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A Cheese Lover’s Book Guide

What do you get for that cheese lover in your life who already has a well-stocked fridge? Funky cheese accessories are always a fun surprise, but why not consider feeding that certain someone’s brain with a little bit of cheese knowledge, instead? Whether you’re shopping for a seasoned turophile, or for someone who is just starting out on their cheesy adventure, our essential reading list for cheese lovers will be sure satisfy their insatiable cravings. The level of expertise in these cheesy books range from beginner to master, but there is always something to be learned at every stage of cheese appreciation! In fact, we even have a list of beloved children’s books that are perfect for little cheese experts! So find a comfy chair and cozy blanket, and get ready to spend the afternoon with a good book.

The Essentials:

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Cheese for Dummies by Thalassa Skinner & Laurel Miller

Finding your way through the world of cheese might seem intimidating at first. That’s why culturethe word on cheese cofounder, Thalassa Skinner, and contributing writer, Laurel Miller, wrote this helpful guide to take the fear out of fromage. Cheese for Dummies provides all of the tips, tricks, and tactics you will ever need to take on the ultimate cheese challenge. From purchasing pointers to recipes and cheesemaking guides, this book is the perfect crash course in cheese.


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The World Cheese Book edited by Juliet Harbutt

If you’re looking for an in-depth guide to cheese – what it looks like, what it tastes like, where it comes from, and what to do with it – then The World Cheese Book will be an important resource to add to your library. Arranged by country, this book gives some serious insights into the international cheese market, and guides the reader through using products that might otherwise be totally unfamiliar. Sometimes the best type of vacation can happen in your very own kitchen!


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Mastering Cheese: Lessons for Connoisseurship from a Maître Fromager by Max McCalman

After spending years studying and teaching about the art of artisanal cheese, Max McCalman has finally created the ultimate master-class book for those whose hearts are set on becoming cheese connoisseurs. McCalman not only covers key tasting topics, but also introduces the reader to hot debates that are currently raging in the cheese world, such as the issue of raw-milk usage in the United States. A compelling read, this book will put cheese lovers on the fast track towards pursuing their passion.


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The Complete Book of Cheese by Bob Brown

“Oldie but a goodie” is a statement that applies to two things in life: cheese, and Bob Brown’s The Complete Book of Cheese. Originally published in 1955, this classic piece of cheese lovers literature is filled with legends, anecdotes, and history. Although some of its recipes might seem somewhat vintage to modern eaters, the book as a whole is timeless and endearing in its eternal love for cheese; a must read for anyone who claims to be a die-hard cheese fan.


Historical Cheese:

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Cheese and Culture: A History of Cheese and its Place in Western Civilization by Paul Kindstedt

In roughly 270 pages, Paul Kindstedt is able to cover an impressive 9,000 years of cheese history. With his focus on the role of the cheesemaker, Kindstedt’s book advances our appreciation of how cheese has changed through the span of human history. Our inherited love affair with cheese is all thanks to our ancestors who ate long before we did, so why not learn a little bit more about their story? Cheese and Culture is the perfect read for anyone who loves history, food, and delicious cheese.


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The Life of Cheese: Crafting Food and Value in America by Heather Paxson

As a living organism, the story of cheese is continually growing. Through her anthropological study of cheesemaking in America, Heather Paxson explores how cheese simultaneously embodies old and new ideas of flavor and consumption. By drawing upon current topics from our culture – such as food, land, and labor politics – Paxson creates a timely narrative about our society’s post-pastoral lifestyle, and the impact that this has on our relationship with cheesemaking.


Cheese Explained:

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The Science of Cheese by Michael H. Tunick

With his scientific background in dairy research, Michael H. Tunick takes his readers on a field trip  to explore the seemingly inexplicable deliciousness behind cheese. Starting with the original discovery of glorious separated milk in the early years of human kind, Tunick traces the development of cheese up to our modern obsession, while also taking time to explain all of the science behind our favorite food. How are new cheeses created? Why is cheese part of a balanced diet? What’s the deal with milk and lactose intolerance? Find out all this, and much more! 

Photo Credit: Featured image courtesy of cheeserank.com

Emily Dangler

Culture Intern Emily Dangler is a creative writer and travel enthusiast, who is always looking for a good story to tell. Originally a West Coast girl, Emily has spent several years migrating across the country and is currently an adopted resident of Boston, where she is enjoying the city's delicious food and rich history.