American Cheese Society Hosts Annual Festival
by Rachel Silverman, The Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2009-10-02 11:26:19 EST

The ballroom at the downtown Hilton in Austin, Tex., held a particularly cheesy event last Saturday evening. But it didn’t feature a bad Bar Mitzvah band belting an I Will Survive/Hava Nagila medley.

Instead, hundreds of revelers gathered for the American Cheese Society’s annual Festival of Cheese, described by festival organizers as the premiere cheese event in the U.S. There for the sampling were hundreds of gourmet cheeses cut into bite-size cubes, along with crackers, breads, spreads, meats, fruit, nuts, chocolate and free-flowing wine and beer. Dinner on a toothpick never tasted so good.

The American Cheese Society comprises some 1,200 members, including specialty cheese-makers, retailers, marketers, food writers and plain old cheese enthusiasts. Its five-day gathering featured such topics as green cheese-making, cheese-and-beer pairings and cheese-and-chocolate pairings, touted in conference materials as a foodie trend. (Lots of wine might help that combo go down more easily).

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