Saturday, December 28, 2013
by Tenaya Darlington.
Find it in the catalog!
As someone who spends far too much time and money hanging out at the cheese counter, I consider myself a cheese enthusiast, if not a cheese nerd. So naturally when I saw this book on some best books of the year lists, I had to check it out. And I was truly surprised by how much I learned about cheese from this title! I discovered new brands and styles of cheese, like the American-made Haribson ( described as "A sexy librarian's cheese-all horn rims and whispers"--naturally I had to try it!), or the Spanish raw sheep's milk cheese, La Serena (described as "A gutsy broad, slightly feral, with lots of the soul.")
The author, Tenaya Darlington, has a great sense of humor that shines throughout the book. The cheeses are organized by the different personalities of the "hunks": "quiet types," "rockstars," "baby faces" and less attractive, "stinkers" and "mountain men". I discovered my taste in cheese is pretty much the opposite of my taste in dates. While "stinky" and "boozy" might describe a delicious French cheese, they aren't desirable adjectives for a boyfriend. Darlington provides serving suggestions to go with each cheese; for instance, with one of my favorite cheeses, Rogue River Blue, she recommends: "A cheese this good doesn't need much to go with it. Treat it like a great Roquefort... and slice up a ripe pear. A dish of toasted walnuts is a great foil." She also recommends beer and wine pairings to go with the hunks.
Warning: reading this book is dangerous for your wallet and waistline. Not only did it make me hungry, each and every time I picked up the book, I found myself tempted by even more types of cheese at the counter. Darlington provided different cheese boards to try and even cheese tasting party ideas. This book is must read for cheese enthusiasts of all variations, particularly those interested in getting acquainted with American and Italian artisanal cheeses.
If you still can't get enough cheese, check out the author's blog.