A virtual cheese festival is happening next month and we’re brie-ly excited

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  • With the coronavirus lockdown measures extended for another three weeks, many people are staying connected online by signing up for virtual pub quizzes, getting sweaty with home workouts and fitness classes or by attending virtual dog shows (because we all need the joy of puppies in our lives right now).

    And if you want something else to look forward to, next month a virtual cheese festival will be taking place over the May bank holiday weekend.

    From 8th – 10th May 2020, you’ll be able to take part in cheese tastings and tutorials as part of The British Cheese Weekender.

    It has been set up to support the UK cheesemakers who are struggling during the coronavirus outbreak, with some farmhouse and artisan dairy specialists reportedly losing up to 90% of their business since restaurants have closed.

    This online event, set up by The Specialist Cheesemakers Association, the Academy of Cheese, and the Guild of Fine Food, will be offering tastings and masterclasses to support smaller businesses by asking those who wish to attend the free sessions to buy some of the cheese from the retailers beforehand (which can be delivered directly to customers) so that they can enjoy the tastings in a virtual setting.

    The festival will be made up of workshops that will also teach you how to match your favourite cheeses with the perfect alcoholic tipple – be it wine, beer or cider.

    Cheesemaker Catherine Mead, chair of the Specialist Cheesemakers Association, said: ‘The future of Britain’s farmhouse and specialist cheesemakers is in the balance – we could see many of the country’s best cheeses lost for ever as family farms and small cheesemaking businesses are pushed to the wall.

    ‘The good news is that it’s never been easier to buy good cheese, either online or direct. The specialist cheese industry has mobilised almost overnight, often teaming up with other small food producers, to get good food to people in their local areas.’

    The festival will run on YouTube and Facebook and you’ll also have the opportunity to ask any cheesey questions you may have.

    For more information visit https://academyofcheese.org/british-cheese-weekender.

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