Cheese expert Gordon Edgar got his start in the cheese business through an unlikely, but in hindsight surprisingly logical, progression from 1980s anti-Reagan radical punk to coöperative worker/owner to bona-fide cheese expert.
All of this is delightfully laid bare in his cheese guide and memoir titled "Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge" published by Chelsea Green.
(I buy a few copies each year, as the paperback makes a great gift - after all, who doesn't like cheese?*)
* Weirdos, that's who. And vegans. Or is that just redundant?**
** The severely lactose intolerant, I suppose? And Teal'c.
While the book is a wonderful entrée into the world of domestic and international dairy business, cheese making, the tribulations of shipping, storing and selling cheese and what, if any, connection there is between the Dead Kennedys and buratta (there is none that I can think of, but read the book!), you can go to www.gordonzola.net for more frequently updated cheese factoids and anecdotes.
If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, definitely make the trek to Rainbow Grocery Coöperative on Folsom Street at Division in SF. Gordon helms one of the best cheese shops in the country, tucked in the back corner of Rainbow's warehouse-sized store. Care of the product, variety, and the knowledge of all the staff, not just Gordon (who is often behind the cheese counter himself), put Rainbow's cheese section head and shoulders above the competition (I'm looking at you, Whole Foods).
|Cheese Judging. (Curtesy http://www,gordonzola.net/)|
Rainbow Grocery: A Worker Owned Coöperative
1745 Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA 94103