Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge

I wish that I could have had more time with this book, but is still a reasonably new volume and someone else in Fairfax County wanted to read it! So, I had to rush thru the last 80-ish pages on Tuesday morning before taking it back (can’t really complain because I use holds to get most of the books that I want to read from the library … it is a habit developed in Oxford working with the strange stack request system).

So, a book about a life with cheese … well, not exactly.  This is an autobiography about a cheesemonger, Gordon Edgar, that never set out to become a food professional.  Instead, he was a punk and fixture in the 80’s San Francisco counter-culture that, on a fluke, got a job at the Rainbow Co-op.  From this slightly random move from a job cleaning buses used by hippies to working at the Rainbow’s cheese section, Gordon explains how his life as a punk and his extracurriculars at university helped to shape his career as the Cheese Man.

Don’t let that beginning put you off this story, it is truly about a man that loves his cheese and wants to share that passion with as many people as possible … with as little snobbery as possible!  As Gordon notes at the beginning of the book, it is not a book about cheese or about making cheese or even about choosing cheese (though, I did find one cheese in his descriptions that I really want to try to find here in DC – Franklin’s Teleme – see his description to the right).  While you will learn some about the cheese making process, cheese selecting process, and the cheese eating process, it is a book about him and his culinary journey.  And, it is quite the journey going from his first fumblings with rotten cheese to his epiphany to his current position as an expert-par-excellence.

Definitely a book to read.  Easy to read – I read half of it while lounging by the pool – and entertaining.  Another great volume of food related prose!