Cheddar Gorge

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What to expect

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.’

Critics Review

  • “This is a rare treat, a rediscovered gem. While the stories, history and beautiful illustrations contained within this book will fill you with a sense of bucolic enchantment, its message about provenance and place is still just as relevant today as it has ever been” Dulcie Crickmore, Fen Farm Dairy

    “Cheddar Gorge is a delightful book full of fascinating anecdotes that narrate the history of artisan British cheesemaking up to World War II. These stories are of as much interest to cheese enthusiasts today as they were when the book was first published.” Ros Windsor, Paxton & Whitfield

    “A fascinating glimpse of a lost world of British cheeses, at once familiar and wildly exotic. Essential reading for anyone curious about British cheeses past, present, and future.” Bronwen and Francis Percival, authors of Reinventing the Wheel: Milk, Microbes and the Fight for Real Cheese

    “This is why I make cheese!! British food is understated – particularly in cheese – but is now starting to rival what France has done. But don’t tell the French, they won’t let me back in the country!” Peter Kindel, Cheesemaker, Daylesford Organic Farm

    “Cheddar Gorge is a lovely period piece. The EH Shepard illustrations are delightful and its superb essays clearly demonstrate that quality regional cheeses existed well before the current British dairy renaissance.” Ivan Day, Food Historian

    “Cheddar George gives the modern cheese maker and enthusiast a fascinating history and insight and will now remain the inspiration for artisan cheese makers. Without these stories and anecdotes, British cheeses would not have the strong respect and identity they do around the world today.” Simon Bowden, The Whole Cheese

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