Phoenix Books welcomes Joe Berkowitz to our Zoom Channel for a discussion of his newest book, American Cheese. Joe takes readers along on his irreverent and often hilarious journey through the strange and wonderful hidden world of the beloved dairy product. Joe will be joined in conversation by Jaya Saxen.
It started on Valentine’s Day. Joe Berkowitz wanted to surprise his wife with a special tasting event at Murray’s Cheese in Manhattan. Little did he know that what they were about to taste was going to change their lives.
Joe embarked on the cheese adventure of a lifetime, spending a year exploring the subculture around cheese, from its trenches to its command centers. He dove headfirst into the world of artisan cheese; of premiere makers and mongers, cave-dwelling affineurs, dairy scientists, and restauranteurs. The journey would take him around the world, from the underground cheese caves in Paris to the mountains of Gruyere, leaving no curd unturned, all the while cultivating an appreciation for cheese and its place in society.
Joe’s journey from amateur to aficionado eventually comes to mirror the rise of American cheese on the world stage. As he embeds with Team USA at an international mongering competition and makes cheese in the experimental vats at the Dairy Research Center in Wisconsin, one of the makers he meets along the way gears up to make America’s biggest splash ever at the World Cheese Awards. Through this odyssey of cheese, an unexpected culture of passionate cheesemakers is revealed, along with the extraordinary impact of one delicious dairy product.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joe Berkowitz is a staff writer at Fast Company, covering entertainment and pop culture.
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Click HERE to purchase a copy of American Cheese