We are happy to offer you this wonderful book written in 1972 for your enjoyment. Mr Ehle was writing this book about the same time that Ricki was wondering what to do with all of that "extra milk" from the "Cow out Back" so that makes them both pioneers in the revival of small scale cheese making in America.
DESCRIPTION: "The Cheeses and Wines of England and France" with Notes on Irish Whiskey, by John Ehle (401 pages, paperback) This is one of the first books I read when I became interested in the traditional cheesemaking adventure. It is still one of my all time favorites next to Patrick Rance's "French Cheese". I am sure both of these were responsible for some of the drive to meet these cheesemakers and learn from them.
Besides having a fabulous desire to learn more about the "Old Ways" and traditions, Ehle is a very good writer and presents this book in a style that has you traveling with him to visit these people in his travels. It is all about History, Tradition, and the Process. This makes it not only informative for making cheese but a very enjoyable read as he pulls the people and places into the journey.
As the title states, he travels through the UK and France visiting the cheesemakers and winemakers as he tells their stories.
The truly helpful part is the way in which he converts these notes into a practical process and scales it down to reasonable amounts for the home or small artisan cheesemaker.
Ehle begins the book with a visit to a woman in the Mountains of North Carolina making her cheese on the stove top from an old English recipe. This is so much the right place to begin because of the tradition of process passed down over generations from the "Old World" to the "New World".
He then follows this up with several soft cheeses from France and England and then moving on into the Cheddar, Chesire, Blues, French Cantal, Gruyere, and finally the softer Camemebert/Brie.
The sections on Wine, Mead, etc are of equal interest and should not be missed. Of special interest to me was the process of trying to import his own wine from France.
I personally find the section of history and production on Irish Whisky fascinating ... strictly from an observers view point mind you!
A special chapter at the end on both Winemakers and Cheesemakers Notes includes the various "SideNotes" that he has collected along the way.
All said, this is a fabulous addition to the reading for cheesemakers. It is much more interesting reading than many of the current "recipe" books on cheesemaking and would make a fabulous gift to yourself or to anyone you know that is interested in the how and especially the "Why" of cheese and how it comes to be.
This one really should be in every Cheese Makers Library.