Sacramento to welcome world of cheese

Say cheese, Sacramento! It’s your turn to host the biggest wheels in the industry.

The American Cheese Society will hold its 31st annual national conference and competition at the Sacramento Convention Center July 29 to Aug. 1, the group announced this week. About 1,000 cheese industry professionals will gather to discuss, taste and judge the best cheeses America has to offer.

Sacramento’s own food trailblazer Darrell Corti will be one of the keynote speakers at the conference targeted at cheesemakers, retailers, distributors, importers, specialty food producers and enthusiastic cheese consumers. Hundreds of cheeses will be part of the annual competition to find America’s best cheddar, jack, muenster and other varieties in the 2014 cheese nationals.

On Friday, Aug. 1, the public gets to taste the winners — and losers — during a gigantic Festival of Cheese, featuring samples of more than 1,700 competitors as well as other artisanal foods from across the United States. The next day (Aug. 2), cheese lovers will be able to take some home during the society’s annual cheese sale featuring tons of artisanal cheeses at bargain prices. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit American Cheese Education Foundation.

Registration opens May 5, but volunteers are needed now. To find out more, click on