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The Joy of Cheesemaking Paperback – 6 Apr 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (6 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616080604
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616080600
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,675,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Starred Review. Brush up on Chemistry 101 and be prepared to master all kinds of new techniques...In between the scientific lingo and the critical procedures of learning about the art of cheesemaking come some great color photographs, a few dozen recipes (e.g., Texas cheese souffle, fromage flatbread), and introductions to rock star cheesemakers around the country that include personal histories, a cheese-featured dish or two, and contact information. And lest we lose sight of the end results, enjoying le fromage has its day in two chapters covering the how-tos of building a cheese board and pairings with wine or beer. The authors one American, the other French are affiliated with the Vermont Institute of Artisan Cheese, one of a handful of similar accredited educational institutions in the U.S.

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By G1OKW on 5 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
ANYONE BUYING THIS BOOK AS AN INTRODUCTION TO CHEESE MAKING WOULD, I'M QUITE SURE, ABANDON THE IDEA. ONLY ONE DESCRIPTION OF INGREDIENTS/METHODS FOR EACH TYPE OF CHEESE AND IF YOU CAN COPE WITH ONE INGREDIENT OF CHEVRE FOR EXAMPLE " 1.8 UNITS OF FLORA DANICA CHR. HANSEN OR SIMILAR MIX OF HOMOFERMENTATIVE AND HETROFERMENTATIVE MESOPHILIC CULTURE PLEASE BUY BUY BUY. . YOU WILL LEARN, IN PASSING THAT THE PRESSING WEIGHT FOR CHEDDER NON MICROPERFORATED FORM IS 800 GRAMS PER SQ CM OR, VERY HELPFUL, 11.3 IBS PER SQ INCH. GOOD GRIEF. IF I HAD BOUGHT THIS BOOK OF EBAY IT WOULD HAVE BEEN RETURNED ON THE SAME DAY I BOUGHT IT. FROM NOW ON I WILL ONLY BUY BOOKS THAT HAVE BEEN RECOMMENDED BY OTHER AMAZON READERS. THE BOOK IS NICELY PRINTED AND BOUND AND THERE ARE INTERESTING PASSAGES ON AMERICAN CHEESEMAKERS, PLUS SOME PLEASANT COOKERY RECIPIES ETC BUT DEFINATLEY NOT A PRIMER FOR NEWCOMERS AND I FEEL EVEN VERY EXPERIENCED MAKERS WOULD SCRATCH THEIR HEADS AT THE ADVANCED LEVEL MATHS AND PHYSICS PRESENTED. THE BOOK HAS TWO AUTHORS. DID ONE PRESENT A PREVIOUSLY HIGHLY RESEARCHED AND SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED DISSERTATION FOR AN ADVANCED ACEDEMIC CHEESE MAKING COURSE AS HIS/HER CONTRIBUTION TO THE BOOK? BUYER BEWARE.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Great book for the budding novice, beginners better hold off. 15 Mar. 2011
By Cheesenerd - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered this book months ago and have been anxiously waiting for the brown box with the big smile to show up at my doorstep. All I have to say is that the wait was well worth it! I have already read through most of this book and am excited to read more!

I am a home cheese maker, have been for a couple of years now. I have made many cheeses, both soft and hard, and would consider myself to be a novice (little past beginner, not quite advanced cheese maker). Please consider this review from that perspective.

First thing I will mention is that this book has some really good colored pictures of industrial cheese making operations, as well as some photos of different steps in the cheese making process. This is definitely a plus.

Hands down, the greatest strength of this book is the very through explanation of each step in the cheese making process and the components that go into each step. For instance, the authors explain the purpose behind each step in the aging process, they incorporate pH into the recipes including "target pH" at different milestones in the process (mainly in the pressing process), flocculation time. They also incorporate information on different milk types (including the fat content of milk for a few different breeds of cows) as well as the components in milk and what they contribute to cheese itself.

Another feature that I really appreciate about this book is the fact that the authors show you how to perform computations that occur in cheese making including how to determine how much starter to use (when buying in larger quantities), and how much pressure to apply when pressing(IE how to computing PSI). Many other book do not include these details.

Now, what would I say are the potential "short comings" of this book?

First off there are very few cheese recipes in here. If you are a novice cheese maker, likely at this point you already have many recipe books so this is likely not a big deal; however it should be mentioned. Although, this book does have some interesting cheese related recipes sprinkled about such as "Savory Cherry Compote" and "Sauteed Pears with Honey and Blue Cheese" I have not tried any of them yet, but some of them look pretty good (I am not too sure about the Pears and Blue cheese but hey, I know people who would likely be all over that one).

Second, although this book is "Written for both beginners and advanced students...." I would have a very hard time recommending this book to a beginner- at least one that has never made cheese and does not even know if cheese making is for them. This book is great because of its depth, but that same depth makes it a little less suitable for someone new. Could a beginner learn a lot from this book? Yes certainly, but I think that they type of student that would want to start with a book like this is a rare sort of student. Most people (including myself when I started) would prefer to jump in and make some basic cheese first, try it out and get an idea of how things work, then get into the nitty gritty pH stuff later(IMO).

Third, this book really draws a lot from industry. The pictures of the cheese making process are all from dairies. If you are a home cheese maker looking to learn about making cheese at home, this might create a slight cognitive dissonance(read that in a slightly humorous tone). Again, I do not think this is a big deal but is worth mentioning. I do not see this book as a "how to" book, or recipe guide so pictures from industry instead of home kitchens seem appropriate (if not welcomed).

