We’re Eating More Cheese Than Ever. How To Do It Better

Up to now, cheese guides have tended to focus more on where and how cheese is made than on how best to enjoy it. Meanwhile, according to the USDA, Americans’ annual consumption of natural (as opposed to processed) cheese increased from 19.3 to 29.47 pounds per capita between 1995 and 2015, and the range of cheeses to choose from has become downright daunting. The time has come for “The Book of Cheese: The Essential Guide To Discovering Cheeses You’ll Love,” published this month by Flatiron Books. In it, author Liz Thorpe introduces a blessedly consumer-focused framework for making sense of the expanding cheese universe. Familiar “Gateway Cheeses” serve as points of departure to lesser-known styles with similar flavors and textures. Parmesan is the entry point to “hard, grainy cheeses with nutty character,” Swiss the portal to “smooth, pliable, brilliant melters.” As few others can, Ms. Thorpe connects the dots between supermarket brie and Sequatchie Cove Creamery Dancing Fern, “one of the most complex and thoughtful cheeses being made in America.” After beginning behind the counter at New York’s influential Murray’s Cheese, she rose to vice president and brought Murray’s kiosks to grocery stores around the U.S. Throughout the book she offers pairings, plus flavor wheels to help you develop a palate and a vocabulary. There are recipes, too…

And to see Ms. Thorpe’s Homemade Whole-Milk Ricotta recipe, click on the text above.   Thanks to Tia Keenan for bringing us this yummy-sounding recommendation!  Bon appetit!

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