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Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge by Gordon…

Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge

by Gordon Edgar

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907211,175 (4.04)2
A professional cheesemonger recounts his life and career along with information on the various aspects of the cheese movement, including animal rights, co-operatives, and the politics of cheese.

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Edgar wanted so much to gain employment at a San Francisco worker's cooperative that he applied for a job in the cheese department despite not knowing much about cheese. This memoir/manifesto tells of his two decades learning about cheese, visiting farms, attending conferences, and dealing with customers. Edgar draws on his past in punk rock to explore the community and ethics of the cheese world. This may be the least pretentious book about cheese possible, and I enjoyed reading Edgar's stories and opinions. I'm also hungry for some cheese. ( )
  Othemts | Mar 6, 2015 |
Very enjoyable foray into both cheese and Edgar's value system. He's an unreconstructed punk rocker with a job in an employee-owned grocery store in San Francisco's Mission District. What's not to love about any of that, if you're me?

Whole vistas of undiscovered cheeses spread themselves out in front of me after reading this book, but more importantly, I came away with a better knowledge of the cheesemonger's life. Any retail life is fraught with moments which are hilarious only in hindsight, and Edgar's is no exception. He's an extraordinarily gentle man, so the tales from retail hell are tinged with more understanding and compassion than is usual. He's also mordantly witty.

Nicely done memoir is a bit repetitive in spots, but very well worth reading. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
I know this book will probably make me eat a bunch of cheese which I probably don't need.... but I may have to risk it ; )
  aylin1 | Mar 31, 2013 |
I've been reading a lot of foodie books lately, and have decided that there are two main categories. There's a type of writing that is extra-precious, and tries really hard to romanticize eating, cooking, back-to-the-land goat raising, etc. Then there are books like this one, written by real people about their honest, unpretentious love of something. Gordon Edgar is a great antidote to foodie snobbery. Not only is Cheesemonger a funny and endearing story of an ordinary bloke's developing relationship with cheese, it's an education and an inspiration to seek out new experiences in eating. Some of the cheese recommendations are a bit pricey, but Edgar doesn't scorn honest workaday cheeses within the reach of the average shopper. Packed with anecdotes about both the "insiders" world of cheese marketing and the shoppers and employees of the Rainbow Grocery, a worker-owned cooperative in San Francisco, Cheesemonger is an entertaining read. Well worth it! ( )
1 vote ben_h | Apr 6, 2011 |
So, a book about a life with cheese ... well, not exactly. This is an autobiography about a cheesemonger, Gordon Edgar, that never set out to become a food professional. Instead, he was a punk and fixture in the 80's San Francisco counter-culture that, on a fluke, got a job at the Rainbow Co-op. From this slightly random move from a job cleaning buses used by hippies to working at the Rainbow's cheese section, Gordon explains how his life as a punk and his extracurriculars at university helped to shape his career as the Cheese Man.

More at: http://www.rtp3.com/blog/2424 ( )
  rtp3 | Jun 8, 2010 |
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