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cheese: A complete guide to over 300 cheeses of distinction [Hardcover]

Jane Harbutt
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

16 Sep 1999
This is an illustrated reference that is arranged by seven types of cheese: fresh; natural rind; soft; white-rind; semi-soft and washed-rind; hard; and blue and speciality. Each chapter features every significant cheese within a given style, describing the region from which the cheese comes, its flavour, texture and colour. Over 300 cheeses are described in total, with five cheeses in each style analysed in depth. All facets of cheese-making are explored, including sources of taste and flavour such as pastures, floras and breeds of cow, sheep or goat. Also included is a guide to buying, storing and serving cheese, wine with cheese, cooking with cheese and information on other related milk products.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley; 1st edition (16 Sep 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840000805
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840000801
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 18.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,101,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Originally from New Zealand, Juliet Harbutt has devoted the past 14 years to writing and lecturing about cheese. She founded and now chairs both the British Cheese Awards and the New Zealand Cheese Awards, and is a member of the Guilde de Fromagers and the Chevaliers de Taste Fromage. She has written for a number of magazines, including Bon Appetit in the USA, and is the author of The World Encyclopedia of Cheese.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good, if uncritical, guide 29 Aug 2003
By Dr. Richard Dudley VINE VOICE
As it says on the cover this is a comprehensive guide to the cheeses of the world. Despite being a small volume Harbutt manages to include a wealth of information on over 100 cheeses. The book is arranged by country, and then alphabetically, rather than by style. Most cheeses have an accompanying photograph and the format of the text is the same for all the cheeses with some standard data followed by a short narrative.
The standard data gives region of production, style (“Traditional, farmhouse, semi-soft” etc) and source (cows, goat, sheep, even reindeer, milk), description and culinary use (table cheese, grating, cooking etc).
The narrative is where the book comes alive and Harbutt usually gives a potted history of the cheese followed by details of the current method of production and ripening. Each entry usually finishes with a short description of the cheese’s taste. It is the last area where the book fails to deliver. While describing taste and aroma is difficult and very personal, Harbutt is never critical of a cheese and doesn’t give comparisons to other – more famous – cheeses. Thus Roquefort has “the sweet, burnt caramel taste of sheep’s milk with the sharp, metallic tang of the blue mould”. Danish Blue has a “sharp, almost metallic taste, salty bite and creamy feel in the mouth”. Two very different cheeses, but it is not easy to gauge this from the descriptions. I would certainly have liked to have more information on the strengths, saltiness and bite of the cheeses. The word “mousetrap” does not appear and even the most rubbery and bland cheeses get a good write up, for example Edam is “supple and elastic, and the flavour is mild sweet and nutty.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good. 16 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Arrived very quickly (athough it was in an unnecessarily large box). Haven't looked at it as it is a gift for someone but I am sure he will love it-who wouldn't, it's cheese!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Al McMahon the Cheese Master 18 Sep 2003
By A Customer
Being a recognised cheese head I found this book absolutely fantastic! I have recommended it to all my friends at my local cheese club and it has certainly helped me to be the envy of all of them. It has opened my eyes, which are topped with the cheesiest of eyebrows, to a whole new cheesy world. First class.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My brin d'amour 28 Nov 2000
By A Customer - Published on
As a cheese professional I have found this book to be an invaluable resource. The tasting notes are particularly helpful and on many occassions I have referenced them in describing cheeses to my customers. I appreciate the lack of photographs-- as a professional I do know most of the cheeses and what they look like, I just don't always have the words to describe them and their characteristics. I have especially enjoyed her descriptions of various farmhouse English, Scottish, Irish, and Australasian cheeses not available here. For me the only minus is that the indices following each chapter do not have brief descriptions of the cheeses, just country of origin, region, and milk source. I usually recommend this book to my more 'advanced' customers -- beginners are probably better suited to her world encyclopaedia of cheeses. Let's hope it comes out in soft cover soon so the price will go down...
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Cheese" Will Please 14 Jun 2000
By A Customer - Published on
"Cheese" offers complete descriptions of a very wide range of cheeses. As the only cheese guidebook organized by types of cheese, it is the ideal reference when searching for a new kind of blue or discovering the different types of chedder. My only wish is that more pictures were provided, as only more popularly-used cheeses are photographed. Unlike some cheese resources, this book does not include recipes, but instead devotes its pages to facts about purchasing cheeses, creating cheese trays, regions where cheeses are made, and other cheese characteristics. Overall, it is the best book I have come across for expanding your knowledge of cheese in general, as well as to find out more about the new cheese you saw at the grocer's.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blessed Are the Cheesemakers (From Monty Python's Life of Brian) 13 May 2008
By Cheesemaker - Published on
I hobby make cheese, run a website and forum called [...] and bought this book to broaden my knowledge of different cheeses. "cheese" does this very well with detailed information and some colour picture pages with many different cheese pictured and identified. Thus it is more of an encyclopedia of cheese, those wanting a large coffee table type picture book should look elsewhere.
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheese throughout the ages 31 May 2011
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very in depth look at a very old and deep subject. Descriptions of the characteristics of many varieties of cheeses and their origins. I looked a long time for this book, and was grateful to find such a good copy. Its not a recipe book, but a reference for cheese lovers, or those who obsess over cheese :)
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful tome on the wonders of cheese 8 Nov 2005
By A Customer - Published on
This is an excellent reference for the novice and professional alike. Harbutt provides vivid descriptions and dispenses excellent advice on everything from selecting to buying to storing to presenting cheese. A must have for the cookbook shelf of any well rounded hostess.
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