NEW FOR 2019: Cheese pairing masterclasses with Shane Holland

Cheese: a word to make the heart quicken and the stomach rumble. This year we will be running cheese masterclasses, hosted by one of the UK’s leading cheese writers and all round bon vivant Shane Holland.

Shane will take participants on a cheese journey and pair his favourites with a glass of something good. Each masterclass will last 45 minutes, with ample tasting of cheese, plus light hearted and fascinating stories behind the cheeses tasted. Apple juice is available anyone who doesn’t wish to drink.

There will be three sessions each day at noon, 2pm and 3pm. We expect these sessions to be busy and numbers are limited so please book in advance.

The masterclasses are run in association with Heritage Cheese from London’s Borough Market and will feature some of the finest cheese the UK has to offer. Heritage Cheese will have a stall at the festival so if you find something you love, you can stock up. Each day's classes will have a different focus.

Noon: Library tasting of Cheddars

There is Cheddar, and there is Cheddar. Find out how this cheese took over the world, and what real Cheddar should taste like. We will taste several Cheddars from a single maker, including an unusual Goat Cheddar alongside the more usual cow milk versions. The cheddar will be paired with wine.

2pm: Raw milk cheese

Raw milk is everywhere in food magazines and blogs, but what does this mean? It's how all cheese making used to be, and it means the astonishing breadth of flavours. Taste some of the worlds most highly rated cheeses, including some, voted the best in the world. This very special cheese is paired with beer.

3pm: Christmas cheeses

All of us have a cheeseboard at Christmas, but how do we decide what to put on it? What accompaniments go best? How can we store lots of cheeses, and what ideas are there to use up different amounts into the New Year and beyond?  Tasting superlative cheeses as we go, Shane will answer these questions and more, with a generous splash of Port along the way.

Noon: Winter Blues

Blue Cheese just seems to fit wintertime and is also the classic purchase at Christmas. What is it with Stilton and why do we eat it at Christmas? What alternative blue cheeses are there? Tasting our way through different blues, we will learn about the "English Parmesan" and why blue cheese rules. Served with Port.

2pm: Winter Cheeses

Just as summer cries out for Mozarella or Buratta, so winter has a perfect portfolio of cheeses. Join Shane on a journey of what is eating particularly well as the nights drawn in, what cheeses are good to cook with (Who doesn't want molten hot cheese on a cold rainy winters day?) and other must-know tips. Paired with wine.

3pm: Anything but the cow

Not everyone can eat Cow's milk, and even if you can, goat and sheep cheeses are delicious.  If your last goat cheese was some chalky, smelly Chevre from France, think again - this class will have you thinking of goat and sheep cheeses in a completely different light. The cheese will be paired with beer.

The cheese pairing classes take place in the small marquee in Food Hall 2.

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