So in summary, I definitely recommend this book to the advancing home cheese maker. In the short time that I have had it I already feel that I have a much deeper understanding of the cheese making process and why you do many of the things you do at each step. I think it very nicely bridges the gap between home cheese making manuals which are usually a little short of some of the theoretical details but affordable for the hobbyist, and the advanced industrial cheese making manuals which are written in another language all together and carry a prohibitive price tag. This book seems to meet half way.

Bravo!

Edit: Based on reading another review I felt that I should probably clarify one point that I made. Above I made the statement: "Hands down, the greatest strength of this book is the very through explanation of each step in the cheese making process and the components that go into each step."

The point that I was attempting to make here is that when making cheese, there are many milestone steps in the process such as adding starter culture, adding rennet, pressing, etc... This book is very good at explaining what is going on during these steps and why recipes sometimes differ on things such as length of time and temperature at which starter cultures are allowed to acidify milk. This book does not cover things like how to sanitize your equipment. As a good example, pages 68-71 cover how whey is expelled from the curd- what average size the curds are cut down to in the cutting process and the differences between stirring and not stirring curds, etc.... What is missing? Instructions on HOW to cut the cheese into smaller curds- I do not recall seeing that anywhere else in the book either. I do not see this as a basic how to book, it is more of a book on why you do the things you do- this is the reason that I would have a very hard time recommending this book to someone new to cheese making but could enthusiastically recommend it to someone that has made a couple of cheeses and wants to know more.(The authors might disagree with my perceptions here, I do not know, but that is my take on it)
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Joy, yes. Practicalities, not so much. 14 April 2011
By SDS138 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"The Joy of Cheesemaking" got me excited about cheese-making but then left me hanging. The case studies of independent creameries are very endearing and the background of the chemistry lends a respect for the precision needed. Unfortunately the level of detail is not consistent throughout the book, particularly for the practical side of cheese-making.

This book is great if you want to:
- Read brief stories of successful, happy family farms
- Understand the chemistry behind cheese
- Learn the five categories of cheese
- Learn about eating cheese appreciatively and serving it with a little grandeur

This book is sorely lacking if you want to make cheese however you:
-Don't know where to buy equipment or how to tell quality tools- I'd buy online or at a hobby shop but still want to know what items are needed, what items are helpful but not necessary to start with. The narrative sort of springs the tools on you without introducing them formally.
-Want to know how to sanitize the workspace with the right cleaner. For all I know, a residue of my lemon cleaner could ruin the whole batch, or not. Do I need to do the whole kitchen top to bottom or just the obvious working surfaces? All that's given is a caution that contamination will ruin the batch.
-Don't know how to cut cheese curds, what to use, where to do it or how to tell when you're done. "Cut them into the right size for your recipe" is basically all you get.
-Don't already know how to select the correct mold for your cheese type. Those molds in the picture just look like tupperware.. can I drill holes in some tupperware? How many? On your own there, buddy.
-Are curious to know how you might go about handling 20 gallons of hot milk in your home kitchen. How do I transfer it to the.. um.. well in the one picture he's cutting curds in a big rectangular tub.
-Don't know how to use the "trier" (a tool which I think was casually mentioned once in the book) to tell your cheese is done. If it isn't, is the "tried" cheese ruined because it had a hole bored into it before it was done or can it go back to aging?
-Where to age it (I dont want to eat anything that tastes like my basement)
- How to free it from the mold, preserve, package for gift-giving or sale... etc.

Since this book doesn't talk about the commercial aspects of starting a small commercial operation (and has a couple of quaint typos and pixelated images) I assume it's for the individual, however the beginner-level instructions are absent. Would be a great resource for cheese-making if you use it along with a book that is actually about cheese-making.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not what it was made out to be 4 Dec. 2012
By Michael J Richards - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was an odd combination of what felt like disconnected cheesemaking instructions and short discussions on successful cheesemakers. I felt like there was very little information in the book that helped advance my cheesemaking skill. Certainly there was information in the book that was new to me, but again, it felt like it was presented disjointed from a real cheesemakers experience. I think it has the structure to be a great book, but it's almost like someone put together and outline for a great book, filled in a few of the details, and then decided they didn't want to bother with the rest of the details.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
quite disappointing - money trap 5 Sept. 2012
By customer aa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book with great expectations. Some "negative" reviews say that this book is not about recipes but about unnecessary details. I wish it were. This is exactly why I bought this book, to learn the nitty-gritty details and science behind cheese making. The book is terribly shallow. It just "barely" scratches the surface of pressing, aging etc. This book is a money trap. Don't waste you money, you can find more reliable info on the web. I would not have felt proud if I were the author of such a book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
For the Expert Cheese Artisan 31 Aug. 2011
By M. Schemanski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The subtitle of the book is The ultimate guide to understanding, making and eating fine cheese. It is definitely the ultimate guide for gourmet, serious cheese artisans. This book has finest of the fine cheeses and procedures for making them.

Cheese is classified into 5 different groups; fresh, soft-ripened, semihard, hard and blue depending on how it is processed, its flavors, and characteristics. This book gives you the chemistry behind each one and the ins and outs of how to get the right chemistry. This is definitely a text for a cheese class participant.

They break down the milk composition in cow, goat and sheep milk next showing the amounts of water, lactose, proteins etc in each type and looks at the factors that can change the quality of the milk. Without good milk, you won't have good cheese.

The book continues with more chemistry for the cheesemaker in which starter cultures to use for which kind of cheeses you want to make. This book breaks down each and describes them in depth. Proper coagulation and drainage are needed for your cheese as well and the authors use diagrams and photos to teach these. Very detailed in teaching I think this could easily be a book used at some of the cheese making schools in the country.

All the processes of cheesemaking are covered thoroughly in the book with pressing the cheese, adding the mold for aging, and even how to cut the cheese properly. We are talking serious cheese making here, not for the very beginner cheese tinkerer.
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