Cheese. That was about the only word we could say at the event, as the names of the different cheese were in Italian or French. The event, called "La Petite Foire du Fromage", a Mini Cheese Fair in English, was held on August 27, 2016, at a wine shop called Wine Story Serendra.
The event was cohosted by Wine Story Serendra and Latteria D'ischia, a company that has a cheese production facility in Bulacan. (You did not know that Bulacan produces buffalo milk that can be used to make Italian cheese, did you?) Since wine is often consumed together with cheese in Europe, the two companies' products complement each other's, so they tell us. Before this event, we knew only that cheese goes inside burger and on top of pizza.
The cheese shown in the fair was organized into four stations, namely, fresh cheese, aged cheese, cheese and yogurt digs, and melted cheese.
Mozzarella di Bufala, Ricotta, Mascarpone, and Burrata. Mozzarella is the most well-known one, as this is the stringy cheese used in most pizza. Ricotta is usually used in dessert, and so is mascarpone.
Dips (cheese and yogurt)
There were three dips made from fresh yoghurt: dips in pesto, curry and blue cheese.
Fondue is not completely new to the Philippines, but the more popular version uses chocolate. Fondue is fun, because people get to make a mess and eat the mess. In this fair, the fondues are all cheese. Cheeses become milder in flavor once heated, they say.
They showed Swiss Fondue (Provolone, Appia Vecchia), Crema Toscana, and Marrone di Veneto.
Latteria's aged cheeses are cured in their plant between 3 to 14 weeks, so they acquire a distinct character not found in processed cheese. Cheeses featured were Primo Sale, Bufalino, Marrone di Veneto, Megliore Paese. Some of them are shown in the second photo of this page.
Burrata Making Demonstration
One of the activities included in the event was burrata making. We had never heard of burrata before we attended this event, so we did not know what to expect. It turns out that burrata is a soft cheese that is consumed by wrapping it in a chewy layer of the cheese, so that it is chewy outside and soft inside.
We saw the cheese maker worked on a dough of cheese and stretched it as if it were a flour dough, and then flattened it like a pancake, before filling it with the soft cheese. We tried a little of the finished product. The taste of the cheese was very light, like thick milk, but the chewy exterior layer made the eating experience interesting. Watch the video below to see burrata making in action.
While we ended up not learning how to pronounce any of the names of the cheese except burrata, we still find the event a very educational one. Even though it will not be a free event, we have found another fun way to spend Saturday afternoon in Fort Bonifacio, especially when it is too hot or cold outside. Wine Story's shop is like a secret hideout for grown-ups.