This is a new cheese book that was just released on November 6, 2012.
I have been reading Kirstin Jackson’s blog It’s Not You It’s Brie for several years. When I discovered that she had published a cheese book I rushed to Amazon.com and purchased the Kindle edition for my Holiday reading pleasure.
This book is an exploration of 50 American cheeses. Each cheese has a history and a story behind it. Kirstin interviewed the cheese makers to gain insight into the why and how of each cheese. It is an easy read.
She methodically describes each cheese and the place where it is made. She explores the cheese makers and their inspiration for their cheeses. Kirsten provides several wine or beer pairing suggestions for each of the featured cheese. She ends each study by suggesting a few alternative cheeses, similar to the featured cheese, just in case the featured cheese is not available locally to the reader. Following each chapter is a cheese recipe intended to showcase a cheese that she has explored in the chapter.
The best part of the book is Kirsten’s heavy use of entertaining analogies. The book is full of them. It’s a writing style that I enjoy reading. By example, the first sentence of the book’s introduction states “American cheese has more styles than the Pope has gilded robes in his Vatican armoire”. She says of fresh cheese – “Like a Tween with access to their parents’ Playboy channel, fresh cheeses need constant supervision”. In describing France’s Loire Valley’s influence on American goat cheese she says – “It’s what Nashville, Tennessee it to country music or what Victoria’s Secret is to people with a penchant for push-ups”. Her writing style adds a little fun and still drives the point home.
If you are a foodie, or cheese passionate, then this book will satiate some of your cheese curiosity. If you read the book you will be rewarded with a better understanding of cheese styles. You will be left with some cheeses that you will want to try. It will make your next trip to the cheese counter more pleasurable.
There was only one disappointment for me … there were no Canadian cheeses referenced. None. But that is understandable. Based on the book’s subtitle “Unwrapping America’s Unique Culture of Cheese”, Kirstin has delivered.