Having recently set up Cheese School with cheesemonger and cheesemakers Trethowan's Dairy I was pleased to see you can also now go to Cheese University!
According to a newsletter from Sopexa, the body which promotes French food and wine, a new university diploma in 'Cheese and Heritage" has been created by l'Université François Rabelais de Tours and the Institut Européen d'Histoire et des Cultures de l'Alimentation.
Studies on the 10 month course curriculum apparently include "the history and geography of milk production and the cheese industry, anthropology and the consumption of cheeses and the sociology of food, marketing and sales. This gives graduates a practical knowledge of cheese through a multi-disciplinary training of all aspects of cheese-making and selling cheese including knowledge of terroirs, the social value of cheese consumption and handling world varieties" (Glad to know cheese consumption has social value. I feel that justifies my indulging in it as regularly as I do.)
The modules, which will be launched in September 2010, are being offered to students who have been in further education for 2 years, people working in cheese production, retail and catering and foreign students (which would make it sensible to have some foreign language versions of the website although there is an English pdf you can open.)
I suspect this is mainly designed for people working in multinational dairy companies rather than small artisanal enterprises though, encouragingly, they do have a couple of historians, a sociologist and an anthropologist on the staff.
Nearer home you can also take cheesemaking courses at the School of Artisan Food which offers an introduction to artisan cheese and more advanced courses on making different styles of cheese. I hope to make it to one later this year.
And - taking the opportunity for a quick plug - the next one day session of Cheese School is on Sunday June 13th at Bordeaux Quay in Bristol featuring Neal's Yard cheesemaker Charlie Westhead of Neal's Yard Creamery who makes the fabulous goats cheeses Dorstone, Ragstone and Perroche.