The Cheese Plate
- Publish Date: 2002-03-05
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Max McCalman;David Gibbons
If youve ever had genuine farmhouse Cheddar from England, or real Alsatian Munster, or aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, you know that fine hand-crafted cheeses have absolutely nothing to do with the bland, shrink-wrapped, food-colored offerings that evoke school cafeterias. Artisanal cheesesfrom luscious triple crmes to the boss bluesare complex and richly rewarding, very similar to fine wines. And these cheeses get even more rewarding if you know something about their subtleties, their attributes, and how to get the most out of themlike which wines go with which cheeses (and why), or how a multiple-cheese tasting should progress, or what an appropriate portion size is, or which accompaniments work best, or why the Loire chvres peak in autumn.
Max McCalman is one of the worlds foremost experts on these matters. As the matre fromager (or cheese master) at the acclaimed restaurants Picholine and Artisanal in New York City, he spends his entire day, every day, dealing with cheeseordering it, tasting it, studying it, serving it. And The Cheese Plate is the culmination of his years of passion and study for this subject: the definitive work on how to enjoy the worlds greatest cheeses (and what those cheeses are) at home.
The Cheese Plate begins with the fundamentals: history, what exactly cheese is, and how its made. Then Max moves onto the subject that has made him a star in the culinary worldthe art of cheese tasting. To begin with, its important to know how to buy, store, and serve cheeses, and then how to taste them (again, as with wines, the best results come with a little finesse). Then youll want to pair cheeses with other foods and beverages, especially wines, to bring out the best of both. And with all this expertise in hand, youll want to construct cheese plates, from a quick lunch assortment to a full after-dinner tasting extravaganza. Finally, youll appreciate a rundown of the best cheeses in the worldwhere theyre from, what they look and taste like, their perfect wine accompanimentsso that you can become a matre fromager in your own right.