I am such a massive cheese fan - anything from a mild goats cheese to a fully blown stilton. It hasn't always been like that, I was a real Red Leicester girl (and an actual Leicester girl) and would mash it into potato, top pies and toast but hadn't quite cottoned to the beauty of cheese until about 5 years ago when I had a cheese epiphany at Borough market. I certainly wouldn't say I'm an expert on cheese but as I've got older I've realised, like wine, there is a real elegance to well made cheese and all have their individual attributes.
I must admit, I was a bit dubious of a book on cheese - it made me thing of the still pristine books on bread and juices sitting untouched on my shelf that look like they came from one of those cheap bookshops. But this book certainly isn't that. The design, photography (Kim Lightbody), recipes (Alessandro Grano) and concept is executed impeccably.
The book is by the team behind the famous artisan cheese shop, Androuet. Androuet opened in Paris in 1909 and then in 2009 in Spitalfields, London and now supplies to many acclaimed restaurants including Duck & Waffle. The book is in four sections - one for each season. Each season section starts with a labelled cheeseboard which is such a lovely, clear way to show which cheeses are at their best that season. Then there's a write up before you head into the recipes. Each recipe also contains some interesting information on the cheese.
Leafing through, I was so inspired by all the recipes - the main thing that struck me is that the recipes aren't cheese heavy - they're not the heavy, melted cheese laden dishes you might have expected - they all contain a cheese (as you can only expect) but each recipe just compliments the cheese beautifully. There's even a good selection of desserts that contain cheese that might just surprise you.
This would make a fantastic Christmas present for anyone who might have an interest in food or just for yourself if you wanted to find out a little more on your favourite cheeses. I've had no trouble getting hold of the cheese from La Cave Forage so far for the recipes I've tried. This afternoon I'll be posting a recipe from the book so keep an eye out!
The book is published by Frances Lincoln and is available at an RRP of £20.
Formally Emma Gutteridge