Gemona, formaggio... e dintorni
Gemona, formaggio… e dintorni: a festival celebrating cheese and traditional dairy products
On the warm days of November traditionally known as the summer of San Martino, Gemona del Friuli hosts “Gemona, formaggio… e dintorni”, a special event focusing on an outstanding local product: cheese. The event, rooted in the traditions of the Thanksgiving season, showcases local and regional cheeses, symbols of the perfect symbiosis of economics with the land, focusing in particular on the traditional system of communal dairies, based on the ancient custom of combining milk from the cows owned by several families to make cheese together.
The annals of Pro Loco Pro Glemona record that as early as 1951, the association organised a fair and market of Montasio cheese, held in Sella Sant’Agnese. The event was repeated in 1952 and 1953, but was then suspended for several decades, until 1984, when cheese once again became the focus of an initiative promoted by the Comunità Montana del Gemonese, an association of mountain municipalities in the area, producing an “Exhibition and market of Montasio cheese”.
It was not until after the year two thousand that the new event “Gemona, formaggio… e dintorni” took form, rapidly growing beyond the local confines with the participation of exhibitors from other parts of Italy and from nearby Austria.
The event offers a big exhibition and market of cheese, dairy products and speciality foods and wines from the region and from all over Italy, a market featuring products of the earth and handicrafts, a “Campagna Amica” farmers’ market, initiatives organised by the “Condotta Gianni Cosetti” branch of Slow Food and the Ecomuseo delle Acque del Gemonese featuring workshops and guided tours of dairies, as well as a competition for cooks and food bloggers on the theme of “Tell us about your favourite cheese” held in collaboration with QB, a regional dairy cattle exhibition and an unpasteurised cheese competition held by the Association of Livestock Farmers of Friuli Venezia Giulia and Ersa.
The fair also features numerous related events, such as concerts and entertainment for children, plus food and wine stands set up by committees from the hamlets of Gemona and other associations serving traditional dishes, primarily inspired by cheese.
The event is sponsored and supported by the Municipality of Gemona and the Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia.