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Mastering Cheese: Lessons for Connoisseurship from a Maître Fromager Hardcover – November 17, 2009
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About the Author
DAVID GIBBONS has collaborated on many books, including two with McCalman: The Cheese Plate, which was nominated for James Beard and IACP awards in 2003, and Cheese, which won a James Beard Award in 2006.
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Top Customer Reviews
I've spent just a few hours with my newly acquired copy and am already certain I will be spending much, much more time with the book. There is plenty here to absorb. A brief history of cheesemaking. An outline of the basic steps in making various styles of cheese. The many elements of "terroir" and their effect on the texture, appearance and flavor of various cheeses. The basic "palette" of cheese flavors and aromas and the chemical compounds responsible for them, along with a glossary of common descriptive terms. Principles for mixing and matching cheeses for a cheese plate. Brief overviews of the cheeses of France, Italy, Switzerland, Britain, the U.S. and other dairy and cheesemaking regions. There is extensive discussion about the growing number of New World artisanal cheeses being made in Oregon, Washington, California, Vermont and elsewhere. A short review like this simply cannot begin to summarize the wealth of information included in this book. In the short time I've spent with it I'm sure I have come nowhere near to taking it all in.
This is the most comprehensive, attractive and readable guide to cheese I have ever seen in the English language. McCalman presents it all with the fervor of a lover and true believer. Above all, he is a powerful advocate for small scale, artisanal cheese production, for restoring the character and diversity of real cheese. As McCalman says in the early going, some people are fortunate enough to find their true calling in life, and he found it in the world of cheese.Read more ›
Mastering Cheese combines those two volumes, along with MacCalman's deep expertise in the cheese world, into an excellent how-to guide for anyone that is interested in taking their cheese experience to another level. It is well written with plenty of opportunities for the aspiring caseophile to expand their knowledge of this delicious, delightful food!
Not only that, the authors apply a similar rigor when they describe what kind of wine, or even beer, goes best with which cheese selection. Hence, when we read about a certain cheese tasting best at such and such a stage, if to taste or not taste the rind, and even how to get the most out of the tasting experience itself, it is from that authoritative knowledge base that the recommendations are being made!
Ergo: this is no work by some amateur who likes cheese, and decides to write a book about it. Nor is it a cheese "phone book" which lists x-hundred cheeses from across the globe, then describing them in endless repetitions as "flowery", "mushroomy" and "creamy". No, in this book such judgments are applied very specifically, and with precision.Read more ›
The format is lovely. You learn through cheese entertainment.
I took away one star because after a while, I found McCalman's incessant reiteration that raw products are superior to pasteurized a bit grating. The first half approaches a manifesto on the issue. One starts to wonder how the subjectivity of taste, molded by bias has shaped the author's ability to discern.
There are legitimate concerns about public health and raw milk products. McCalmam dismisses these as bureaucratic nonsense. It's a dangerous recommendation from someone whose main focus is not public health science. There is a significant gap between his personal wish to make raw product safer than they are, and the scientific consensus on the matter.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cheese is actually much for difficult to cook with than you may think this illuminates the wonderful mysterious world of cheesePublished 3 months ago by patty
Great all-purpose book for learning the basics + more about cheese. Written so anyone can understand it, but still geared toward the cheese professional. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Southernbelly
As a professional cheese monger, McCalman speaks my language, and really adds finesse to descriptions of many of the cheeses I sell. Read morePublished 10 months ago by schimmel
Very informative and inclusive. I am so pleased with this book. Helped me along in my quest for knowledge of artisan cheese! Read morePublished 11 months ago by Charlotte
The BEST book on cheese I have ever read. Max's writing style is personal and informative, without the snobbery that many of his peers have. Read morePublished 13 months ago by wfmjoe
This is seriously one of my favorite books. I love food, so naturally I love reading about how my food is made and why it tastes the way it does. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Yuyu
Really like this book! It discusses everything from the history of cheese to the many different types.If you want to learn about cheese...this is the book for you.Published 20 months ago by See T Run