Summer’s a great time for reading, and what could be better than reading about cheese? And no, I don’t mean just recipes. Here are a couple of books that top my list. The first takes place in France, the other in Spain.
The Whole Fromage by Kathi Lison
This book tells the story of French cheeses with visits to cheese caves, monasteries, modern factories, and more. You’ll visit Normandy, the high Alps, and the dry volcanic plateaus of central France. And you’ll meet shepherds from the Pyrenees mountains that form France’s southern border with Spain. Thanks to this book, I learned why there are so many kinds of French cheeses, everything from fresh with a bloomy rind, to blue veined, to pressed and aged alpines. The author describes the origin of camembert by imagining the lives of peasant farmers near Paris in the 1700s and compares traditional cheese making to modern factory methods. You can find this book in local libraries in the nonfiction section.
The Telling Room by Michael Paterniti
The subtitle of this book is ‘A tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese’. This engaging story is all that and more. It starts in the cheese department of Zingerman’s foods and winds its way through time and travel to a small town in northern Spain. Although I found this book in the nonfiction section at a local library, the author’s relaxed story telling style makes it a very pleasant, relaxing read. To my mind, the book isn’t so much about cheese, as cheese is one of its main characters. But there are plenty of passages that describe cheese making and the maker’s love of his cheese. This book prompted me to research the cheese in the book (it’s real!) and learn more about this fascinating region of Spain. I liked it so much I bought copies for my family and friends.
Submitted by Becca Heins