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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
When most of us think of cheese, we think of cheddar, mozzarella and other common cow’s milk cheeses. Even when we think of gourmet cheeses like different varieties of brie, we think of cow’s milk cheeses. There are some of us savvy enough to realize that there are cheeses made from the milk of different animals, like goats. In fact, goat cheeses in particular are gaining in popularity in North America. Meanwhile, there is a region in France, Provence, that is well known specifically for its delicious varieties of goat cheeses. A particular specialty is the Picodon, a small round cheese the size and shape of a hockey puck.
There are stories behind these cheeses and recipes that one must try to fully appreciate the different characteristics of goat cheeses from Provence. Jean Gill’s book, A Small Cheese in Provence: Cooking With Goat Cheese, is more than just another cookbook. With beautiful photographs, quotes from interesting people, both known and unknown, and little parables about these delectable cheeses, this makes an interesting coffee table book and a travelogue, as well as a chef’s delight in culinary possibilities. The author leads the reader through Provence, the story of the goats and their cheeses, and provides the reader with many French recipes to tempt the cuisine connoisseur. And, of course, a good cheese is just a cheese without the right wine to accompany it; the author provides wine suggestions as well. This is a book to enjoy over and over again, along with a good glass of wine and a Picodon.