In addition to many other traditional foods, Oldways has long been aﬃliated with the world of cheese, starting back in 2000 with our Cheese of Choice Coalition. Oldways, alongside many other inﬂuential cheese authorities, joined forces to assemble an international coalition to ﬁght and preserve the rights of individuals to purchase unpasteurized (raw milk) cheeses. This passion for cheese has continued and here in the oﬃce we are ever expanding our knowledge and our palates, sampling new cheese varieties whenever the opportunity arises.
On my birthday (the number will not be named!) my husband bestowed upon me the book, The Cheese Mongers Kitchen and I was thrilled. I had heard of this book and its author and could not wait to begin reading, learning, and tasting. The author, Chester Hastings, is himself a chef and cheese expert and through his book you are able to share in his enthusiasm for learning about all things cheese. He oﬀers an approachable look at the world of cheese from designing a perfect cheeseboard to suggestions for storage (no plastic wrap please, apparently cheese is a living, breathing organism that needs a bit of air!). I delighted in each page, and recipe, many oﬀering a historical perspective on particular cheeses and their origins.
Course by course Chester takes readers on a journey with new and inventive ﬂavor combinations that, by description alone, excite the palate. From Fontina Fonduta with Truﬄe Butter and Broiled Bocconcini di Pura Capra Wrapped in Speck to Savory Chocolate Fettuccine with Mascarpone and Lemon, the recipes are often memories and interpretations of meals that have inspired him on his own travels.
One of my favorite parts of this book is Chester’s unit of measure that I so often use in my own cooking but never quite knew how to describe — “Quanto basta” — meaning, however much you think is needed is the correct amount. A beautiful message that allows the reader to feel less intimidated and embrace a more intuitive approach to cooking.
I look forward to sharing lessons I learn from the book as well as dishes I create as a result. To cheese!