They might be considered friendly rivals as they belong to two different worlds – the vegetable and the animal fat ones. But during the last edition of Cheese – the big Slow Food event dedicated to the dairy world held every two years in Bra, Piedmont – olive oil and cheese became closer.

Among the many workshops and meetings about cheese and everything than can go along with it – from beer to cigars – extra virgin olive oil found its place. On Saturday, September 17th a taste workshop was held by an olive oil and cheese expert, Cristiano De Riccardis.

The workshop named Dairy Olives innovatively paired fresh cheeses – Mozzarella di Bufala, Robiola di Roccaverano, Murazzano, French Goat Cheese and Feta – with Umbrian Terre Rosse extra virgin olive oil from Hispellum.


On Monday, September 19th, chef Davide Zunino of Olio Colto restaurant in Taggia (Liguria) proposed an intriguing match between cheese and extra-virgin olive oil in a workshop at Banca del Vino in Pollenzo, not far away from the Slow Food Headquarters in Bra.

The pairings featured an extra-virgin olive oil raviolo filled with Brigasca sheep’s toma, a Red Leicester tartufo with extra-virgin olive oil brittle, goat’s cheese with a raspberry and olive oil coulis and a sweet pesto jelly and pecorino with black olive mostarda — all made using extra virgin olive oil from the Boeri family’s Roi oil mill.

The biennial international event organized by Slow Food and the City of Bra, Italy was dedicated to the many forms of milk. An estimated 160,000 visitors came to Bra during the four days of the event.

The various initiatives organized during Cheese 2011, like the open-air concerts, the program of events at the Literary Café (all sold out) and the meetings in the Biodiversity Space, all raised funds for Slow Food’s Thousand Gardens in Africa project.


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