Say cheese!

   Enter the huge world of aged or fresh, hard, semi-soft and soft cheeses.  The world cheese book edited by Juliet Harbutt takes you around the world, through each country, with a photo and description of each cheese. The introduction explains the various cheese categories and their techniques and particularities.  The rest of the book is devoted to more than two hundred cheeses. Guaranteed to create enthusiasm and hunger, even if you just ate!  Each cheese is described with taste, pairings, how to serve it or use it in cooking or what wine to serve with it.
    For more depth on shopping and serving cheese, Laura Werlin's cheese essentials: an insider's guide to buying and serving cheese is a wonderful help.  Her tips include what questions to ask yourself when purchasing, such as how are you going to use the cheese, how many will you serve, and so on. Her book includes some delicious recipes, such as camembert, ham and caramelized onion sandwiches, peppercorn-crusted rib-eye steaks with blue cheese-chive butter, or comté pistachio soufflé.
    More and more Americans are choosing to make their own dairy products, whether by raising the sheep, cows,or goats themselves or by purchasing the materials. The home creamery by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley is not to be missed by those considering cheese-making. It offers basic recipes for making everything from sour cream to mozzarella, then on to more complicated items such as cheese blintzes.  There are two methods for making some things, such as butter or sour cream. Then she shares delectable recipes for dishes using these dairy products, such as fresh fruit smoothies with homemade yogurt, orange cream cheese pound cake or lemon scones.
    Also, The cheese chronicles: a journey through the making and selling of cheese in America, from field to farm to table, by Liz Thorpe, gives a thorough treatment of cheeses in America today.  However, organized it's not! She doesn't give us a geographical nor alphabetical list of the cheeses nor the cheesemakers she discusses in the book--no contact information, not even a website where she has posted it! The chapter and section headings try too hard to be cute and instead are simply incomprehensible--do we really care if our cheeses are inspired by a NYC chef or created by a cheese-making pioneer? Still, if you are interested in cheese, you will probably enjoy the book. Just don't expect it to be easy to buy the cheeses recommended. Easy to read, yes.