Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge [NOOK Book]

Overview

Witty and irreverent, informative and provocative, Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge is the highly readable story of Gordon Edgar's unlikely career as a cheesemonger at San Francisco's worker-owned Rainbow Grocery Cooperative. A former punk-rock political activist, Edgar bluffed his way into his cheese job knowing almost nothing, but quickly discovered a whole world of amazing artisan cheeses. There he developed a deep understanding and respect for the styles, producers, ...

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Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge

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Overview

Witty and irreverent, informative and provocative, Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge is the highly readable story of Gordon Edgar's unlikely career as a cheesemonger at San Francisco's worker-owned Rainbow Grocery Cooperative. A former punk-rock political activist, Edgar bluffed his way into his cheese job knowing almost nothing, but quickly discovered a whole world of amazing artisan cheeses. There he developed a deep understanding and respect for the styles, producers, animals, and techniques that go into making great cheese.


With a refreshingly unpretentious sensibility, Edgar intertwines his own life story with his ongoing love affair with cheese, and offers readers an unflinching, highly entertaining on-the-ground look at America's growing cheese movement. From problem customers to animal rights, business ethics to taste epiphanies, this book offers something for everyone, including cheese profiles and recommendations for selecting the very best-not just the most expensive-cheeses from the United States and around the world and a look at the struggles dairy farmers face in their attempts to stay on and make their living from the land.


Edgar-a smart, progressive cheese man with an activist's edge-enlightens and delights with his view of the world from behind the cheese counter and his appreciation for the skill and tradition that go into a good wedge of Morbier.


Cheesemonger is the first book of its kind-a cheese memoir with attitude and information that will appeal to everyone from serious foodies to urban food activists.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Library Journal
Beginning with the Antique Gruyere that awoke his sleeping palate to the wonders and possibilities of cheese, professional cheesemonger Edgar recounts the path that landed him behind the cheese counter of a San Francisco co-op. Armed with a healthy disdain for pretentiousness and a liberal attitude rooted in punk rock and activism, Edgar provides engaging, illuminating essays on the intricacies of cheese and its production-from milk to the use of hormones to methods of farming-as well as profiles of well-known varieties; he even makes room for oft-maligned American Cheese (Edgar himself was raised on Velveeta and Kraft Singles), as well as entertaining digressions on crazy customers. Unfortunately, Edgar's asides can irritate as often as they inform, repeating his thoughts on issues like the logistics of food cooperatives and challenges facing the nation's milk producers. Edgar's passion for the subject, including its politics and social implications, is unassailable, and should give readers a new perspective on their favorite wedge of fromage. The book works best as a bulletin from the front lines, rather than a guide to distinguishing Cashel from Maytag Blue; it should prove most interesting to locavores, fellow cheesemongers, and those interested in the U.S. food industry.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher

"If you think culture applies only to transforming milk into cheese, then read this book! Gordon Edgar takes you on an irreverent journey through history, punk music, lust, food politics, and daily challenges faced by small-scale farmers and co-op retailers. He simultaneously demystifies cheese, while wrestling with the myths and contradictions of the global food system. He will make you laugh, cry, and debate him!"--Jeffrey Roberts, author of The Atlas of American Artisan Cheese

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603582735
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/21/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 764,119
  • File size: 617 KB

Meet the Author

Gordon Edgar loves cheese and worker-owned co-ops, and has been combining both of these infatuations as a cheesemonger at Rainbow Grocery Cooperative in San Francisco for more than 15 years. Edgar has been a judge at cheese competitions, a board member for the California Artisan Cheese Guild, and, since 2002, has blogged at gordonzola.net. Surrounded by his vast and decaying collection of zines and obscure punk 7-inches, he lives in San Francisco with his girlfriend and their no-longer-imaginary white miniature schnauzer.

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Table of Contents

1. Cheese dreams, cheese nightmares
2. Becoming a cheesemonger
3. Grass, farmland, and where my cheese love story begins
4. Herd animals, farmers, foodies, and co-op workers
5. The milk of human neurosis
6. Cheese culture, punk subculture, and Reagan cheese
7. Rennet, what's in it?
8. Salt in the wounds
9. Mold, secondary cultures, and cheese with stuff in it
10. None of us is getting any younger, especially not the cheese
11. What did I buy into?
12. Terroir, trucking, and knowing your place
13. Withstanding the cuts of a thousand cheese knives
14. The salesman smiled, the salesman lied
15. It's not what we eat, it's that we eat

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Gotta love this book!!

    I LOVE this book. And even if you don't like cheese beyond the 'American singles' Kraft makes, I still want you to read this book.

    Bear in mind I grew up in a home where we made cheese, so it always seemed odd that everyone didn't come from homes who did this. But we also grew most of our own food, raised our own meat, as well as hunted and fished. And being from a French and Scottish background we loved a variety of cheeses. And to this day authentic high quality cheese with small sardines on crackers are the treat the kids in the family still ask for. .

    It whets the appetite of the reader. Encourages with a gentle nudge. Explains the history of cheese and the countries the various cheeses hail from, and why they are wonderful in so many eating situations, from homemade mac and cheese with a mix of three cheeses, to simply slicing off a nice piece of Gruyère and letting it melt in your mouth. The author does a superb job of explaining why we as Americans do ourselves a big favor when we make the effort to buy wonderful artisan cheeses from the small dairy men/women. And how environmentally sound this is, when we buy as close to home as possible. Another reason I love farmers markets here in Northern California. Also appreciated the author sharing with the reader how sales men/women lie and how he loved catching them in a lie.

    Shows he is a serious cheesemonger! And not just some person working behind the deli counter looking to simply make a sale.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 19, 2011

    A must read if you like cheese and success stories

    A great story of finding your place in life and a great lesson on what all cheeses are about. A must for any serious cook or foodie.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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