The Murrays' Cheese Handbook
Pop this guide in your bag or coat pocket and head out to buy cheese.


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KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE™.



December 2006

Product Reviews / Best Reads / Food History, Philosophy & Reference

The Murray’s Cheese Handbook

By Rob Kaufelt


Rob Kaufelt has done cheese-lovers a great service.

It would have been easy for someone with his knowledge, celebrity and connections to create another coffee-table book about cheese: beautifully photographed on glossy  stock with a stunning cover. The kind of book you would never dog-ear or write in.

Instead, he created what is truly needed: a handbook. It’s a portable paperback, 3-3/4" by 8-1/2" (the trim size of the ubiquitous Zagat restaurant guide). It’s lightweight, and it begs to be scribbled in. You can almost see your self checking off the 100 different cheese entries with the date you tried them, and a few notes scribbled in the margin. (In fact, publisher take note: When the book goes into its next printing, please leave an extra inch of space after each entry to allow for real note-taking!)

Now, when you’re facing that alluring yet puzzling case of cheeses, you can look up the difference between Roquefort, Gorgonzola and Stilton...and for that matter, the 28 other blues you may come across.

Even better, it is exactly because there is so much choice of wonderful cheese these days that the handbook’s indices let you decide how to approach tasting them. You can easily find cheeses by country of origin, type of milk and style of cheese (blue, bloomy, firm, fresh, hard, semihard and washed rind). There’s even an index of beverage pairings: beer and spirits, red, white, dessert and sparkling wines.

With lots more advice (what to serve with cheese, favorite cheese plates and Top Ten lists of cheeses including “sexiest” and “most intimidating,” this handbook makes a great stocking-stuffer and a gift for anyone who likes cheese. It’s a slam-dunk if you present it along with your favorite cheese to someone with whom you are cultivating a relationship initially based on the mutual love of food. We’ll probably be contacting the publisher to see if there’s a case discount.












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