All too often, I hear people lament the cost of something like The American Cheese Society conference. I get it. It's expensive. It's importance is undeniable for the industry as a whole but for most of us working on a Cheesemonger's wage, it can be inaccessible. Even while working for a company that was a large sponsor of the conference I didn't just get a free pass to them. Most of the time it was completely out of my price range to attend. Now, there are plenty of scholarships happening and there are ways of being able to connect to the community without the huge overhead but sometimes, the timing is just all off and the cost is still too high. Insert Culture Magazine and their Counter Culture events.
For the uninitiated, Culture Magazine is a magazine focused entirely around cheese. Yep! Cheese porn, recipes, and producer tales galore! While Culture magazine is for the general public, just ask any cheesemonger about it and they will be sure to tell you how they reference much of the information found within. Lassa, co-founder and retail liaison for Culture magazine, understands the difficulty so many people face getting to ACS so it's been very important to her to bring the information to the people. That is what Counter Culture aims to do.
Two days full of camaraderie, education, and eating. Cheese producers and sellers come to educate on what they are doing and who they are, there is a tasting table filled to the brim with goodies from around the world, and the Meet the Maker event gets everyone well acquainted with products, much of which are being made by small, local producers. Recently, the third day was added to some events and it centers around the production of cured meats. There are panels about cheese/meat science, how to be a better monger, and of course, beverage pairings. All for industry, all for FREE. If you work in the food world, bar/restaurant, cheese counter, distributor, maker, broker, or if you are looking to get into the food world, this is where you want to be.
Have you heard me mention that cheese people are the best people before? So like, there's also that.
The next iteration is is Charlotte, North Carolina March 11, 12, and the Meat up on the 13th. Maybe you should think about changing your plans and getting there, huh? Make your way here for more info!
Follow those links up above and sign up for the newsletter so when Counter Culture comes near you later this year, you can be ready. Also, don't forget to follow Culture magazine on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. So much cheese information, so little time. (Their cheese library is vital to everyone concerning themselves with cheese.)