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Dairy Council

Cheese up your life!

The Dairy Council hosted a cheese symposium on 10th May at the Merchant Hotel, Belfast chaired by cook and food writer Trish Deseine

International experts including an archaeologist, food historian, super–taster, neuroscientist and dairy marketing specialists explored our European cheese culture – past, present and future including: 

History of cheese 

How it all began: the prehistoric origins of dairying and cheese–making in Ireland and continental Europe

Dr Jessica Smyth, Research Associate in Neolithic Archaeology, University of Bristol

What happened next and why?: from Medieval Ireland as the high point of cheese–making, to the 17th and 18th century decline and modern revival Regina Sexton, Food Historian, University College Cork

Science of taste 

The science of what makes a food delicious: how taste, smell, sight, texture and even descriptions combine in our brains to produce flavour, pleasure and reward

Professor Edmund T Rolls, Oxford Centre for Computational Neuroscience and University of Warwick

Putting it into practice: innovative sensory analysis to develop flavour maps and food pairings for cheese                                                                                                                      

Lisbeth Ankersen, Super–taster and CEO of Innova Consult, Denmark

Cheese culture in Europe today

Current consumption patterns and trends: the place of cheese in a modern lifestyle with perspectives from DenmarkFrance and Northern Ireland

Winnie Pauli, Director of Diet & Health, Danish Agriculture & Food Council; Laurent Damiens, Director of Communications, CNIEL, France; Dr Mike Johnston MBE, Chief Executive, Dairy Council for Northern Ireland

 

Symposium delegates enjoyed delicious and imaginative cheese dishes from Merchant chef Patrick Leonard and his team including a very special cheese on toast – sourdough, brie, burnt leeks and fenugreek; croque madame – soft blue cheese and pickled beetroot; and mature cheddar and bacon macarons. See the gallery for some mouth–watering photographs.

Find out more on NI and European Cheese Culture.

Watch highlights of the day: