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Wisconsin Cheese Companies Send Over 17,000 Pounds of Cheese to Houston

The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB), funded by Wisconsin’s dairy farm families, coordinated a state-wide effort with Wisconsin cheesemakers to send over 17,000 pounds of cheese to Houston to provide nutritious food for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Wisconsin Cheese Companies Send Over 17,000 Pounds of Cheese to Houston“We are deeply saddened by the devastation facing Texas residents in the wake of Hurricane Harvey,” says Suzanne Fanning, WMMB Vice President of Marketing Communications. “Our Wisconsin cheesemakers and dairy farmers are inherently focused on helping others so we offered them a way to get involved. Their response to our call for donations was overwhelming – we were initially hoping to send 200 pounds of cheese, but the donations kept pouring in – totaling over 17,000 pounds!”

On Friday, September 1, WMMB employees, cheese company employees and dairy farmers packed a delivery truck in Madison with more than 17,000 pounds of smoked string cheese, cheese curds, muenster, parmesan, classic cheddar and more. The shipment also included 300 pounds of butter.

The delivery is expected to arrive at the Houston Food Bank next week. The Houston Food Bank is the nation’s largest food bank with distribution to its network of nearly 600 hunger relief charities in 18 southeast Texas counties. Shipping and logistics support is being provided by Independent Procurement Alliance Program (IPAP), based in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Twenty six cheese companies from across the dairy state were involved in the relief effort. Participating companies include Agropur, Inc., Arena Cheese Inc., BelGioioso Cheese, Inc., Burnett Dairy Cooperative, Carr Valley Cheese Company Inc., Chula Vista Cheese Company, Decatur Dairy, Inc., Cow Candy, Ellsworth Co-op Creamery, Emmi Roth USA, Foremost Farms USA Cooperative, Grande Cheese, Grassland Dairy Products, Inc., LaClare Family Creamery, Marieke Gouda, Nasonville Dairy, Odyssey Feta, Pine River Pre-Pack Inc., Ponderosa Dairy Products, Sartori Company, Schreiber Foods, Inc., Swiss Valley Farms Co-op, Vern’s Cheese, Inc., Widmer’s Cheese Cellars, Winona Foods, and Zimmerman Cheese.

popchips Unveils All New Galaxy Puffs Star Wars Themed Snack

Galaxy Puffs (front)popchips® is celebrating the release of the upcoming “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” with its introduction of Galaxy Puffs, a line of fun-to-eat popped shapes that are non-GMO and gluten free. The product will be available as an everyday item for the duration of the company’s three-year collaboration with Disney and Lucasfilm.

Galaxy puffs are offered in an aged white cheddar flavor made with real cheese, and are popped from non-GMO ingredients: potato, corn and rice, in the shapes of popular Star Wars characters and vehicles including BB-8, the Millennium Falcon, storm troopers and TIE fighters, plus a mystery shape.

“popchips once again used innovative popping technology to create a kid-friendly, mom-approved snack that is the first of its kind in the snacking galaxy. We are bringing beloved Star Wars characters to the snack aisle in the form of great-tasting snacks,” says Marc Seguin, Chief Marketing Officer at popchips. “Galaxy Puffs signify an extremely exciting product development for our brand overall and an exciting evolution in our company’s Star Wars collaboration. Consumers and moms will have a healthier option that meet Disney Nutritional Guidelines and are also fun to eat.”

Galaxy Puffs are being introduced as a great-tasting, better-for-you alternative for moms to choose from when making snack choices for their families. Similar to popchips popped potato chips, Galaxy Puffs are never fried and contain only real ingredients. According to a recent snacking segmentation study conducted by Alternate Routes in 2017 for popchips, 70 percent of busy moms pack chips in their kids’ lunches every day, but moms have overwhelmingly said that finding snacks their kids love that they also feel good about packing is a struggle. When moms tried Galaxy Puffs in a tasting panel, it scored off the charts for purchase intent, and, more importantly, outperformed the company’s existing internal and industry benchmarks for great taste, according to popchips.

Bra Celebrates Cheese in 2017

For four days in September, the streets and piazzas of the historic Italian city of Bra will be dedicated to an appreciation of cheese and other dairy products. The event, called Cheese, is a biennial celebration organized by the city of Bra and Slow Food International, and this year will be its 20th anniversary, and the event will be spread over two different venues: Bra and Pollenzo.

