If there is one thing you should know about me by now, through my instagram or even previous posts, is that I love to "cheesescape." I think that a cheeseboard is a great cocktail party staple and has the ability to be constantly reinvented depending on the time of year/season/occasion you are serving the cheeseboard. In addition to my love of cheesescaping, I really do love to learn (sounds so dorky, I know). So naturally, I have an insatiable appetite for any/all information about cheese pairings, regional cheeses, serving and storing cheeses, etc. I find myself constantly Pinteresting for new cheesescape presentation ideas and also with my head in books trying to learn all that I can to elevate my cheesescape complexity with each presentation.
Over time, I have discovered a core repertoire of cheese resources (aside from Pinterest) that have been a huge help advancing my personal cheesescape skill level. The Murray's Cheese Handbook, by: Rob Kaufelt and Cheese Primer, by: Steven Jenkins, are two resources that I would recommend to anyone looking to learn more about cheeses and the art of creating a cheeseboard (aka "cheesescaping"). Both books provide a wide array of applicable knowledge needed for selecting, pairing, serving and even storing cheeses. These books are packed with great information on cheeses and tips on creating that perfect cheeseboard. Below I have provided few of my favorite highlights about each book:
Favorite Features from Cheese Primer:
- How to properly store cheese
- What to look for when purchasing Cheese and how to serve the cheese
- Tips on assembling a cheese board
- Suggested Cheeseboard Pairings with Wine Suggestions (themed by geographic region and/or season)
- What to do with leftover cheese
- A complete breakdown of all different types of cheeses around the world
Favorite Features from The Murray's Cheese Handbook:
- Cheese 101- Understanding the different types of milk used to make cheese, the difference between pasteurized and unpasteurized cheese,
- Seasonal Cheeses
- Breaking down the 7 different categories of cheeses
- How to order the presentation of cheeses on your cheese board
- Some favorite domestic cheeses with suggested wines and other accouterments that pair well with each cheese.
There is no denying that the best way to educate yourself on cheeses is to actually go to cheesemonger and taste/experience the varieties of cheeses firsthand. However, if you aren't in a position (ex. geographic, available free time, knowing a good local cheesemonger, etc.), these books are excellent resources for learning the basics of cheeses, pairings and cheesescaping.