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A Cheesemonger's History of The British Isles by Ned Palmer

We are very excited that Ned Palmer will be joining us for a virtual event on Wednesday 28th October, to talk about his book, 'A Cheesemonger's History of The British Isles'. A fun and informative journey through centuries of British cheesemaking, this "tour around the cheeseboard" was shortlisted in 2020 for the André Simon Food and Drink Book Awards! Here, Ned tells us a little more about the book...

1. Can you tell us a bit about your book, 'A Cheesemonger's History of The British Isles'?

A Cheesemonger’s History tells the story of Britain and Ireland through the medium of cheese. Each chapter covers a period in our history, and each period is brought to you by a cheese, from the simple fresh cheeses that fuelled the building of Stonehenge, to the great Cheddars of the Victorian age and the flowering of post-modern cheese in the 21st century.

2. What inspired you to write the book?

A visit to Mary Holbrook, the late great godmother of British goat’s cheese. I realised that Mary’s simple fresh goats cheese were just the same thing her Neolithic Somerset forbears would have made. The rest is history…

3. What did you learn when writing the book?

That in 1766 there was a Cheese War in Nottinghamshire, which involved cheese friendly fire, cheese riverboat piracy, and the siege of a cheese warehouse. It is my favourite story in the book

4. What surprised you the most?

That cheese is oddly unrepresented in the study of British and Irish history, and our rich cheesemaking culture has been woefully undervalued.

5. What was the last book that you bought at a bookshop?

Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch.

6. What was the best book you read during lockdown?

The Way We Eat Now, by Bee Wilson

You can buy tickets for An Evening with Ned Palmer, on Wednesday 28th October, here.

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