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Cheeses of the World: An Illustrated Guide for Gourmets Hardcover – October 11, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli (October 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847815994
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847815999
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 9.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #589,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Reader beware: the photographs in Cheeses of the World are so gorgeous, you might be tempted to eat the page. If, however, you and the book survive that first delirious onslaught of full color Camemberts, Bries and Parmesans, there's plenty of food for thought to keep you entertained (if slightly hungry). Here is the complete history of some two hundred cheeses from thirty-seven different countries. Starting with antiquity, the book explores the evolution of cheese, how it developed and diversified, and how it is made--both the traditional and industrial methods of production.

Sections describe the history of cheese, the rules governing its production in the modern world, and how it's classified. Cheeses of the World then divides its remaining chapters into regions: Northern Europe, France, Central Europe, Lands of the Sun, and New Worlds. Each section discusses the particular cheeses native to that area, amply illustrated with photographs, reproductions, and drawings. This is the book for cheese lovers.

From Booklist

Nantet and his collaborators, ably assisted by photographer Jean-Pierre Dieterlen, produce a paean to, purportedly, the world's different cheeses; but really they concentrate on Old World cheese history, manufacturing techniques, and classifications. Though some bias exists (most notably about the protection of European agriculture), the majority of the text straightforwardly describes over 700 cheeses in 37 different countries, each entry including an overture about the cheese's specific provenance, as well as details on shape, weight, type, and maturation process. Sandwiched in between this categorization process are illustrations, old and new, and the myths surrounding this milk-based product. Unfortunately, short shrift is given to the innovations of the New World, including Australia, New Zealand, and Central and South America. Barbara Jacobs

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an attractive coffee table book. It is not as informative as I had hoped, though. The text is poorly written and just doesn't get into the depth I was looking for.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bette VINE VOICE on December 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a large scale book fit for your coffee table. The photographs are gorgeous, with the ability to transport you to other times and place, as well as remind the reader where cheese comes from; place, animal, shepherd, makers. The text is quick and easy to read, as well as informative.

All types of cheese are covered ("Eight major families according to hardness and rind"), as well as geographical regions (Northern and Central Europe, France, "Lands of the Sun," (Italy, Spain, Portugal...) and "New Worlds" (US, Canada, Mexico...), along with their cheese history and cheese lore, including original packaging artwork. (You should expect no less from Rizzoli.)

However, it is somewhat dated (1993), especially considering the fact that we can all now find many previously-unavailable cheeses at stores like Trader Joe's and even Costco! (Heck, I recently found a Wensleydale with cranberry at Costco, a new one to me!) And in more metro areas such as New York City, one can find cheesemongers selling their own cheeses, as well as fabulous imports.

While a fully updated book of this magnitude would be splendid, it would also simply be too cumbersome to physically handle and enjoy, as it might hold 400+ pages and weigh about 10 pounds!! So accept this edition and enjoy it for what it is; an early 90's perspective on the wonderful world of cheese. And, look how far we've come!
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lew on September 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As a cheese lover, I was thrilled to see this gorgeous coffee table book. The photographs are mouth-watering and delectable for sure.

I was also pleased to see that the author gave due to some oft neglected cheeses, particularly my beloved Bulgarian kashkaval. Take it from me- as Eastern Europe (particularly Bulgaria and Romania) is integrated into Europe and becomes more economically developed, their cheeses will no longer be kept secret. I have travelled on food tours all over Europe and let me tell you, there are many delights to be discovered in that corner of Europe.

However, I found the book to show a callous anti-Turkish bias. Turkey is well-loved by knowledgable foodies, and her cheeses are well-regarded, if not so well publicized. There is a sharp and slightly salty braided Armenian cheese which is perfect with olives for breakfast. But the affront in this book is when the author identifies the delicious Turkish halloumi cheese as a CYPRIOT cheese! This is just a slap in the face. I can only hope it was an accident and not a deliberate slight, and yet there is little to no mention of Turkey at all in this book. This, when the Hittites of Anatolia were among the first to produce cheese!

So for the casual cheese lover, the book is a worthy purchase. But be aware that politics is sadly everywhere these days, even in books about cheese.
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Bernard Nanet, such a wonderful author. His book is so wonderfully told that it took all my self restraint to keep from eating the pages. His story telling skills are unmatched. The only person I know who knew half as much about cheese was my father who used to work on a dairy farm and he still didn't know as much as Bernard Nanet. This book completely blew me away. It is phenomenal.
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5 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I laughed, I cried, I made cheese
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