What makes a good festival? Is it the people, the events, the food...maybe the music? I suppose that everyone will have an idea of what makes something fun but I think it was clear this past weekend that many, many people enjoyed the Oregon Cheese Festival. This was the event's fourth year, and cheesemakers, winemakers, chocolatiers, bread bakers and a host of other local purveyors gathered to show and sample their wares. Attendees could not only sample a lot of great stuff, but also (and maybe more importantly) talk with the people who made them. This is an easy way to encounter and experience your food in a different and unique way and I hope many of you loyal readers had a chance to make the trip to the Rogue Creamery to attend the festivities.
One of the best aspects of the festival this year were the classes. Laura Werlin, cheese expert and author of four books about cheese, offered two classes on cheese and wine tasting and pairing, using an all-Oregon selection of wines and cheeses. Marc Druart of the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese also offered a class on making cheese. These were great learning experiences that would cost big bucks in another setting - here, they were all a part of the cheese-themed action.
If you didn't get a chance to attend, mark your calendar for March 13-14, 2009 and plan to come on down next year!