By Wini Moranville
Food lovers making summer travel plans might want to schedule a stay-cation July 27-30, when the American Cheese Society’s Annual Conference and Competition will descend on the Iowa Events Center. The society expects more than 1,200 cheese and specialty food professionals at the event for educational seminars, competitions and all-out revelry.
Unless topics like listeria, thistle rennet and hazard analysis fascinate you, most of the educational sessions are mainly for industry professionals. However, casual cheese enthusiasts will find major ways to partake, including:
A Block Party, hosted by The Cheese Shop of Des Moines on July 27. “We plan to close the street, have a beer garden and invite all of Des Moines to come and meet our favorite national cheesemakers, who will be offering samples,” says owner C.J. Bienert.
Grand Cheese Tasting and Sale: On July 30, from 7 to 9:30 p.m., the Iowa Events Center’s doors swing open for the Festival of Cheese, when the public can sample more than 1,800 American artisan and specialty cheeses alongside preserves, chocolate, wine, cider and craft beer. Cheeses will also be available for purchase at cut-rate prices. Tickets cost $60 and go on sale May 4.
A 5K Cheese Run: The race is scheduled for 8 a.m. July 31, a day after the conference ends; proceeds will help support the nonprofit American Cheese Education Foundation.
Follow details as they unfold on the American Cheese Society website.