Reinventing Cheese: Milk and Microbes. Join us for a fromage-focused evening of cheese-tasting and discovery (plus a free glass of wine) as we explore how this scrumptious snack has changed over the past one hundred years.
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 it has become more uniform in flavour and cheaper to produce.
Rather than mourning this loss of identity, cheese experts Bronwen and Francis Percival look to the future, and the ways in which microbiologists on both sides of the Atlantic can help.
Through a guided tasting of six different cheeses, find out how time-honoured farming and milking practices along with bioactive materials such as wood and cloth can revitalize healthy microbial biodiversity and give cheesemakers a road map to restore a sense of place that we can all taste.
Bronwen Percival is the cheese buyer at Neal’s Yard Dairy in London. She initiated the biennial Science of Artisan Cheese Conference and is cofounder of microbialfoods.org. In addition to serving on the editorial board of the Oxford Companion to Cheese, she recently edited an English translation of the leading French textbook on raw-milk microbiology for cheesemakers.
Francis Percival writes on food and wine for The World of Fine Wine and was named Louis Roederer International Wine Columnist of the Year in 2013 and Pio Cesare Wine and Food Writer of the Year 2015. His work has also appeared in Culture, Decanter, Saveur, and the Financial Times. Together with Bronwen, he cofounded the London Gastronomy Seminars.
The Percivals’ recent book ‘Reinventing the Wheel – Milk, Microbes and the Fight for Real Cheese‘ will be available to buy on the evening.
“Reinventing the Wheel is a rich and eye-opening insider’s account of the modern cheese world.”—Harold McGee
“A fascinating timely tale of re-learning how to work with microbes and rescue healthy traditional cheese.”—Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London and author of The Diet Myth
“A brilliant consideration of microbial ecology, the science that is causing a refresh of our view of everything from human health to the health of cows and farmers in the dairy industry.”—Wine and Spirits Magazine (2017 Book of the Year)
“Not since Harold McGee’s monumental On Food and Cooking (1984) and Sandor Katz’s masterly The Art of Fermentation (2012) have I enjoyed and learned so much as I did from the Percivals’ book.”—Steven Jenkins, The Wall Street Journal
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Lower Gallery, Abingdon Abbey
18 Thames Street, Abingdon , OX14 3HZ