Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ugly Rinds Last-Minute Gift Guide

Maybe it’s Occupy Wall Street. Maybe it’s the number of people I know out of jobs. Or maybe I’m just developing a thick rind, but I can’t seem to force the holiday cheer this year. Do I need more egg nog? Have I become a morose middle-ager?

Luckily, I can still get excited about cheese, cheese books, and cheese paraphernalia. Here are a few items I picked up in the last year that I just can’t live without.

It’s the tea cosy for cheese lovers. The marble base keeps a weepy Brie nice’n cool, and the glass dome keeps flies and fingers away.

This seasonal dairy rag keeps getting better – but I’m biased. Great recipes, cheesemaker profiles, and news for the budding lactophile.

So much better than scrambling around for butter knives. 

Max McCalman offers a casino-style approach to the wheeling cheese dealer. Each card features a lovely cheese photo with pairing info on the back. Flash cards?

What a curious gem – I keep this on my nightstand and peruse the wild pairing suggestions whenever I can’t get out of bed. Inevitably, I’m cheered and refreshed.

Nancy Silverton (of La Brea Bread) now kneads mozzarella for a living. Well, sort of. This is a brilliant book full of enticing cheese photos– I dream of making her squash blossom pizza.  

Hands down most-ogled book in our house. Think Morrocan fusion vegetarian with lots of Greek yogurt drizzled on things.

From the Canadian wine writer François Chartier, a fascinating new approach to wine pairings based on his experiences with Ferran Adrià of El Bulli.

The perfect tonic après cheesing. Put a few drops in sparkling water, and you’ll never need a soda again. Seriously good for digestion.


  1. of course, prints of cheese portraits would make a nice gift, no? ;)

  2. OMG, how did I forget! Yes, yes! Cheese portraits and prints:

    Thanks for the reminder. Aack. Too much grading.