Cheesemongor: A Life on the Wedge

Gordon Edgar

Gordon Edgar is a punker-turned-cheesemonger (a “cheese punk,” as he puts it) for Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco (the largest worker-owned cooperative in the country), and his unpretentious and informed cheese memoir/commentary is something even experienced turophiles can learn from. He says in the preface: “There are plenty of great cheese guidebooks out there. This is not one of them.” Despite the disclaimer, after rapidly devouring this delicious read, I feel I know more about cheese than I could learn from an entire class on cheesemaking. Highly entertaining and engaging, Edgar’s vignettes about his increasing forays into the cheese world alternating with never-condescending and always-enlightening cheese knowledge makes this book really hard to put down. Just like a delightfully complex cheese, Edgar is sweet and a little nutty, but with a piquant streak that awakens something inside—even if it’s just the desire to grab a hunk of aged Gruyere from the fridge to accompany the next chapter. (And, local foodies will appreciate his mention of Tim Pedrozo and Pedrozo Dairy and Cheese Co. of Orland. )