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Laura Werlins Cheese Essentials: An Insider's Guide to Buying and Serving Cheese (with 50 Recipes) Paperback – October 1, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Approaching a well-stocked cheese counter can be a daunting task for even experienced gourmands, but expert Werlin (The All American Cheese and Wine Book, Great Grilled Cheese) demystifies a global myriad of styles and flavors in this information-rich guide. Organized by style (fresh, semi-soft, soft-ripened, surface-ripened, semi-hard, hard, blue and washed-rind), Werlin systematically explains how each is produced, points out both rare and easily sourced examples of each style and offers elegant descriptions of the flavors, textures and unique qualities of particular cheeses in each group. A tasting assignment for each chapter encourages readers to taste small quantities of two or three cheeses carefully, with key accompaniments to bring out certain qualities; readers will discover how the sharp edge of lemon juice amplifies the sour tanginess of goat cheese, and that a bit of bacon brings out the smokiness of rich, creamy blue Stilton. Werlin also includes a number of easy recipes, including Brie Toasts with Chardonnay-Soaked Golden Raisins, Comte Pistachio Souffle and a luscious roasted butternut squash stuffed with Swiss chard and SarVecchio Parmesan. Rounded out with tips on purchasing and storage, Werlin's encouraging, adventurous and comprehensive manual is accessible enough for the merely cheese-curious while offering plenty to discover for those already well-versed in the subject.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

LAURA WERLIN is a James Beard and IACP Award–winning cookbook author, whose previous books for STC include The New American Cheese (2000), The All American Cheese and Wine Book (2003), and Great Grilled Cheese (2004). Werlin’s articles on food have appeared in Food & Wine, Fine Cooking, Saveur, Cooking Light, and Country Living, and she has been a guest on numerous television and radio shows across the country. She lives in San Francisco.

MAREN CARUSO is a San Francisco-based photographer who specializes in food photography. Her work has appeared in Food & Wine, Gourmet, and Bon Appétit magazines, and in more than 50 books, including Stewart, Tabori and Chang’s Great Grilled Cheese and Chocolate Obsession.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584796278
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584796275
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #809,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laura Werlin is a highly respected authority on cheese. As the author of four books on the subject, each of which have been honored with an award, including a James Beard, IACP, and the World Gourmand Award for Best Cheese Book for her classic, Great Grilled Cheese, Werlin is frequently invited to lead professional--and consumer-level seminars and classes at events, including the prestigious Food & Wine magazine Classic at Aspen, the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta, and The Cheese School of San Francisco. She is also often asked to judge food and wine competitions across the country, including the American Cheese Society annual cheese competition and most recently the Grilled Cheese Invitational in Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This fantastic book would be perfect for anyone who wants to learn about cheese. Laura's eight categories of cheese are an excellent way to approach cheeses and understand just by looking what a cheese is likely to taste like. For example, the categories she uses are:
+ fresh
+ soft-ripened
+ surface-ripened
+ semi-soft
+ semi-hard
+ hard
+ washed-rind
+ blue

She spends time discussing the common characteristics of cheeses in each category.
For example fresh refers to un-aged cheese which are likely to have a creamy flavor and generally a light taste. Soft-ripened cheese softens from the outside in because of a bloomy white rind-- brie is the classic example.

This is much, much more approachable for a newcomer than the usual litany of cheese types, names, and places.
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By Lady_C on January 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
Prerequisite: you want to know about cheese, you love cheese
Highlights:
1. colour pictures on each page
2. comfortable printing, editing, and reading (text size)
3. introductions and information of several cheese
4. how to enjoy cheese
5. simple cheese recipe included
6. Not a heavy book
7. Her personal tips on selecting cheese

Cons: it covers about 60% types of cheese.
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Format: Paperback
This book is informative, helpful, instructive, and topics are arranged sensibly as well as beautifully. This is a book that can be picked up at any time, opened randomly, and one would find factual information about cheese types with perhaps a bit of history, or a delectable recipe, or instructions on how to care for a specific cheese type. Laura Werlin is a wizard on cheese, a food enthusiast who has common sense in her back pocket at all times.
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Format: Paperback
Daunted in the cheese section? I learned so much reading this book! I already knew which basic cheeses I liked (Manchego! Brie! Munster!) and which I didn't (um...), but Werlin's accessible definitions, descriptions, and groupings made shopping for cheeses so much easier. Definitely recommend. Bonus: great recipes incorporating many of the cheeses she highlights.
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Format: Paperback
Who knew that cheese could be so incredibly interesting and fun? Ms. Werlin's book is an accessible and interesting read and has inspired me broaden my horizons beyond my mundane grocery store dairy case.
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Format: Paperback
Laura Werlin is an engaging writer with a sense of organization, essential when tackling a subject as big and diverse as cheese. She helps me order my thoughts about cheese, while introducing some killer recipes to keep it all fun and relevant. It is her depth of knowledge about food in general (not just cheese) that makes this book so informative and fun. Terrific photos, too, bring the subject to life. Indispensable reference for anyone trying to sort this vast subject out!
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Format: Paperback
Saw it at a used bookstore. Actually give useful descriptions of the types of cheeses and compares cheeses within the categories. Very helpful. Describes texture, looks, flavors, uses. Not a snobby, "art" cheese book. Pleasing format. Nice writing style.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you like cheese, this is a great, simple read. I think of cheese as one of the basic food groups, and this book is a good way to increase your knowledge.
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