Love raw-milk cheese? Then make sure to clear your calendar for Raw Milk Cheese Appreciation Day on Saturday, April 22!
The occasion—created by the Oldways Cheese Coalition and the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers—lets turophiles worldwide come together to celebrate their favorite raw-milk cheeses at more than 700 events worldwide. Discounts, samples, and classes will be offered at participating cheese shops, while select restaurants will feature these curds on their menus. A number of farms and cheesemakers are giving tours, and some stores, such as Neal’s Yard Dairy in London, will sell only raw-milk cheeses as part of the festivities.
If you’ve never tried or are wary of these cheeses, this Saturday is a terrific opportunity to discover them. Raw-milk cheese is classified as such because it’s made with unpasteurized milk. These products are subject to the FDA’s minimum 60-day aging rule before they can be sold publicly. Raw-milk cheese has received some flack from the FDA in recent years, especially when it comes to importing curds from overseas. However, raw-milk cheese fans laud the complex flavors often found in this type of cheese; since the milk is unpasteurized, it retains the bacteria that ultimately give the cheese its distinct tastes.
“Raw-milk cheeses are unique in flavor, history, and carry on traditional cheesemaking practices,” said Carlos Yescas, program director at Oldways Cheese Coalition. “The producers who make them are passionate about craftsmanship and animal husbandry. Their cheeses represent years, even decades, of knowledge and thoughtful innovation to better their products.”