Books, Bites, a Blog, and a Bar (of Soap): 6 items that should be on your radar
The Best Things in Life are Cheese by Ellie & Sam Studd
Ellie and Sam Studd, descendants of Aussie curd legend Will Studd, have released their first book, The Best Things in Life are Cheese: An Incomplete (But Delicious) Guide to Cheese! (Pan Macmillan Australia, October 2023). The duo has been carrying on their father’s legacy for years by traveling the globe, teaching, and learning the ins and outs of the industry. This diverse how-to guide covers topics ranging from what gear to purchase and how to pair cheese, to proper storage and cheese vocabulary. Plus, it features 70 cheesy recipes sure to appeal to any turophile, novice or expert. Book drops October 31, 2023.
After reading Emma Young’s The Cheese Wheel: How to Choose and Pair Cheese Like an Expert (Ebury Digital, August 2023), you’ll feel like the ultimate connoisseur. Young hails from the UK, and her tenure includes stints as a maker, monger, and awards judge. Her debut book has over 110 cheesy entries and is the perfect primer for identifying cheese and the components that make each wedge and wheel unique, helping you pair, plate, and cook cheese without trepidation. Find it at Blackwells.co.uk, Amazon.com, and e-copies on Barnes & Noble’s website.
Trust Your Taste Newsletter by Anne-Marie Pietersma
Anne-Marie Pietersma is a one woman show: actor, writer, comedian, educator, and American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional. The bi-coastal native, who grew up on a dairy farm in southern California, recently launched an e-newsletter titled Trust Your Taste, an outlet for “something tasty, something true, and some musings on food.” Pietersma shares amusing stories that spark off-the-wall yet delicious cheese pairings, encouraging readers to trust their instincts and their palates. Subscribe for free at trustyourtaste.beehiiv.com.
Former culture editor Susan Sherrill Axelrod’s Favorites:
Madame Fromage’s Adventures in Cheese by Tenaya Darlington (Workman Publishing Company, September 2023)
This breezy volume, which I read in one sitting, is a whimsically written handbook on cheese, cleverly organized like a travel guide. Beginning with the basics—history, milk types, the cheesemaking process—author Tenaya Darlington then takes the reader on eight “adventures” exploring various cheese types, urging you to “travel by taste bud.” Each of these includes a cheese board with drink pairings and accompaniments, other ideas for using the cheeses, plus suggestions for “detours,” such as Wensleydale in “A Transatlantic Cheddar Crossing.” Charmingly illustrated by Aly Miller, the book is both a detail-packed reference for serious turophiles, and for the curd-curious, a friendly introduction to the often-intimidating world of cheese.
I rarely get excited about ravioli, but chef Nicola DiGiorgio’s ethereal pasta pillows—filled with ingredients such as foraged ramps, wild mushrooms, and fresh goat cheese; or roasted corn, ricotta, and Parmigiano Reggiano—made me swoon. Trained at ALMA, the School of Italian Culinary Arts in Parma, Italy, DiGiorgio started selling his fresh pastas at New Jersey farmers’ markets in 2012. Nine years later, he launched an e-commerce platform, Nicola’s Marketplace, to ship his handmade products nationwide. Flavors vary with the seasons: his heartier lineup for fall includes beef short rib as well as pumpkin—both made with ricotta and Parmigiano Reggiano.
If you love the earthy odors of the goat barn, creamery, or cave, but not what they impart to your clothing, this delightful product is for you. Created by former American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional’s Authorized Educator Hannah Thompson on the organic flower farm she founded with her husband, Cameron Thompson, in Jackson, Georgia, the eco-friendly, allergen-free powdered soap is made with just five natural ingredients, including locally sourced sunflower oil and peppermint essential oils. Depending on your washing machine, one or two tablespoons is all that’s needed for a full load, and the peppermint oils kill funky smells on clothing without leaving any scent behind.