In 1976, Clark Wolf ran a little cheese shop at the base of Nob Hill in San Francisco; in 1980 he became the manager of the San Francisco branch of the legendary Oakville Grocery. While the rest of America was on the verge of a decade of a morbid fear of butterfat, Wolf was looking for a source of local fresh mozzarella and newly devoted to the joys of rice flour-rubbed teleme and four-year-old Wisconsin cheddar. Today, we are all knee-deep in bocconcini and fresh goat cheese, and Wolf is a restaurant and food consultant. But glorious cheese, particularly American cheese, is still his passion.
In American Cheeses: The Best Regional, Artisan, and Farmhouse Cheeses, Who Makes Them, and Where to Find Them, Wolf gives us an in-depth look at the art and craft of cheese across the United States, and documents in words and beautiful black-and-white photographs the story of the talented and committed women and men who create this dairy ambrosia. He shares his expertise (with a touch of attitude) on how cheese is made, how to store it, and how to serve and enjoy it. Dividing the country into sections -- The Northeast and New England, The South, The Middle West, The Wild West -- he explores the cheese-making communities, discussing the kind of cheeses that are specific to each of the four sections of the country and profiling dozens of the most accomplished cheesemakers, from well-known national brands to the creators of small-batch, hand-crafted rarities. Each profile lists the kinds of cheeses available and contact information for producers and farms. At the end of each regional section is a selection of delectable recipes that showcase the best cheese of that area, from A Perfect Pimento Cheese of the American South to Blue Cheese Pralines from the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan.