Happy American Cheese Month!

American Cheese Month logoOh, yes.

October is American Cheese Month. This is not to be confused with American cheese month (there is no such thing, thankfully).

I love cheese (as I’ve mentioned before). It’s lucky for me that I live in Vermont. Not only does the state produce some rocking cheeses, but it also has its own Cheese Council. And an official Cheese Trail. And an annual Cheesemakers Festival.

In honor of two of my great loves, here’s an ode to cheese and bookmaking.

Over the years, I’ve created a few books that were inspired by cheese:

Chaiku was created in 2010 as part of the Vermont Arts Council’s statewide art project, Art Fits Vermont. 9,500 wood puzzle pieces were distributed to encourage people to make art – 10% of the state’s population participated!

Handmade book and cheese-shaped puzzle piece


The book component of the piece contains 12 haiku that I wrote about cheese.

Handmade book and cheese-shaped puzzle piece

Chaiku – detail

By the way, it seems I’m not the only one to write cheese poetry – check these out.

Cheese Your Own Adventure was also created in 2010. In April of that year, the Book Arts Guild of Vermont participated in the International Edible Book Festival – an annual celebration where artists use food as a medium to create works inspired by the book form or literary themes. As you can see below, I wrote the word “adventure” on slices of cheese using honey mustard. Yum!

Slices of cheese with mustard words

Cheese Your Own Adventure

If you’d like to explore the concept of Cheese Your Own Adventure a bit further, there’s a website for that! Zeus Jones out of Minneapolis created the website to educate people about the qualities of Cheddar, Manchego and Gouda. And you get to learn through stories about cowboys, vampires and yeti. I kid you not. It’s pretty cool.

Little Yellow came into being in 2011. I created the book so that I could document my cheese adventures – what I’ve tried, who made them, what they taste like, etc. I take it with me when I go to the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival.

Spine of handmade coptic, cheese-shaped journal

Little Yellow – open

I enjoy writing notes in it, like “mild and creamy” or “strong flavor and very stinky”. I like to sound cheese smart.

Spine of handmade coptic, cheese-shaped journal

Little Yellow – spine

If the books above weren’t enough for you and you need more cheesiness, check out one of my Flickr galleries named For the Love of Books & Cheese. And if you’ve made a cheese-themed book, I’d love to see it! Send me an email with the details and I’ll happily feature your work on my blog.

Now go forth and eat cheese!

4 Responses to “Happy American Cheese Month!”

By Penne - 30 October 2015 Reply

thanks, Elissa for the cheese-y fix. Great books, clearly inspired by your love and passion!

By Elissa - 30 October 2015 Reply

Penne –

I’m a woman of simple tastes and I likes me the taste of cheese!


By Lizzie - 5 November 2015 Reply

Elissa, I love cheese sooo much, but I can no longer digest dairy foods, so I’ve had to stop eating it. So no cheese. (well, since I was in Andalucia and discovered Manchego, I have been able to eat a little of that, as it’s sheep milk cheese).
But despite my digestive shortcomings, I still have an appreciation of cheese-related art and books. So, Bravo! Loved this post and the fun things you made!

By Elissa - 6 November 2015 Reply

Lizzie –

I’m so sorry you can’t eat most cheeses! That makes me so very sad. 🙁

Treasure that Manchego and love it for all it’s worth!


So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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