Last week, a dear, dear intern at Timber Press mailed me this smarvelous book by cheese expert and one-time blogger, Sasha Davies (cheesebyhand.com). If you follow Madame Fromage, you know I have a wah-wah-weakness for certain West Coast cheeses, namely Humboldt Fog, Red Hawk, Rogue River Blue, and any little puck that Sally Jackson wraps in chestnut leaves. So, it was a pleasure to nibble on this guide over the weekend, when I wasn't prepping syllabi. In the spirit of the new semester, I'm going to give this book away. To win, just leave me a comment and tell me why you must have it.
On the whole, I just want to say that there are a staggering number of good cheese books out at the moment, and this is one of them. It's useful, as any guide should be, and strikingly efficient. The preface offers background on cheese-making, notes on animal breeds, graphic depictions of cheese styles, and suggestions for buying and tasting cheese. Then, Davies offers an alphabetical index of over 300 West Coast cheeses with wine pairings and a few tasting notes on each. If I lived on the West Coast, I'd keep this book in my glove compartment, along with a bread knife and some grainy mustard. Why not add this book to your cheese travel-kit?
For armchair travelers, this guide offers a dizzying range of cheese names that are fun to say: Franklin's Rinconada Teleme, Cougar Gold, Jupiter Moon, Petit Marcel, UFO, Pianoforte, Brewleggio. One can dream...one can dream.
The winner of this treasure will also receive a copy Essential Wines and Wineries of the Pacific Northwest, by Cole Danehover. Why? Because if you're going to drive around sampling cheese, you'll need to know where to stop for vino.
I'll announce the lucky winner on Monday, Sept. 6, 2010 at 6 p.m.. Preference goes to anyone with a VW bus or built-in cheeseboard-dashboard.