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A thousand different mountain cheeses from all over the world will be competing for the title of “the best” in Verona from 20 to 23 October, at the 4th Mountain Cheese Olympics. This great event has become a reference point for cheese made at high altitudes. Eligibility to enter the competition depends on two criteria: the cheese must be made from raw milk, and it must be made at an altitude above 600 metres.

Verona has thus been officially invested by Caseus montanus – the International centre for the protection and promotion of mountain cheeses – as the venue for this event. Its candidature was supported by Veneto Region and put forward last year by the Consortium for the Protection of Monte Veronese DOP cheese. Verona and its mountain hinterland (now with its renowned cheeses) are preparing to host this remarkable spectacle, the only one of its kind in existence.

Events will include an international mountain cheese competition, and the construction of an “Olympic village”, which will act as an international cheese market; an international conference on mountains; cheese tasting; and a variety of entertainments.

Caseus Montanus. It was during the International Year of Mountains that representatives from France, Italy and Switzerland founded Caseus Montanus, based in Val d’Aosta. The Centre is designed to promote the economy of mountain regions on the international market and protect and promote mountain cheeses and the environments they come from. The name “Caseus montanus” is Latin for “mountain cheese”; the name will become a trademark reserved for the winners of the competition.

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