Cheese Slices is a follow-up to Studd’s award-winning book Chalk and Cheese published in 1999. The promotional material reads, “Why do some cheeses taste better than others? What do you look for if you want to choose the very best? Where do your favourite cheeses come from and how are they made? If you’ve ever pondered these questions, Cheese Slices is for you.”
The book delivers even more than this and is an in-depth, knowledgeable reference book to the world’s great cheeses, and an essential read for the cheese lover or foodie.
In addition to answering the above questions it also has a cheese tasting guide, a discussion of the growth of the cheese industry in Australia and Studd’s battle to allow the import of unpasteurised cheese.
Overall the book advocates a return to artisanal cheese making and away from over-processed cheese, which is being driven by a growing concern among consumers regarding the source and content of the food they consume.
About the Author
Studd is an award-winning author and television presenter, cheese distributor and media commentator, with over 20 years of cheese experience under his belt and in his belly.
He has been called a “hero of the food industry”, “a cheese legend”, “a tireless enthusiast for good cheese” and by some a “cheese terrorist”. He is firmly against mass-produced cheeses, especially those that come in individual plastic-wrapped slices.
He was named a Maitre Fromager (Master of Cheese) by France’s Guilde des Fromagers in 2000 in recognition of his devotion to traditional cheeses and is the guild’s only “ambassadeur”
There are many, many pros with this book.
For example, the substantially in-depth knowledge and detailed explanations are written in an easy to read format.
Given its size (350+ pages) it is unlikely that you will read the book in one sitting and has been designed so that you can dip into a section of interest and be assured of coming up with fascinating, well-researched information every time.
Sidebars of interesting tidbits and facts related to the particular section. For example, when discussing goat’s cheese the reader learns that it takes 10 kilos of goat’s milk to make one kilo of goat’s cheese and the history of the term “nanny goat”.
There is also a selection of classic recipes scattered throughout using the particular cheese being discussed in that section. For example a pesto sauce recipe and one for blue cheese pasta.
The cheese varieties section is exciting, with information on their flavour, and importantly the true nature of the cheese. For example, Studd says, “Today the labels of Brie and Camembert cover a bewildering range of flat, mould-covered cheeses in many different textures and flavours.” It is clear from his tone that he does not approve, adding that eating Brie from Brie is an experience that one is unlikely to forget. He then goes on to tell you what the authentic cheese looks like and tastes like and the details of the less than 12 makers of Camembert de Normandie (where genuine Camembert is from) and the six artisanal produces of Brie.
The section on buying and eating cheese will change the way you buy cheese and armed with the correct information you can be assured of never buying or eating an inferior or wanna-be cheese again.
Key sections in the book include – Origins, The Basics (pasture, soil, breeds, making cheese, raw cheese etc), Eating Cheese (elements of taste, cheese to shop, cheese selection, cheese and wine, cooking with cheese etc), Cheese Types (from fresh to hard cooked), Australian Cheeses and an Index of Cheese Names.
A compelling read.
For me there are no cons with this book. Personally, I would have enjoyed glossier images.
Reasons to Buy
It is the only cheese reference book you are likely to need.
Buying and eating cheese will never be the same again.
It is the ultimate gift for your cheese-loving friend.
by Vicki Williams
Where to buy
Online at www.cheeseslices.com
“A monster compendium on cheesemaking and eating that's destined for classic status, following Studd's 1999 Chalk and Cheese.” – Australian Gourmet Traveller
“Written by our most knowledgeable advocate of quality cheese” – Vogue Entertaining and Travel (Australia)
The greatest accolade I can give any food book is to place it on my bookshelf and Cheese Slices is proudly included. – Eat and Drink
“There are certain books that are epic in their scope and cheese guru Will Studd's new book certainly falls into that category. Will has travelled widely, testing and tasting almost every cheese known to man, to compile this beautiful and informative reference in which he methodically examines all aspects of the age-old craft of cheesemaking. He also provides an invaluable tasting guide.” – Valli Little, Delicious Magazine
Images: All images are from the book and were taken by Adrian Lander.