Cheeses of France – the ultimate pocket guide

French Cheeses: The Visual Guide to More Than 350 Cheeses from Every Region of France

French Cheeses: The Visual Guide to More Than 350 Cheeses from Every Region of France has traveled with me to Paris a dozen times. It’s dog-eared pages are filled with notes about flavors, shops, and memories.

This book will tease you with its complete coverage of French cheese. No matter where you are in France, you’ll never be able to find more than a small fraction of the selection. The author describes not only the mainstays of cheese culture but also the tiny fromageries who have made cheese for 400 years with a dozen sheep on the family farm.

I’ve often used the book to start conversations at the shops, pointing to the desired cheese and asking the clerks if they had the selection. One time, a distinguished lady came up behind me and in a very amused Parisian accent said “How cute, he’s got a cheese book.”

If you haven’t guessed, this book is less of a cook book and more of a tourist guide. You’ll enjoy the descriptions and easy to understand maps and symbols. This is a required book for any cheesies bookshelf.

Forget the wine, it’s time for beer and cheese

A selection of cheeses Taste, a San Diego cheese shop, announced their biannual beer and cheese tasting party will be held next week, April 11 and later on April 29 at O’Briens pub.

Cheese 101 – Beer and Cheese Pairing will feature the following combinations:

  • Ballast Point Yellowtail with Haystack Mountain Sunlight
  • Maredsous 8 with Comte
  • North Coast Pranqster with Mahon Curado
  • Malheur Brut with Ardrahan
  • Chimay Red with St George & Roncal
  • Aventinus with Roaring 40s Blue

The cost is only $35 per class.

It’s like watching a wheel of cheese ripen is indeed a live webcam of cheese ripening in England. The West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers have set up this riveting display of ripening to launch the celebrity-hood of this particular round. You can even watch a time-lapse video on You Tube:

Rouxbe – Online video recipes of the highest quality

If you love watching cooking shows on television, you’ll love the new online video recipe web site The name is a take-off of a roux, the base for a white sauce. The site gives you unlimited access to their video recipes for the first 30 days and you can join their premium service for more video demonstrations.

Rouxbe’s videos and recipes are top-notch! These are HDTV super hi-def compared to what you normally see on the internet. Here’s a nice video recipe example: Panna Cotta with Stone Fruit.

Here’s a snippet of the recipe:

Panna Cotta with stone fruit

Panna Cotta with Stone Fruit Compote

This Italian classic, is perfectly balanced with a fresh stone fruit compote

Active Time: 20
Total Time: 3 hours
Serves: 6
Step 1: Starting the Panna Cotta

  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. gelatin powder (approx. 1 package)
  • 1/8 cup milk

To start the Panna Cotta split the vanilla bean in half length-wise and scrape out the seeds. Using a small pot add the cream along with the salt and powdered sugar and bring to a gentle boil over low heat. While the cream heats up pour the gelatin over the milk and mix well and set aside. Once the cream comes to a gentle boil, immediately turn off the heat and remove the vanilla bean and discard. Now add the gelatin mixture and whisk until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a medium sized bowl and let cool to room temperature stirring occasionally.

The full recipe can be seen at

Vintage Cheese Signs in a Paris Flea Market

old food signs at the Marche aux Puce - Port de Vanves

I found these cheese signs while shopping at the Marche aux Puce – Port de Vanves in Paris. They sold for approximately $3 each.