The sixth annual California’s Artisan Cheese Festival in Petaluma California is a celebration of all things cheese. The multi-faceted event allows people to learn about cheese in many different ways. They can, or example:
- Take half-day tours of local dairy farms and creameries, where they can watch and speak with farmers and cheese makers;
- Attend seminars and workshops on all aspects of cheese making, tasting, cheese-based cooking and presentation;
- Sample cheese-based creations from Bay Area chefs, paired with specific wines in a Grand Tasting event;
- Enjoy a brunch based on artisan bacons and cheeses, all paired with Sonoma County sparkling wines;
- Sample the wares of and buy cheese from dozens of artisan creameries from around the country in the big Cheese Tasting and Marketplace event; and
- Buy all types of cheese-making products, utensils and books on cheese.
Although we have friends who participate in all these activities, we have been timed out of each of the perpetually sold-out farm and creamery tours for which we have tried to sign up. Come to think about it, virtually every event sells out each year.
So, while we have attended the festival in each of the last three years, our visits have, at least so far, been limited to the Sunday afternoon cheese tasting and marketplace. This year, as with each of the two preceding years, we found a number of cheeses that we enjoyed and came home with enough to fill our fat and cholesterol quotas for the next six months. But when it comes to cheese, who counts calories, grams or anything else?