Cheeseology – Reinventing Cheese

Who doesn’t love a slice of toast dripping in melted cheddar as the ultimate comfort food, or a beautiful platter of regional cheeses with precisely-selected homemade chutneys at the end of an evening meal?

Cheese-on-toast is virtually a national dish and one of the reasons why Science Oxford is hosting an evening of Cheeseology, to explore how this scrumptious snack has changed over the past hundred years.

Cheeseology – Reinventing Cheese takes place in the Lower Gallery at Abingdon Abbey, Abingdon on Thursday 26th April and will be presented by cheese experts Bronwen and Francis Percival. Bronwen is the cheese buyer at the well respected Neal’s Yard Dairy in London and together, the couple founded the London Gastronomy Seminars.

Cheese is essentially made of four ingredients – milk, salt, rennet (which thickens the mixture) and microbes. Microbes – good bacteria – are added to the recipe to convert milk sugars into lactic acid, a step that makes the cheese inhospitable to organisms that may spoil it. These magic microbes also help it ripen and give each cheese a distinct flavour.

The process of making cheese was once entirely driven by the microbes native to the farms where it was made, but with changing farming methods and pasteurisation our favourite toast-topper has become more uniform in flavour and cheaper to produce. Rather than mourning this loss of identity, Bronwen and Francis will look to the future, and the ways in which microbiologists on both sides of the Atlantic are reinventing cheese.

There’ll be a guided tasting of six different cheeses (plus a free glass of wine to wash it down) for everyone who attends, plus a fascinating insight into how time-honoured farming and milking practices, along with bioactive materials such as wood and cloth, can make cheese great again!

And for anyone who wants to find out more, the Percivals will be signing copies of their recent book Reinventing the Wheel – Milk, Microbes and the Fight for Real Cheeseafter the event.

Tickets are £20 and include a guided tasting of 6 cheeses + a free glass of wine – book here.
Suitable for ages 18+

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