Following up on his previous survey of Canadian artisan cheeses, The Definitive Guide to Canadian Artisanal and Fine Cheeses, Gurth Pretty has developed a companion cooking and pairing guide called The Definitive Canadian Wine and Cheese Cookbook.
This book answers the perennial question - what do I do with all of this cheese? - and demonstrates the range of possibilities beyond just creating a cheese plate. Pretty, a professional chef, seems more in his element in this book as he whips up all manner of gorgeous appetizers, brunch items, salads and desserts using the great variety of artisan cheese made in Canada.
While the book does offer some cheese basics and background on cheesemaking, the focus is on the food and wine. Recipes range from the simple (Lamb Burgers with Dragon's Breath cheese from Nova Scotia) to the elaborate (Quark-Filled Croquembouche) and are a demonstration of the range of dishes that are possible to concoct with cheese, if one is willing. Wine pairings are suggested with every dish and incorporate both Canadian and international wines in the mix.
In Canada, cheesemakers can be licensed either federally or provincially; those that are licensed provincially may sell their products only within their respective province. What this means is that you might be able to buy certain cheeses only within a limited area of the country...making Gurth Pretty's job a little more difficult. While the recipes do call for a specific cheese or cheeses, he helpfully suggests alternatives for those unable to secure the exact product. Either way, this book is a useful guide for culinary and artisan cheese adventurers.
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The Definitive Canadian Wine & Cheese Cookbook by Gurth Pretty and Tony Aspler Whitecap Press, 240 pages $35