If you've got cheese lovers on your list, we're here to help. Cheese folk are easy to pick gifts for; a quick trip to your local cheese shop for a gift certificate or a nice wedge of Époisses is always met with happy faces. There's no shortage of awesome cheese books out there or cheese accessories (cheese cuff links!). Check out these gift ideas.
Cheese boards can range from affordable to...less affordable. The key to finding the perfect board is to gauge the personality of your gift recipient: are they chic and stylish? Then they may like these polished marble blocks ($39.50 - $79; Pottery Barn). Or is this person more quirky? Then maybe a reclaimed wood board ($20; Etsy).
Cheese books are an obvious gift for cheese lovers, and a couple in particular stand out. For those interested in American cheese varieties: It's Not You, It's Brie: Unwrapping America's Unique Culture of Cheese is a lovely little book that discusses cheeses in a very personal way, educating the reader while explaining the stories of individual cheesemakers and the cheeses they produce. Complete with recipes and interactions for cooking with cheese, this book will keep both cheese novices and connoisseurs excited and entertained for weeks.
If you want a more finely detailed book Max McCalman's Mastering Cheese: Lessons for Connoisseurship from a Maître Fromager is a weighty volume that covers everything from identifying cheeses to the finer points of cheesemaking.
Cheese Cuff Links
These cheese cuff links ($39.99; Etsy) are a unique gift for cheese-loving guys. Stylish and not even remotely campy, these cute little accessories will bring a smile to anyone who notices them.
A good set of cheese knives, artfully crafted and attractive to display, makes a wonderful gift for those who take pride in serving cheese. One set that I particularly love is the Antonini Olive Wood Cheese Knives Set ($59.95; Williams Sonoma) , handcrafted from Italian olive wood.
A Cheesy Little Puzzle
Kids love cheese, too... especially those raised by cheese-savvy parents. This fun cheese puzzle ($12.95) will keep little ones busy as they explore the many ways the pieces can fit together.
Cheese Baskets and Cheese-of-the-Month Club Memberships
Perhaps the best gift you can get a cheese lover is cheese itself. Murray's, one of our favorite New York cheese retailers which also has an online shop, sells an array of cheese gift baskets. Or, there's always a fine Cheese of the Month Club. Murray's can ship all over the country, and their capable staff guarantees that your cheese will be packed to withstand the trip and arrive in perfect condition.
About the author: Stephanie Stiavetti is a writer and cookbook author in San Francisco. Stephanie's cookbook, Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese, celebrates America's favorite dish by recreating it with small production, specialty cheeses. Her food blog, The Culinary Life, is a repository for all things comfort food related, from savory dinners to transcendental desserts.