“I was born with a piece of cheese in my mouth,” says Afrim Pristine. He’s exaggerating — but perhaps not by much. The owner of Toronto’s Cheese Boutique, opened by his grandfather in 1970, Pristine also has the distinction of being Canada’s only maître fromager (cheese master).
He sees the recognition as a duty: “It meant I had to share that cheese is not just milk and salt — it’s an art form.” Pristine does exactly that in his newest project: “Cheese: A Love Story,” now airing on Food Network Canada, a docuseries that takes viewers to destinations near (Toronto, Quebec, B.C.) and far (Switzerland, France, Greece).
The series highlights just a fraction of the thousands of cheeses out in the world, and Pristine acknowledges that the best place to learn more is your local cheese shop. “The more you tell a cheesemonger your likes and dislikes,” he says, “the more they can help give the best cheese experience possible.” Here are a few pointers for your at-home enjoyment.
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