festival.
My good friend Kathleen Cotter of The Bloomy Rind is throwing the region’s first artisan cheese festival this Friday in Nashville Tennessee. Even the poster is awesome.
Cotter runs The Bloomy Rind- an artisan cheese farmers market stand and cheese consulting business in Nashville. She travels from farmers market to market every week to bring the region’s bounty to Tennessee. And then she curates a cheese menu or two for local restaurants. She also travels around the country to learn about cheese. She headed to Consider Bardwell to take the cheesemaker’s course, and toured Vermont with me while I was doing researching for my book. When not learning, traveling, or working her butt off, Cotter found time to put together this festival. Can you spell B-A-D A-S-S (I’m not sure I can either, but this feels right somehow)?
This is the perfect time for the festival. Some great producers are just making it out to east and west coasts and we’re all abuzz about what’s going in cheese in places like Nashville.
Also, check out a great interview with Cotter on southern cheese with Anne Saxelby on Cutting the Curd. A great precursor to the festival, it drops a little knowledge about who is doing what in Tennessee and beyond.
The festival lineup is fantastic. It spotlights the region’s most active cheesemakers and ticket admission prices includes samples of cheese and more. Psst, look down to check out some southern brews too!
Here’s a quick look at who’s going to be there:
Hope some of you can make it. I’m already wistful about what I’m missing here in Oakland!
Do you have a favorite Southern cheese?