The annual Big Cheese Festival at Jungle Jim's International Market in Fairfield took place Feb. 9-10, 2019, and as always was a "gouda" time. Here is who we spotted enjoying cheese and saying cheese. DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED

Big Cheese Festival at Jungle Jim’s this weekend to be the cheesiest yet

More than 60 vendors expected at Jungle Jim’s event

Jungle Jim’s Big Cheese Festival is back once again, and cheese lovers will rejoice at the unlimited samplings of over 300 products from over 60 vendors. Fans of unusual flavors and spicy cheeses will be especially rewarded.  

The international cheeses will be paired with charcuterie (pork) products and specially selected beers and wines. One top recommendation is bourbon paired with aged gouda and black pepper salami. The Kentucky-based Country Boy Brewing, whose core brands are Cougar Bait American Blonde Ale and Shotgun Wedding Vanilla Brown Ale, is a highly recommended beer pairing.

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Here are other notable features of the Big Cheese Festival:  

1. Sarah “The Cheese Lady” Kauffman  

Back by popular demand, Sarah Kauffman is a world record-holding cheese sculptor who carves exquisitely detailed life-sized figures, animals, and busts entirely out of blocks of cheese. Her celebrity busts include Harry Connick Jr. and Jon Stewart. She’ll carve a sculpture in front of your very eyes while, without missing a beat, giving a running commentary on her technique, how she got started, and the nutritional value of cheese.  

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The annual Big Cheese Festival at Jungle Jim's International Market in Fairfield took place Feb. 9-10, 2019, and as always was a "gouda" time. Here is who we spotted enjoying cheese and saying cheese. DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED

2. VIP Experience Upgrade  

For the first time this year, the VIP section will be moved to a new venue called The Oscar Station, which connects to the Oscar Event Center, the usual festival venue, by monorail. VIPs can sample additional cheeses and selected charcuterie products and particularly high-end beers, wines, and whiskeys. Naturally, VIPs are encouraged to use the monorail to travel between the two venues to enjoy the whole festival. 

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3. Live Music  

Live performers at the fest include Anthony aka DJ Airborne: The Music Concierge, and Encore Duo and Blind Faith Duo, who both play acoustic classic rock and Americana music.  

4. Education  

Classes will be available for novice cheese lovers who want to learn more about pairing cheeses with food, beer and wine.  

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5. Miscellaneous Amenities  

Stella Artois engraving glasses will be featured in the VIP section. There will also be raffles and a photo booth.

The annual Big Cheese Festival at Jungle Jim's International Market in Fairfield took place Feb. 9-10, 2019, and as always was a "gouda" time. Here is who we spotted enjoying cheese and saying cheese. DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED

WANT TO GO?

WHAT: Big Cheese Festival

WHEN: Feb. 8-9, 2020. Hours: noon-5 p.m. (Feb. 8 is sold out)

WHERE: Jungle Jim’s International Market, 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield

COST: $20 (general), $75 (VIP)

INFO: (513) 674-6055 | FacebookWebsite 

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