Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Deliciousness of Research

I'm over at Naughty Author Chicks today, talking about the shady boundaries between romance sub-genres. While I'm gone, my guest today is Avery Aames, whose sharing some of her tasty research. I love foodie posts!

I am writing a series called A Cheese Shop Mystery that features a cheese shop owner as the amateur sleuth. To be authentic, I have to research cheese. That’s right, taste cheeses as research. All kinds of cheeses. In a variety of recipes. Oh, poor me. Oh, lucky day!

When I landed this series, I had no idea about the wealth of cheeses. Sure, I had tasted the usual suspects: Cheddar, Edam, Gouda, Roquefort, Feta. But did you know there are so many varieties of cheese that you can eat a different one every day of the year—or maybe three years? From all fifty United States as well as from around the world. With cool names like – Etorki, Taleggio, Roaring 40’s blue. From cheese makers with unusual names like Cowgirl Creamery, Cypress Grove, Kerrygold, and more.

I found out that aficionados talk about cheese the same way wine coinnoiseurs talk about wine, using words like nutty flavor, aroma of clover, hint of hazlenut. I discovered that every cheese tastes different based on its source {goat, cow, sheep, buffalo}, the region where its source grazed, and the season the source grazed. Fascinating.

Yep, cheese is on the rise. There are cheese competitions and grilled cheese competitions and cheesecake competitions. TV chefs are featuring cheese. Specialty cheese shops (or cheese counters) are cropping up at grocery stores. And I have to learn about all of them. What fun!

By the way, most of my research makes it into my book. I’ve learned how to arrange cheese platters, and I’m always trying out new cheese recipes. In addition, I include recipes at the end of each book, so I’d better have tried out each one, right? I hope you’ll enjoy the recipes I’m sharing today. And I hope you’ll take the plunge and taste a new cheese. Something exotic like Humbolt Fog Goat Cheese. Yum.

Best to all

~Avery Aames

And, like all good foodies, Avery is sharing recipes with us today.


To Brie or Not to Brie

Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust

Mascarpone Stilton Torte

Avery Aames writes A Cheese Shop Mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime. The first in the series, The Long Quiche Goodbye, debuted July 6.

For more information, Avery can be found on her website at http://www.averyaames.com, on Facebook, Twitter, and on two blogs: http://www.mysteryloverskitchen.com and http://www.killercharacters.com. She also has a booksellers page where you can purchase her book from any of your favorite bookstores: http://www.averyaames.com/book1_sellers.html

Tomorrow is my virtual book launch party. I'll be around giving out prizes, so plan to check in during the day.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I'm suddenly starving! Great pictures. And I bought my friend Avery's book right after her July 6 release and *loved* it. Y'all will fall in love with her characters. And the recipes are pretty darn good, too!

Terry Odell said...

Elizabeth, you're absolutely right.

Daryl Wood Gerber a.k.a. Avery Aames said...

Terry, thanks for having me here. Elizabeth, your book is a tasty treat, as well!


Linda Leszczuk said...

Have you tried Raclette? It's usually served warm (melted) over boiled potatoes, with crisp gerkins or pickled onions on the side. It's wonderful. Most places in the States have French Raclette (if they have it at all) but I like the Swiss better. Probably because I first tried it in Bern.

And the pictures in your post have me salivating on my keyboard.


Terry Odell said...

Just popping in -- don't know how this post looks on your browsers, but those recipe names are links to the actual recipe. Be sure to click over and grab them!

Lil said...

Oh, what beautiful pictures. I so adore cheese. I think that the most unusual I have tasted was Vacherin Mont D'Or. It was served in the round wooden container it was purchased in and served with boiled small potatoes and small dishes of cornichon, olives, and small pickled onions. It went down smoothly with a light white wine. Your mystery series sounds like great fun.

Daryl Wood Gerber a.k.a. Avery Aames said...

Linda, I have tried Raclette. I love it. Did you know that Raclette comes from the French word: racler which means to scrape? {trivia for 10, Alex} I learned this from a great cheese book called Cheese Primer by Steve Jenkins. It's a yummy dish. I actually refer to it in The Long Quiche Goodbye. Enjoy.

Daryl Wood Gerber a.k.a. Avery Aames said...

Lil, I love cheese with olives and pickles and such. I've had Vacherin Fribourgeois, which is from an entirely different region than the Mont D'or. They taste completely different, too. The Fribourgeois is nutty, sort of like a Fontina. A big cheese, as they say. Hope you'll pick up The Long Quiche Goodbye. There's a sneak preview on my website. Enjoy.

Terry Stonecrop said...

Delicious post! YUM!I just printed out the Mascarpone Stilton Torte.

I'm a cheese fan, too. I love Ireland's Kerrygold and Spain's Manchego. Have you tried Greek Saganaki yet, made with Haloumi? My favorite cheese lately is Italy's Asiago.

Love the take off on Chandler: The Long Quiche Goodbye:) Sounds good!

Cheryl Tardif said...

I hope you have a wine and cheese tasting event for your next book signing. :-)

I love researching for my novels too--though my research usually entails less tasty tidbits, like forensics, or how to kill someone, or scientific research like stem cells or cloning. No cheese for me!

Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
bestselling author

Daryl Wood Gerber a.k.a. Avery Aames said...

Hi, Terry S. So glad you liked the recipe. I love Kerrygold and Manchego. I haven't tried Greek Saganaki, but I'll look it up. And Asiago...just made a pizza for a recipe on Mystery Lovers Kitchen two weeks ago. Yum.

Cheryl, I have to do your kind of research, as well. It's definitely a different pace than tasting cheese. :)



Terry Stonecrop said...

I'll have to check out that pizza. So many fun recipes!

Seduction Meals has a particularly nice Saganaki recipe. Usually it's just fried and served on salad but it's good.


Daryl Wood Gerber a.k.a. Avery Aames said...

Oooh, seduction meals. Must check this out. Thanks for the link.

BTW, I received a great review from Romantic Times Book Review. If you'd like to check it out:


Jemi Fraser said...

Awesome! I love cheese and envy you your research! :)

Kathy said...

I'm not much of a cheese person, food wise I'm a very picky eater. I have ahard time not hurting people's feelings when they offer stuff I know I don't like. SUre would be easier IF I was allergic lol. I just snacked on saltines and medium cheddar cheese. Here in the Fort Hood, TX area they have sliced cheddar cheese. Havign just moved from East Texas I told them we didn't have that and my sister goes you can get it at Wal Mart and I went our Wal Mart didn't carry it hello this is what I'm saying lol.

Daryl Wood Gerber a.k.a. Avery Aames said...

Kathy, if you're alittle picky, just try changing up your cheddars. There are some incredible ones. Collier's Welsh Cheddar. Kerrygold cheddar. Smooth, delish on crackers. Lovely all by themselves. I understand picky and I find that staying within the "Comfort Zone" is important. Baby steps, as the old saying goes. Ever see that Bill Murray movie, "What about Bob?"

BTW, in case I didn't mention it, there is a lovely romance ongoing in The Long Quiche Goodbye with a hint of mystery. :)

Cheese and wine...romantic? Oh, yes.


Daryl Wood Gerber a.k.a. Avery Aames said...

Thank you all for a lovely day. It's been a delight reading your comments. Terry, thank you for your hospitality! I hope you'll try a recipe or two, yourself.

All my best,


Terry Odell said...

Avery- so glad to have you here. And as soon as I get my kitchen, you can be sure I'll be trying those recipes.

I hope you'll come to MY launch party--and invite some of your friends. It's going on now, right here at Terry's Place.