Thanks to increased exposure to the world's finest cheeses, Americans are finally learning to love and appreciate this versatile food. But how to enjoy cheese at home? Max McCalman, maître fromager
at Manhattan's three-star Picholine restaurant, provides real help. The Cheese Plate
, written with David Gibbons, offers introduction to the world's cheese repertoires, cheese manufacturing and finishing methods, how to choose cheese and pair it with wine and other foods, and more--all of which is sensibly and accessibly presented. Without attempting a comprehensive investigation, McCalman nonetheless touches all the necessary bases, providing just the right blend of fundamental and sophisticated counsel.
Beginning with chapters that explore cheese creation--a fascinating partnership of animal, terroir (place of origin), and skills honed over the millennia--the book then provides succinct buying, storing, and serving advice. (Buying rule No. 1: cultivate a cheese monger.) Here and throughout, McCalman offers a wealth of diverse investigations like the Seven Degrees of Ripeness (1, too young; 4, peak; 7, "fuggedaboudit") and Is Shrink-Wrapping Bad for Cheese? (yes, cheese must breath); he also provides informative asides on cheese makers like Britain's famed Neal's Yard Dairy, plus cheese-plate blueprints for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A final section profiles McCalman's favorite cheeses, country by country. With color photos, a glossary, and list of resources, the book is an exemplary place to begin or further a cheese-at-home education. --Arthur Boehm
From Publishers Weekly
Max McCalman, maetre fromager at New York's Picholine and Artisanal restaurants, with writer David Gibbons, has prepared The Cheese Plate as an introduction to world-class cheeses. McCalman offers a brief overview then points the way toward profiles of various producers, discussions of how the various cheeses are made, how to store, unwrap, serve, what's good and what's not, pairings for tastings, tips and arcana. Susan Salinger's 55 full-color photographs enrich this presentation.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.