This has got to be in my top ten books reviewed this year. If you love cheese you will not only like this book, you will need it, use it and probably take it with you on weekend trips away. Great British Cheeses by Jenny Linford is a veritable encyclopaedia of our finest cheeses. Irish Cheeses are also featured.
The photography by Will Heap is marvellous with crisp detailed pictures of every cheese mentioned. There are over three hundred of those and that’s a surprise. OK, so the French have a few more but their country is four times the size of the UK so I reckon that we are giving them a run for their money, not only in varieties per acre but also in quality.
Jenny has campaigned for high-quality, independently produced food since 1991. She has written books, articles and restaurant reviews and has founded Gastro-Soho Tours offering guided tours of London’s best cuisine.
This volume is an education. A comprehensive look at not only the cheeses themselves but also a history of cheese making, types of cheese and buying and serving cheese. There are chapters on Fresh, Soft, Semi-Soft, Hard and Blue cheeses so it’s easy to find just the type you are looking for.
The information here is amazing. Y-Fenni (I do love this cheese although it’s difficult to find outside South Wales) has a description of manufacture, texture and flavour, a location map and the picture. That’s not all… Size – D18cm, H5cm, Weight 1.5kg, Shape – wheel, Milk – pasteurized cows, Rennet – vegetarian, Type – modern. Jenny doesn’t tell us how many children the cheese producer has nor the names of the cows but I think those are the only omissions.
Each of the three hundred cheeses included in this volume has the same in-depth profile. You can see why I consider Great British Cheeses to be one of the most informative cheese books around. Our best cheeses are not copies of continental favourites but are unique to Britain and this book is a tool to enable you to choose the ones that you’ll enjoy most. Have a look in local cheese shops when you next take a few days away. There are some truly delicious surprises!
Great British Cheeses
Author: Jenny Linford
Published by: Dorling Kindersley
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018