ME, ME, ME
I didn’t want to like this book. I went to a signing in Mill Valley. My friend said there would be good cheese there and I thought it might be interesting to meet a real life Cheesemonger. I love the “monger” part. It sounds like it is going to involve a giant or something. I arrived late to the signing. I think book signings are weird. Meeting an author is one thing, but simply getting a signature is sort of meaningless to me. Ok, so I arrived late, the cheese table had already been ransacked, there were no clean wine glasses to speak of and the author had already done his thing and was speaking to the last few peeps that were around. I overcame my reluctance and walked up and said, “Hi, my friend told me to come to this, but he is not here, (pause) so anyway, excited to read your book, I would like to blog about it, blah, blah, blah” .. he signed my book and I scurried out of the place like I had just cursed in front of a nun. I arrived at the car to discover that I had left the “offering” of raw organic Hawaiian honey that I had brought for the Fromage God. I ran back in, handed him the honey, told him with lightning speed that it was raw and delicious and I designed the label and it was the best honey I have had with cheese and then ran back out. Awkward.
The book sat on my night stand for a few days. I read a few pages where this punk rocker turned cheese monger stated that he hated food labels that contained the word, “love” as an ingredient. I put down the book and decided it would make a nice coaster. The honey that I gave the monger was designed and written by moi and the final ingredient is, “love”. This honey is packed by hand in Hawaii by the daughter of the bee keeper who, to put it mildly, is obsessed with honey and bees… I would call this “love”. A few days pass and I am not feeling so well. I quickly came down with a frightening flu which relegated me to the bed for two to three days. I had over 102 fever for 48 hours, so I decided to pick up the coaster and read it. To my surprise, I was sucked in and had never been happier about having a fever in my life. I relished in my weakness and swallowed the book.
The short of it… punk rock idealist wants a job at a co-op. Any co-op. He fudges an interview at Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco, lands the job in the cheese department and quits his job cleaning buses for hippies. The rest is history and in the book. Read it.
WHY I LOVE THIS BOOK
Rarely do I read a book that cracks me up and enlightens me at the same time. Gordon Edgar is not perfect, but brilliant. I love cheese, but even if I didn’t I would want to eat cheese after reading this book. Not only does he demystify cheese, but he educates about how cheese is made and the state of dairy farming in the US. I can’t wait to read it again. Cheese is a great example of the importance of understanding where our food comes from. When I pick up a cheese at the store now, I wonder what were the cows/goats/sheep eating? When was is cut and packed? Where is the farm located? I used to just wonder, is it stinky, creamy/hard and expensive? Occasionally, I will just wonder how good it will be in 20 minutes when I hack into it at home. I am human.
Read this book. Read this book. Read this book.
I foresee Gordon Edgar being invited to speak about cheese on morning shows and even on his own show A la – No Reservations, cheese style, if he hasn’t already. You brought this on yourself Gordon!