Hungarian cheese routes and their role in tourism. Local cheese in sustainable gastronomy
In Hungary in the past couple of years the need of customers towards local cheese has increased following the trend of local food consumption which significantly contributes to the sustainable development in gastronomy. In order to satisfy this more and more handmade cheese producers have entered the market. The Association of Small and Medium Sized Cheese Producing Entrepreneurs was formed in 2006, which coordinates the Hungarian Cheese Route Network project. By the foundation of the cheese route network we can make up for the forgotten gastronomic networking, strengthen the cheese producing profession and enrich our gastronomic culture.
The aim of our research is to study the current situation of the Hungarian cheese route network as well as its operation, that is, how it presents the Hungarian cheese specialties to the tourist through the locations and exhibition sites of the cheese manufacturers. How people meet the Master, the Cheese, and the Rural Areas en route? What kind of touristic aspects are related to these?
Each cheese route includes a complex gastronomic program package within the services of the given touristic area. Besides the local cheese specialties the visitors have the chance to taste local wine, palinka and other products as well and they can also see how these products are made.
Just like wine, cheese also has a terroir character and through the improvement of our tasting skills we can learn which type of cheese goes best with which Hungarian wine. With the assistant of a good wine and cheese sommelier we can now set out for the adventures in the wine regions as well. Besides the currently operating cheese routes we can also start such gastro-touristic theme routes on the bases of the cheese and wine relation.