Where can you read about a monstrous cheese big enough to hold a girl of 13 inside? Or that the invention of the bicycle directly, and poorly, impacted sales of cheddar? Or that some of the first cheese makers hid gold coins inside their wheels of dairy as a sales tool?
Brethren, the writer calls you this because he hopes that you are ‘cheese-minded’ like himself.
This classic and charming book, a timeless love letter to English cheeses was first published in 1937, newly rediscovered and charmingly illustrated by EH Shepard. It is a treasure trove of wonderful anecdotes including the tale of the monstrous cheese big enough to hold a 13-year-old inside, the Stilton that purred like a cat and the famous cheesemaker in Manchester who selected which Cheshire cheese to sell based on where the mice had been nibbling ‘as they were the best judges of a good cheese’.
Sir John Squire, a notable journalist of the time, collected together ‘a galaxy of talent’, with the aim of making this ‘one of the most delightful and entertaining gift books that has ever been published’. Each of the distinguished ten contributors champion an individual cheese, setting forward their passionate and compelling arguments, celebrating the differences and delights of each type. Through their explorations, the chequered beauties of the English landscape unfolds.
It will certainly whet the appetite for English cheese, for that is ultimately what matters most, as after all ‘the only way to learn about cheese is to eat it.’
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About the Author
Sir John Collings Squire(1884 –1958) was Editor and founder of The London Mercury. He established himself as a talker, drinker, habitué of clubs, and man about town. His championship of English cheeses reflected a lifelong love of all things rural and traditional. All these were threatened by modern life and Squire fought for their preservation in verse and prose. The cheese board was a battleground in miniature. His homage to English cheese also reflected his desire not to take the snobbery of French gastronomy too seriously.