Guide to Cheeses of the World: 1200 Cheeses of the World (Hachette Food & Wine)

by Roland Barthelemy, Arnaud Sperat-Czar
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“This is one of my favorite cheese books. That usually makes the text one of the classics or very innovative. In this case, the Guide is boring and the organization makes the information difficult to remember. The text is doubtless very accurate, informative, comprehensive, illustrated, and compact. However, the interesting photographs are more informative than the limited information printed about select few cheeses. The tables of the names of cheeses make up at least 40% of the book. The start of the book has the general cheese whatever-need-to-know information but the bulk of the book is a collection of statistics. If the text has the few mentioned flaws, why do I like this text so much? The fundamental and major reason is the book is written around families of cheeses. Almost all worthwhile texts on cheese organize the world cheeses around types, or places of origin. Those approaches may be practical but are limited since the world is full of thousands of old, new, famous and obscure cheeses. The approach to think of cheeses in families makes it simple and practical to group the multitudes of cheeses. This approach allows one to disregard the origin country or area, the method of production, and the type of cheese as the primary pointers. Once a cheese is recognized as part of a family, one can easily know a great deal about it without becoming an expert in the cheeses of a country, or type and so on. In other words, if you have sound cheese knowledge, you will know the major players in the cheese world and plenty about them. Once you have related them to each other as family members, you are able to think of them as a nameless family member. You can know so much about thousands of obscure cheeses by connecting them to their family group. This approach makes the text very useful and a joy to read because your knowledge actually expands easily by reading the abstract information! I recommend this book a lot if you already know what you are doing with cheese or when you do.”

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