Valley Friends March Report

From Joan Steel

Cheese is Milk’s Leap Toward Immortality

Jill welcomed us to the meeting and thanked everyone for their good wishes and support during her recent health problems. We thank Heather Mayer for bravely taking over as leader at this time.

Following the announcements, Jill introduced our speaker, Mr John Pearson who said that more people than ever are making cheese, even more than France. Marks and Spencer have a team of food technologists who make visits to suppliers looking at manufacturing of cheeses. M&S have 4 % of the market share of cheese Tesco have 28% similar to Lidl and Aldi. Their main competitors are Asda and Waitrose. John told many amusing stories of incidents that occurred in marketing and advertising, including the new packaging of a brand of cat food that supplied a straw with each packet!

There are many different types of cheeses, all made of concentrated milk. The milk is soured so that the whey can be separated from the curds and the processes that follow create the various textures and flavours. In Italy, 10 % of the whey is fed to the pigs during the production of parma ham. In this country consumption of cheese is quite low compared to Greece that is highest in Europe.

Following the very interesting and humorous talk, John provided samples of cheeses for us to taste and compare. Norma proposed the Vote of Thanks for a most enjoyable evening.

Our next meeting is on April 7th, when Nano Mulligan’s talk is entitled “Dementia Friends”.  All welcome.