Laura Werlin’s Cheese Essentials: An Insider’s Guide to Buying and Serving Cheese
This book was okay as a celebration of cheese, but I’m not sure of it’s practical value.
It did drive home the different types of cheese to me – she profiles eight types, from washed-rind to semi-soft to blue, and she presents all sorts of information to characterize them. But like any book about food, she spends a lot of time trying to characterize flavors in writing, and it just doesn’t quite work.
Additionally, she spends quite a bit of time on different brands of cheese, the sheer number of which you’re not likely to remember. Finally, it’s really a cookbook at heart, so there are a lot of recipes and reading them doesn’t help much.
In short, this is a reference book. It belongs in your kitchen, alongside your other cookbooks. This is not a book to be read for pleasure. It’s a tool, more than anything. Take it to the grocery store, keep it handy when cooking, etc.