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The Whole Fromage: Adventures in the Delectable World of French Cheese Paperback – June 25, 2013
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If anyone in America has a right to claim authority on the subject of cheese, author Lison does because she’s a born cheesehead, hailing from Green Bay, Wisconsin. Nevertheless, she herself took cheese pretty much for granted till she touched down in France for the first time. Her travels there took her from one French province to another and to all manner of farms and cheese producers. She learned firsthand the allure of cow cheeses, sheep cheeses, and goat cheeses. She discovered the distinctions that make each of the literally hundreds of French cheeses unique, and, perhaps most important, she learned to judge a cheese’s moment of perfect ripeness. A lot of books have been published about the history, culture, and virtues of France’s cheeses, but this one celebrates the farmers, dairymen, and cheese makers who have established France’s cheeses as still the world’s standard. --Mark Knoblauch
"A mouth-watering read."—New York Post
"An inquisitive romp across France...Rich in storytelling, the book journeys between the historic past and the delicious present in one of the world's most diverse cheese realms. Pick up a copy of The Whole Fromage, and get lost in it."—Culture Magazine
"From ancient villages to the heights of the Alps, Lison tracks down traditional cheese makers while sampling the fruits of their labors and offering descriptions as full of passion and flavor as the cheeses themselves."—Bask Magazine
“Kathe Lison proves she is a passionée de fromage with her delightful foray into the French countryside. From the Loire Valley to the Alpine slopes, Lison’s journey is très amusant… [and] captures a passion of all things fromage.”—Rob Kaufelt, owner of Murray’s Cheese
"Kathe Lison is to French Cheese as Peter Mayle is to life in Provence. The Whole Fromage reads like a novel- insightful with right amount of humility and humor."—Allison Hooper, owner of Vermont Creamery
“Marvelous. Chockfull of humor, story-telling, passion and adventure, Kathe Lison’s cheese journey through France reads more like a novel than a true story. Plus, it conveys such a 'you are there' feeling that by the time you finish you’ve managed to take an entire trip without leaving your living room.”—Laura Werlin, author of Laura Werlin's Cheese Essentials
"In my dreams, I get to do what Kathe Lison has done and tour France in search of cheese epiphanies. In the interim, I have her engaging book, The Whole Fromage, to remind me of the personal stories embedded in each wheel of great cheese." —Janet Fletcher, author of Cheese & Beer and Cheese & Wine
"France is a cheese-driven country, and this book gets right to its pungent, creamy heart." —Stephen Clarke, author of 1000 Years of Annoying the French
"Reading The Whole Fromage is like enjoying an illicit raw-milk Brie. Kathe Lison follows her nose across France to explore the country's wild obsession with cheese…If Joan Didion had fallen tastebuds over heels for French cheese, then she might have written this book." —Tenaya Darlington, author of Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese
"A thorough, inspired look at France from a devoted and curious cheese lover and writer."—Kirstin Jackson, author of It's Not You, It's Brie
"Kathe Lison's book expresses her loving familiarity with the wonderful and complex world of French cheese. It takes you from the fields where the animals graze, through the creamery, shops and right to your table. Prepare to devoir this book! And prepare to be hungry!" —Lucia Watson, owner of Lucia's Restaurant and co-author of Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland
“Lison seamlessly conveys the experience of tasting the creamy, luscious [Camembert] and its many cousins. Part travelogue, part homage to fromage, Lison's book is informative and endearing and will appeal to foodies, Francophiles, and hungry readers.”—Publishers Weekly
“If anyone in America has a right to claim authority on the subject of cheese, author Lison does...A lot of books have been published about the history, culture, and virtues of France’s cheeses, but this one celebrates the farmers, dairymen, and cheese makers who have established France’s cheeses as still the world’s standard.”—Booklist
“Her curiosity piqued by the multitude of French cheeses, essayist and self-proclaimed cheesehead Lison chronicles her tasty culinary journey exploring the art and science of French cheese making...Whether Lison is ruminating on the short lactation cycle of sheep, the origins of rennet, or the grassy, lemony taste of a spring goat cheese, readers will have all their senses engaged.”—Kirkus
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm a mouse when it comes to cheese; it is my complete undoing! If you already realized that there are a variety of cheeses to choose from, then you're on the right track. But just how many varieties are there? Can you believe that in France there are over six hundred types?! And that's just a guesstimation. Equally impressive is all that goes into making cheese, and the subtle nuances that make each variation unique.
Kathe Lison goes on a cheese journey throughout France to learn about as many types of fromage as she can, their histories, and the process of making them. This book was so much fun! I learned so much, including the following, which I just felt I needed to share. It made me laugh and really, really think deeply:
"An odd fact about cheese is that it abounds in casein, a protein that breaks down in the digestive system to produce an opioid called casomorphin...According to Neal Barnard, an American doctor/author/researcher (and veganism advocate), 'the most powerful [casomorphin] has about one-tenth the narcotic power of pure morphine. It's not enough to make you drive erratically, but it is enough to give a certain addictive quality to these foods.'"
Yikes! Might you too have a problem? I wonder if there are support groups out there?
The good thing is that in the last ten years or so, artisanal cheese making has started making waves in the United States. I highly recommend this book if you're a foodie, francophile, or love travel writing. I also highly recommend an American documentary entitled The Cheese Nun. Seriously, the whole nun and cheese theme combined was total bliss. Check out my review http://dreamydress48.blogspot.com/201... .