Jump to content

Cool Infographic on Cheese


KMango
 Share

Recommended Posts

<geek mode on>

I give this design a C- for failing to live up to its stated purpose - if the title is any indication - while presenting only three useful bits of information about each cheese (animal, firmness, typical cross-section appearance). And the firmness classification is somewhat unreliable. It most certainly does not tell you how to tell the difference between these cheeses.

One must have useful information before one can make a useful infographic. Why is Stichelton (unpasteurized Stilton) so distant from Stilton? Comté (aka Comté de Gruyère) separated from Gruyère? "Swiss" cheese as its own category apart from Emmental? Likely answer: the designers just didn't do their homework. This is data, masquerading as information.

I have a similar beef with novelty "periodic table" shirts that fail to select a distinguishing characteristic of their subject matter for mock periodicity. There are a number of "periodic table of beer" designs out there, for instance, but only one or two organize the styles meaningfully.

There, I feel better now.

<geek mode off>

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why is Stichelton (unpasteurized Stilton) so distant from Stilton?

That is the first thing that jumped right out at me. As an aside the Christmas before last I ordered some Stichelton from Zingerman's to have Christmas morning. My mother-in-law decided that she wanted to have a blind tasting against regular Stilton to see if we could tell the difference. My wife's aunt brought the Stilton (I believe it was from either 24th Street Cheese or Cheese Plus in San Francisco).

Because the cheese came from different size wheels I had my wife crumble them and place them in marked bowls (she noted which went into which bowl and tucked the note away). I portioned the cheese onto 6 identical plates using a ring mold to make each look consistent. Each plate was marked with a number on the bottom - one cheese went on the even numbers, the other on the odd. Finally when I was done my mother-in-law came in and moved the plates around into a different order and her sister then labeled each with a letter and brought them to the table.

For scoring we each picked our three favorite, and then tried to guess which plates belonged together. The results: it was pretty much a tie, each received two first place votes and the Stilton had two more over-all votes. None of us could put all three plates together.

While we all agreed we liked the idea of the Stichelton being made in the traditional manner, it did not justify the premium that it cost, so we are going to stick with the less expensive (though not cheap) Stilton.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

<geek mode on>

I give this design a C- for failing to live up to its stated purpose - if the title is any indication - while presenting only three useful bits of information about each cheese (animal, firmness, typical cross-section appearance). And the firmness classification is somewhat unreliable. It most certainly does not tell you how to tell the difference between these cheeses.

One must have useful information before one can make a useful infographic. Why is Stichelton (unpasteurized Stilton) so distant from Stilton? Comté (aka Comté de Gruyère) separated from Gruyère? "Swiss" cheese as its own category apart from Emmental? Likely answer: the designers just didn't do their homework. This is data, masquerading as information.

I have a similar beef with novelty "periodic table" shirts that fail to select a distinguishing characteristic of their subject matter for mock periodicity. There are a number of "periodic table of beer" designs out there, for instance, but only one or two organize the styles meaningfully.

There, I feel better now.

<geek mode off>

The graphic offers a decent primer for people who currently understand the cheese world only through the lens of Kraft. Quickly instilling a general sense of the diversity, and "oh yeah, more than one animal and texture at play here" is not a bad thing.

I would have fun posting this graphic in a kid's classroom, conducting a taste test, and having the tasters place a push pin on what they think they just experienced. Kind of a pin-the-cheese-on-the-donkey.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a big fan of the original site that does the prints....but they're designed more as a pop art piece than informational. Sure it has some value, but its just supposed to be a fun, different way of organization. They aren't going to be seen as serious informational pieces with information that you would find in a detailed book about the subject but decorative conversation pieces. Thats clearer once you look at the full collection of their prints/shirts such as The Various Varieties of Fruits, The Various Varieties of Vegetables, Constitutions of Classic Cocktails, The Very, Very Many Varieties of Beer, Breweries of the United States, The Compendious Coffee Chart, The Cartography of Kitchenware, The Cocktail Chart of Film & Literature, and in non-food/alcohol related The Chart of Collegiate Sports Teams, A Meticulous Metric of Baseball Team Names, The 1980's: A Pie Chart, Up Up Down Down, Grand Taxonomy of Rap Names and Migratory Patterns of Fresh Princes. I have a few and I often get comments on them from friends.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For anyone who owns the 2004 edition of On Food And Cooking, check out page 60.

It's much better than the info graphic I posted back in June.  This one goes through attributes of pasteurization, curd development, molds, wheys, brines, moisture level, and aging.  It will give you a hint of what you would be experiencing long before you taste the cheese.

It's a remarkable way to organize this information.  Alas, it's all copyrighted and stuff or else you could see it here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...