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Cheese research is delicious, but also very difficult to come by. Scientist and other researchers seldom times focus on cheese for their scholarship. We don’t blame them, as there are other very interesting topics around, but that means that our scientific knowledge of cheese — which is one of the most ancient foods in the western world — is still developing.


Our goal at the Oldways Cheese Coalition is to bring this academic research to you. On the Coalition’s blog, we feature research on cheese rinds, and microbes, and pathogens, in addition to the many styles and traditional cheesemaking practices.  Often times we are asked, Do you have a library that I can use? We do, in fact, have a vast collection of cheese books and we keep adding to it. We also have put together resources on our website for you to do your own research.

Since 2014, a group of researchers, scholars, aficionados, but, above all, cheese advocates have been working to create the ultimate cheese book. Partnered with Oxford University Press, Prof. Catherine Donnelly and others spearheaded the writing of the new Oxford Companion to Cheese. A book unique in its type, it is more than an encyclopedia of styles and animal breeds, it also includes popular culture references, players in the industry — including the most iconic cheese stores around the world —, and the up-to-date scholarship on cheesemaking practices and technology, microflora and cultures, and of course ideas for pairings and uses in different cuisines.

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Below, we share our favorite entries from the book. We also invite you to purchase a copy to add to your own collection, a must-have resource for any curious turophile. Use this link (or click on any image on this page) and a part of the sale will go to support the Oldways Cheese Coalition.

10 Reasons You Need The Oxford Companion to Cheese

1. Biography of Sister Noella Marcellino. Meet one of the most fervent advocates of raw milk and native cultures working in the U.S. today.

2. Thermized Milk Cheeses. Neither raw nor pasteurized, learn about this process used by many cheesemakers around the world.

3. Demineralization. A chessemaking process used traditionally to make some fresh cheese last longer.

4. Rogue River Blue. An iconic cheese joining the mantel of American Originals.

5. Neal’s Yard Dairy. Probably the most widely recognized cheese store in the world, located in London.

6. Fat. Understand the nuances of this unfairly demonized component of cheese.

7. Politics of Cheese. Get a bird’s eye view of the socio-economic policies affecting cheese today.

8. Cheese Iron. A tool of the affineur.

9. Brevibacterium linens. Learn about one of many microorganisms that live on washed cheese rinds.

10. Cheez Whiz. What is it?

Carlos Yescas, Oldways Cheese Coalition program director

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David J. Clarke
Wonderful post about a great book. My father, (Jerry Clarke), worked with Dr. William Golding at Washington State University and was critical in the creation of Cougar Gold Cheese. The cheese is notable for using yogurt to activate the culture and gives it its unique taste of sharpness while still being creamy in taste and mouthfeel. Thanks again for the post. David

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