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Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila: Learn your cheeses via this iPhone app

March 21, 2011 |  5:00 am

Cheese Love that Genius feature on the iPhone App site.

Because I had previously purchased a wine app, I’m recommending Fromage, a universal app for iPhone, iTouch and iPad. It’s really sort of a pocket encyclopedia of cheese.

Look cheeses up alphabetically, by region, by type of milk or by texture (blue, hard, soft, etc.) for each cheese, and there are some 750 of them from 18 countries, a big update from the original release. If you want to practice your language skills while learning about cheese, it also supports French, Spanish and German.

You also get a photo and the region, type of milk and suggested wine pairing. I initially thought that was it and was ready to give the app a pass, but touch the photo and the screen flips to show a more complete writeup on each cheese. 

The blurb on the Corsican cheese Brin d’Amour, for example, informs me that its rind is covered with rosemary, thyme, coriander seeds and "savory aromatic herbs that are found in the rocky, brambly underbush landscape one finds on the island." (The writing culled from several sources gives just the facts and not much style.)

But -- there’s room for you rate the cheeses, add your own notes regarding each cheese and to send a note to a fellow turophile.  And should you encounter some heretofore unknown fromage, you can also enter your own cheeses into the library, with photo. 

I actually might use this, especially now that they’ve added some 90 cheeses from Spain and 95 from Italy. I know I can’t name 90 cheeses from Spain so it’s time for some learning.

 At $2.99, a bargain for so much basic cheese info in one place. 


--Two stars for Hostaria del Piccolo in Santa Monica

--Wine of the week: 2008 Holus-Bolus Santa Ynez Valley Syrah

--Angel City Brewing opens its downtown location

--S. Irene Virbila

Photo: Screenshot of Fromage app Credit: S. Irene Virbila / Los Angeles Times