There’s more to American cheese than tangerine orange or white bricks.
In It’s Not You, It’s Brie, cheese expert Kirstin Jackson tells the whole cheese story. Through fifty American cheese profiles, she takes us “backstage” into underground caves, into funky scents and traditions that link today’s cheese makers to American history. You’ll meet the people who dedicate their lives to artisan cheese—from those who run generations-old family farms to others who ditched their day job to start a dairy.
Jackson groups the cheeses into sixteen styles ranging from American Originals to Mixed Milk, explaining how each one’s unique flavors, appearance, and production practices have come to define its style. Featured cheeses include Queso Oaxaqueño, a Mexican-style cheese hand-stretched in California; Scholten Weybridge, a double-crème made in Vermont from the milk of a rare Dutch Belted cow; and River’s Edge Mayor of Nye Beach, a funky washed-rind goat’s milk that knocks its French rivals out of the water.
Beer, wine, and food pairing suggestions round out each profile, along with recipes that use every cheese style in refreshing new ways, from Gouda Almond Toffee to Landaff and Celery Root Beer Soup.
"Certain corners of the food world accumulate cranky high priests and priestesses, full of solemn proclamations and self-serious warnings about the correct way to make, buy or describe the things we love. Start a conversation about wine or coffee with the wrong person and get ready for a lecture packed with pseudo-science, judgmental snobbery and personal observations passed off as industry gospel. Cheese fanatics can be as bad as any other kind, and many a tedious tome has exacerbated the situation, casting drab shadows where sunlight belongs. And then there are books like It’s Not You, It’s Brie, by Kirstin Jackson. It elegantly wedges through the tedious jargon and pomp of cheese culture. Wielding simile and metaphor like a pair of nunchucks (she compares one strong cheese to 'a mom whose kid was just bullied' and another to an odoriferous 'workout T-shirt'), Jackson leads the reader into the live culture of American cheese in a manner so painless as to be actively pleasurable."—Washington Post
“At once colorful, funny, delicious, and informative, Kirstin Jackson channels her passion for cheese into a far-reaching exploration of America’s ever-expanding cheese culture. And her creative recipes provide a helpful guidepost for any culinary enthusiast. Jackson is a fresh new voice on the American cheese scene.” —Liz Thorpe, author of The Cheese Chronicles
“Kirstin Jackson’s It’s Not You, It’s Brie shines a light on the phenomenal American artisan cheese movement. She focuses on the cheesemakers who have led it with their world-class masterpieces. The thoughtful, colorful descriptions of the artists and their amazing cheeses make this book a great pleasure to read. The accompanying recipes promise many more pleasures to eat.” —Max McCalman, author of Mastering Cheese
“It’s Not You, It’s Brie tells the stories of family farmers and talented cheesemakers in such a way that you don’t realize until you are done that you just had a fun, quick, and thorough education on the resurgence of American-made cheese. Never stuffy or pretentious . . . You’ll also come away with a list of great cheeses to seek out and try.” —Gordon Edgar, author of Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge
“Kirstin Jackson tells the story of modern American artisan cheese with obvious passion and originality. American cheesemakers are fortunate to have such an enthusiastic and knowledgeable advocate.” —Janet Fletcher, author of Cheese & Wine and The Cheese Course