As part of its ongoing better-cheese campaign, Slow Food Pittsburgh is sending two local cheesemongers to the American Cheese Society conference in Sacramento July 29 to Aug. 1.
Tapped to make the trip are Caldwell Linker, cheese buyer for the East End Food Co-op in Point Breeze, and Alix Wiggins, buyer for Wheel and Wedge in the Pittsburgh Public Market and the East Liberty Farmers’ Cooperative Market.
At the conference, they’ll have opportunities to taste winning cheeses from 1,500 entries submitted for judging. They will refine their palates and learn pairing, along with attending practical sessions on topics such as cheese chemistry and keeping cheese in prime condition. Then they’ll return here where they can share their knowledge with cheesemakers and others.
The two cheesemongers, self-educated as are most in their profession, were chosen on the basis of essays submitted to a juried competition.
Wrote Ms. Linker, “Although the cheese world at the Co-op has quadrupled (at least) in the last couple of years, it’s a slow process — if you bring in too many new local cheeses at once they don’t get the attention they deserve.” A coming focus at the Co-op will be wholesale cheese services.
Runners-up were Susan Selby of McGinnis Sisters, Jenny Glazer at Marty’s Market and John Venable of The Allegheny Wine Mixer.