Cheese For Dummies

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An accessible guide to selecting, cooking with, and making cheese

From a pungent Gorgonzola to the creamiest Brie, the world of cheese involves a vocabulary of taste second only to wine.  With the rise of artisanal cheeses, this once humble food made from curdled milk is now haute cuisine. And to make the new world of cheese less intimidating, Laurel Miller and Thalassa Skinner have created a handy primer to selecting cheese, pairing cheese with wine, cooking with cheese, and making cheese. In Cheese For Dummies, everyday cheese lovers will learn how to become true cheese connoisseurs.

Not only will readers get a look at how different cheeses are made around the world, in Cheese For Dummies, they'll develop enough of a palate to discern which cheese is right for them.

  • Explains how to assemble the perfect cheese plate
  • Includes recipes for cooking with cheese
  • Details how to make five cheeses, including Mozzarella, Chevre, and Ricotta
  • Supplemented with a 16-page photo insert

With artisanal and imported cheeses now common to mainstream grocery stores, the everyday cheese lover needs more than simply his nose to make the best choice. Offering wise (and delicious!) advice on every page, Cheese For Dummies is a guide for anyone interested in making every mealtime with cheese a special occasion.

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About the author

culture magazine ( covers everything to do with cheese, including travel, pairings, recipes, and DIY cheese.

Laurel Miller is a food and travel writer based in the Western U.S., contributing editor at culture, and culinary educator and owner of The Sustainable Kitchen.

Thalassa Skinner is co-founder of culture and a cheesemonger in Napa Valley, CA, where she is passionately involved with the local cheese, food, wine, and beer scene.

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Additional Information

John Wiley & Sons
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Published on
Aug 2, 2012
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Cooking / Specific Ingredients / Dairy
Science / Life Sciences / Horticulture
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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The book that helped make Michael Pollan, the New York Times bestselling author of Cooked and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, one of the most trusted food experts in America

In 1637, one Dutchman paid as much for a single tulip bulb as the going price of a town house in Amsterdam. Three and a half centuries later, Amsterdam is once again the mecca for people who care passionately about one particular plant—though this time the obsessions revolves around the intoxicating effects of marijuana rather than the visual beauty of the tulip. How could flowers, of all things, become such objects of desire that they can drive men to financial ruin?

In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan argues that the answer lies at the heart of the intimately reciprocal relationship between people and plants. In telling the stories of four familiar plant species that are deeply woven into the fabric of our lives, Pollan illustrates how they evolved to satisfy humankinds’s most basic yearnings—and by doing so made themselves indispensable. For, just as we’ve benefited from these plants, the plants, in the grand co-evolutionary scheme that Pollan evokes so brilliantly, have done well by us. The sweetness of apples, for example, induced the early Americans to spread the species, giving the tree a whole new continent in which to blossom. So who is really domesticating whom?

Weaving fascinating anecdotes and accessible science into gorgeous prose, Pollan takes us on an absorbing journey that will change the way we think about our place in nature.

From the Hardcover edition.
Just a century ago, cheese was still a relatively regional and European phenomenon, and cheese making techniques were limited by climate, geography, and equipment. But modern technology along with the recent artisanal renaissance has opened up the diverse, time-honored, and dynamic world of cheese to enthusiasts willing to take its humble fundamentals—milk, starters, coagulants, and salt—and transform them into complex edibles. 

Artisan Cheese Making at Home is the most ambitious and comprehensive guide to home cheese making, filled with easy-to-follow instructions for making mouthwatering cheese and dairy items. Renowned cooking instructor Mary Karlin has spent years working alongside the country’s most passionate artisan cheese producers—cooking, creating, and learning the nuances of their trade. She presents her findings in this lavishly illustrated guide, which features more than eighty recipes for a diverse range of cheeses: from quick and satisfying Mascarpone and Queso Blanco to cultured products like Crème Fraîche and Yogurt to flavorful selections like Saffron-Infused Manchego, Irish-Style Cheddar, and Bloomy Blue Log Chèvre. 

Artisan Cheese Making at Home begins with a primer covering milks, starters, cultures, natural coagulants, and bacteria—everything the beginner needs to get started. The heart of the book is a master class in home cheese making: building basic skills with fresh cheeses like ricotta and working up to developing and aging complex mold-ripened cheeses. Also covered are techniques and equipment, including drying, pressing, and brining, as well as molds and ripening boxes. Last but not least, there is a full chapter on cooking with cheese that includes more than twenty globally-influenced recipes featuring the finished cheeses, such as Goat Cheese and Chive Fallen Soufflés with Herb-Citrus Vinaigrette and Blue Cheese, Bacon, and Pear Galette. 

Offering an approachable exploration of the alchemy of this extraordinary food, Artisan Cheese Making at Home proves that hand-crafting cheese is not only achievable, but also a fascinating and rewarding process.

From the Hardcover edition.
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