There’s noone more passionate about cheese than Cheese Boutique‘s Afrim Pristine which is why he’s the perfect person to teach you all about it. From how to select, store and serve cheese to how to make the most of it in recipes, Afrim knows it all and has written the perfect book for cheeselovers that just happens to be a wonderful guide for upcoming holiday entertaining!
From the publisher
“Afrim Pristine may possess the most distinguished professional title a cheesemonger could ask for–maître fromager–but if you ask him what business he’s in, he’ll tell you he sells happiness. That’s because cheese is inextricably linked to wonderful memories and celebrations for so many of us. No matter the occasion, cheese and cheesy dishes are always greeted with a smile.
In his first cookbook, Afrim is here to teach you the basics of more than 55 cheeses. You’ll learn about the best ways to buy and store cheese, how to pair different cheeses with different beverages and how to create the cheese board of your dreams. And with his signature sense of humor and warmth, Afrim offers 60 easy and enticing recipes for every mealtime, including a bonus chapter called Low Risk, High Reward, for those moments when you’re looking to simply eat cheese with the perfect accompaniment. Alongside Afrim’s best dishes are 20 masterpieces from the world’s top chefs–everyone from Daniel Boulud, Claudio Aprile, Anthony Walsh, and Rob Gentile to Chuck Hughes, Anna and Michael Olson, Bob Blumer and more.”
The book includes:
“Cheese 101” – all you need to know about buying cheese including the sorts of questions to ask the cheesemonger – this will be helpful for many as I don’t find we’re as accustomed to asking questions about things like cheese, fruits and vegetables as our European friends. Quite often in France, I’ll hear someone ask a cheesemonger for a certain cheese that they want for a specific day of the week and they will be sold a piece that will be perfectly ripe on the exact day they want it.
“55 Cheeses” – a breakdown of the cheeses used in the recipes in the book (I’d actually have loved even more info on more cheeses, not just the ones in the book but that’s a different type of guide!). For each cheese listed, there’s information about the country of origin, what type of milk is used, the lavour profile, a fun fact and the page reference for the recipe it’s used in
Recipes – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert, Snacks and the aforementioned Low Risk, High Reward recipes which has got to be my absolute favourite chapter as it showcases cheese in very simple, yet ingenious pairings – and includes a “recipe” (actually a prep and serving suggestion) for Epoisses that I’m going to have to try next time I have one!
Written in an easygoing style (if you know Afrim, you’ll recognise his “voice”), this is not only a useful guide to many cheeses and a cookbook for cheeselovers, it’s a fun coffee table book as well that you’ll learn something from each time you pick it up!
Other great things about Afrim include the fact that he lives in Toronto and he is an alum of my school – meaning that he was able to come and work with the Petits Chefs this week! The boys have been a couple of times to visit Cheese Boutique and many of them are familiar with the store and its cheeses but we’ve never worked with Afrim before so this week was a special treat!
Especially when he brings snacks like these…
It was pretty hard to get the boys to actually tear themselves away from the food to cook but we’d chosen an easy and appealing recipe for the boys to make that doesn’t take a lot of time (unless you’re distracted by your cheese plate, that is!) Norwegian Corn Cakes (so named for the Jarlsberg cheese that tops them)…
The recipe only requires a handful of ingredients (corn, eggs, cornmeal, a little sugar, baking powder, red peppers) and comes together in no time…
Considering there was the draw of the cheese, crackers and ham, I reckon we did pretty well in an hour! And what a great recipe for the boys to learn – perfect for brunch or holiday entertaining, right?
Thanks Afrim for sharing your wit and wisdom with the boys. We’re all Cheese Boutique fans at the school and the boys were SO thrilled to work with you (and their teachers and classmates were very envious of their cheese haul!).
Please note: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This post also contains affiliate links from The Book Depository. This means that if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price (at no extra cost to you). Thank you in advance!
Disclosure: I was sent a review copy of For the Love of Cheese by the publisher. I was not asked to write about these books and am not being compensated for writing this post. All opinions are my own.
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