Immortal Milk: Adventures in Cheese by Eric LeMay

Immortal Milk: Adventures in Cheese, Eric Lemayhere's a cheese book that's also great summer reading material... There's lots of cheese books out there these days. You know which ones I mean - the exhaustive guides to this, that and the cheeses of the world. Like me, you may even have a few on your shelf. But when do we read these books? Don't get me wrong, I love these books for what they are (especially the one I wrote, of course). But I'm excited to see the 'cheese' genre expanding in new ways... and toward that end, we now have the adventurous new Immortal Milk: Adventures in Cheese by Eric LeMay.

At its essence, the book chronicles LeMay and girlfriend/sidekick "Chuck" and their growing fascination with cheese, an obsession that leads the pair to try out a local cheese shop Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge, Mass.. From there they are taken in, and their world expands: soon enough they're gallivanting to Twig Farm in Vermont, later traveling to the Comte caves in France and then climbing Mont d'Or (of course, after having eaten Vacherin Mont d'Or).

On the surface, Eric and Chuck are thrilled by cheese, plain and simple. What's riveting about this book is that they take that enthusiasm to the next level by fully living the fantasy - traveling to the source of the cheese itself, be it Vermont or France or Italy to try - no, experience - cheese in its natural element. You've had Roquefort cheese, but have you had it in Roquefort? And what does it mean to do that?

LeMay chronicles this whole romp with expertly crafted observations and self deprecating humor. Geeks will appreciate his detours into such issues as the meaning of 'cheesy' (as in campy), or how you can compare the experience of eating cheese to reading a novel by Danielle Steele. And while he insists that he and Chuck are just cheese 'enthusiasts' its clear that by the end of the book, they have transported themselves by sheer force of will into experts. Follow along and you'll laugh, you'll cry and you'll learn a lot about cheese.

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Immortal Milk: Adventures in Cheese by Eric LeMay Simon and Schuster $22  256 pages  hardcover

Find more on the Immortal Milk website here.