Gordon Edgar started working at Rainbow Grocery, a co-op in San Francisco, with a punk sensibility, radical politics, and a cheese knowledge that stopped at the ability to tell white from orange. More than fifteen years later he is a respected cheesemonger. Cheesemonger is his rollicking account of those years – from unethical cheese vendors to demanding customers, from talented mentors to every kind of ooze and funk a cheese can produce.
Edgar's story is unique (from political activist to cheese expert) and so is his way to telling it. Wry, witty, honest, and quick moving prose keeps this story clipping along. His dedication to cheese, cheese-makers, and his cheese-obsessed customers comes across loud and clear. His disgust with less-than-honest sellers and snobby customers provides much of the humor in the book. He and the story are at their most charming when he allows himself to be charmed by the imperfections of his knowledge, his department, and the people he deals with.
Each chapter ends with in-depth descriptions of a few cheeses, but Cheesemonger is no cheese guide. Readers looking for a review of cheese or a systematic cheese education will be disappointed.
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