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Pizza Talk, Season Two, Episode 12: The Cheese Dude Returns!

Written By Peter Reinhart
Thursday, 13 January 2022 Pizza Talk

Welcome back to Pizza Talk, not only to you, but to today’s guest, Mark Todd, aka The Cheese Dude. During his last visit Mark not only told us how he became The Dude, but then took us on a tour de force tour of the pizza community’s favorite cheese category, pasta filata, or as most of us recognize it, where mozzarella lives, and how it is distinct from all the other categories of cheese.  (You can check out that episode here )

This time around I asked The Dude if he would address the category that I think is the most under-appreciated by most cheese lovers: cheddar. I was thrilled to learn that Mark, too, passionately loves cheddar, mainly because it includes so much variation and nuance. In this episode (and it won’t be our last visit with the Mark, so we will eventually cover all aspects of the cheese world), The Dude leads me on a full immersion cheddar tasting across the various types, defined mainly by the aging cycles but also by regional milk types, raw vs. pasteurized, and also the skill of the cheesemakers themselves, whose job it is (like bread bakers with wheat) to evoke the full potential of flavor from the “cheddared” milk curds. Strap in and join the ride with Mark Todd, The Cheese Dude, as he teaches us more than we ever knew about this beloved food — cheese, glorious cheese!

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Vision Statement

Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the exploration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza. As we share our own quest for the perfect pizza we invite all of you to join us and share your journeys too. We have discovered that you never know what engaging roads and side paths will reveal themselves on this quest, but we do know that there are many kindred spirits out there, passionate artisans, doing all sorts of amazing things. These are the stories we want to discover, and we invite you to jump on the proverbial bus and join us on this, our never ending pizza quest.

Peter’s Books

American Pie
Artisan Breads Every Day
The Bread Bakers Apprentice
Brother Junipers Bread Book
Crust and Crumb
Whole Grain Breads

...and other books by Peter Reinhart, available on