It’s a big season for books about cheese. The coming months will see the publication of books on making cheese at home, building and running a small dairy, and cooking with cheese. There are books about people who’ve devoted their lives to cheese, and even a memoir by one of them. And, of course, there are reference books (which are necessary, since there are some 700 kinds of cheese in existence). Here's a summary of what's coming up.
For a glimpse into the life of the pros:
Cheesemonger:A Life on the Wedge by Gordon Edgar (Chelsea Green, Feb. 2010)
Edgar buys the cheese for San Francisco’s Rainbow Grocery and demystifies the biz, talks about cheese myths and politics, and discusses his 15 years in the world of cheese.
The Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin by James Norton and Becca Dilley (Univ. of Wisconsin, Nov.)
This coffee table book profiles Dairy State artisans who’ve undergone the grueling certification process to become Masters of Butterkäse, Havarti, Muenster and dozens of other cheeses. The whole process runs somewhere between 13 and 15 years.
For those ready to move beyond eating cheese on (yawn) crackers:
In a Cheesemaker’s Kitchen by Allison Hooper (Countryman, Nov.)
Cheesemaker and entrepreneur Hooper explains cheese terminology and interviews—and scores cheese-centric recipes from—Eric Ripert, Michel Richard, Dan Barber and others.
The Great Big Cheese Cookbook by James Robson (Running Press, Feb. 2010)
Written in conjunction with the Wisconsin Dairy Board, this whopper features more than 300 recipes showing readers how to make the most out of grocery-store cheese.
For graduating beyond Cheez Whiz
Mastering Cheese: Lessons for Connoisseurship from a Maître Fromager by Max McCalman and David Gibbons (Clarkson Potter, Nov.)
McCalman—dean of curriculum at the Artisanal Premium Cheese Center—breaks his lessons into 22 segments (e.g., “Stunning Stinkers” explains why some of the strongest-smelling cheeses can be among the best tasting).
Cheese: Exploring Taste and Tradition by Patricia Michelson (Gibbs Smith, May 2010)
Michelson is founder of London food shop La Fromagerie and gives guidance on cheese from Europe, the U.S., Australia and New Zealand; instructions on sourcing, storing, serving and tasting; and 100 recipes.
For DIY cheese aficionados:
The Farmstead Creamery Advisor: The Complete Guide to Building and Running a Small, Farm-Based Cheese Business by Gianaclis Caldwell (Chelsea Green, June 2010)
Caldwell co-owns Pholia Farm in Oregon, a small, off-grid dairy that proudly produces less than 100 pounds of cheese per month.
Cheese Making: Self-Sufficiency by Rita Ash (Skyhorse, May 2010)
Part of Skyhorse’s Self-Sufficiency Series (the house also released Soapmaking this month), this book comes from a woman who has spent the past 30-plus years making cheese, teaching others to make it, and facilitating small-scale commercial cheese-making enterprises.
For cheese lovers who just want to party
The Cheese Tasting Party Kit by Janet Fletcher (Chronicle, Oct.)
Contains 50 flashcards, 50 cheese ID tags with toothpicks; and menu ideas with wine pairing suggestions.
This story originally appeared inCooking the Books, PW's e-newsletter for cookbooks.