The Italian and International Market

To celebrate 20 years since the first-ever Cheese, Slow Food and the City of Bra have this year decided to keep the Market’s exhibition spaces exclusively for raw-milk cheeses—authentic expressions of their place of origin, the livestock breed that produced the milk, the animals’ diet and the cheesemaker’s skill. This decision has not only raised the quality level of the products available for sale, but also inspired enthusiasm and curiosity around the world. The 2017 edition has seen an increase in international exhibitors (with the biggest rise seen in participants from Spain) and the organizers had to close the applications early.

Free Space

Slow Food sees the triumph of commercially selected starter cultures as the triumph of standardization. If the processing technique is the same, it no longer matters where the milk comes from, nor if the same cheese is made in Italy, Wales, New Zealand or Vermont: the connection to a specific place has gone, because the specific microflora of that area and that dairy have been ousted, wiped out by lab-selected microbial superflora.

The Slow Food network at Cheese 2017 wants to get to the bottom of the subject of starter cultures, discovering alternatives that respect biodiversity and do not standardize taste, and launching a real revolution that can revitalize the natural cheese movement.

The Free Space is the most important innovation at this Cheese: A whole area dedicated to raw-milk cheese free from industrial starter cultures, natural wines free from selected yeasts, cured meats free from nitrates, nitrites and other additives, sourdough bread and pizza and spontaneously fermented Lambic beer.

Slow Food Presidia

The projects that Slow Food uses to protect traditional techniques, native breeds, artisanal foods and rural landscapes will be represented at Cheese 2017 by over 50 cheeses from across Italy and further afield. From Belgium, raw-milk Herve, a historic, soft, washed-rind cheese will be represented. This cheese is now under threat from strict hygiene requirements imposed by AFSCA, the Belgian local health authority. From Cape Verde will come raw-milk goat cheeses from the Planalto Norte, a mountainous, arid and sparsely inhabited area where a small group of herders are clinging on, playing a crucial role in safeguarding the local area. The Presidium for Irish raw-milk cheeses will be representing Ireland with cheeses from 10 artisanal dairies that work with different styles and techniques, but with the shared objective of producing high-quality cheeses from unpasteurized milk.

The selection from Italy includes Farindola pecorino from Abruzzo, uniquely in Italy (and perhaps the world) made using pig’s rennet, which gives the cheese a distinctive fragrance and flavor; Monte Poro pecorino from Calabria, where sheep have long been reared in wild conditions; Çuç di Mont from Friuli Venezia Giulia, made from the summer milk of cows who graze in mountain pastures, their diet supplemented only by local hay or cereals; Raw-milk pecorino from the Maremma in Tuscany, which can be produced in various forms and ages ranging from 20 days to 180 and beyond for the aged and reserve versions. These cheeses are made without the use of commercial starter cultures or any treatment for the rind; and the presidium for mountain Trentingrana, established to promote the careful work of two dairies who produce milk in the mountains then process it pure to obtain a different product from the traditional grana made in Trentino.

The United Kingdom will be represented by artisanal Somerset Cheddar and raw-milk Stichelton, a presidium established around the only cheesemaker still making a version of the historic blue cow’s milk cheese Stilton from raw milk. From Norway will come artisanal geitost from the Sognefjord, a brown cheese with a unique caramelized flavor, and the Netherlands will be represented by aged artisanal Gouda and the recently launched presidium for traditional Boeren Leyden, one of the country’s oldest cheeses, now made on only a handful of farms that still graze their cows on the polders and are preserving a historic cheese at risk of extinction.

From Romania will come Branza de Burduf, made on the slopes of the Bucegi Mountains, some of the highest in the Carpathians. Poland will be represented by Oscypek from the Tatra Mountains, home to the sheep-herding Batza people, and Switzerland will be represented by the Presidia Emmentaler and Sbrinz.

Selezionatori and Affineur Avenue

Running along the Piazza Roma gardens, this street will be hosting affineurs and cheesemongers from Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Spain, Switzerland and the United States.

The Great Hall of Cheese and the Enoteca

Here you can taste cheeses from the Italian presidia and hundreds of other specialties from around the world, including France, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom. The United States, the guest country this year, will be represented by 15 different types of cheese. Head to the Enoteca for the perfect pairing for your tasting, chosen from 600 wines selected by Pollenzo’s Wine Bank.

At the Pizza Square you’ll find five master pizzaioli taking turns in front of the oven, while at the Beer Square, 36 independent craft breweries will be pouring their brews. The Gelato Square has been organized by the Compagnia dei Gelatieri, while 15 street food stands and food trucks also offer more eating opportunities.

There will also be conferences, with a packed program featuring big-name speakers from Italy and abroad, the Biodiversity House with its special events and the activities organized by the University of Gastronomic Sciences. Cheese 2017 will be held September 15 to 18, 2017, in Bra, Piedmont, Italy.

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