Di Bruno Bros House of Cheese Review and Giveaway

  A review of Di Bruno Bros House of Cheese and a giveaway for a gift basket full of gourmet cheeses. 

Di Bruno Bros House of Cheese bookCheese is to low carb as wine is to motherhood; that is to say, almost a necessity. I certainly consider cheese a necessity in my life. It picks me up in dull moments, it gives me a little boost of energy and it can satisfy that hunger, that need to munch, like almost nothing else. I typically keep 5 to 6 varieties of cheese in my fridge, all with a different flavour profile, and I love trying new cheeses when I am out and about. But the reality is that I am not particularly knowledgeable about cheese. I know what tastes good to me (almost all cheese tastes good to me) but I don’t know how to pair it or how to really bring out its best qualities. Mostly I am fumbling around, using whatever cheese I have on hand, not really knowing if it works or if it doesn’t. I am a bit of a cheese dunce, if you will.

Thankfully, there are other people who devote their life to cheese and then write about it, so that I can read up and at least pretend to know what I am doing. The Di Bruno Bros in Philadelphia is a well known and highly respected purveyor of fine cheeses and other gourmet foods. And thankfully for those of us in other locales, they have an online market as well. They opened their doors in 1939, which means this year marks their 75th anniversary. And to mark that fine occasion, they partnered with writer, journalist and cheese blogger Tenaya Darlington to put out a book about cheese that will blow your cheese-loving little mind.

Selles-Sur-Cher with raspberries

House of Cheese: A Guide to Wedges, Recipes and Pairings is first and foremost a delight to read. Don’t think you can read an entire book about cheese from cover to cover? I guarantee you that Darlington’s witty, slightly flippant style will keep you engaged. The book is also beautiful enough to occupy space on your coffee table – maybe to impress your guests? It’s broken down by types of cheeses, from the unaged “Baby Faces” to the pungent “Stinkers” to the sweet-tasting “Sugar Mamas”, and everything in between. Darlington does warn you that the cheeses in the book are not something you will find at your local supermarket. These are exceptional cheeses, many of them hand-crafted in small batches and you are going to get to know them very well.

House of Cheese also contains wonderful ideas for pairings, parties and creating your own cheeseboard. Not sure what to ask for when you enter a fine cheese shop? Read the section on How to Talk to a Cheesemonger. All throughout the book, there are little asides and boxes filled with little nuggets of intriguing information. Many of the pairing suggestions are surprising and make you want to run out and purchase the items to test them out for yourself. And the recipes will surprise you as well. Chocolate and Gorgonzola together in Blue Velvet Pudding? Mind. Blown.

Di Bruno Bros Gift Basket

I was fortunate to receive a copy of the book, along with a lovely basket of cheeses and some gorgeous Calabrese and I am even more fortunate to be able to give one away. Di Bruno Bros was very accommodating when I said I couldn’t accept a basket that contained the usual crackers and fig jams and such, and that it would not be the sort of prize my readers would enjoy either. They kindly tailored my basked to my dietary needs and the cheeses they sent were simply amazing. I read up on my cheeses and dutifully tried some of the pairings suggested by Darlington. I tasted my Selles-Sur-Cher fresh goat’s milk cheese with raspberries (heavenly) and the Ewephoria (aptly named sheep’s milk cheese from Holland) with toasted nuts. And I happily got out my cocktail maker to pair a martini with the Pecorino Di Pienza (the Grand Old Man) with a martini. A thoroughly enjoyable journey through the land of cheese. Scroll down below for the “Pecorino Perfect Martini” recipe from House of Cheese.

The Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of House of Cheese, and the same lovely basket of cheesy goodness I received: Chimay Vieux, Selles-Sur-Cher, Pecorino Di Pienza, Valdeon, Ewephoria and some Calabrese. Open to US Residents only.

Di Bruno Bros gourmet gift basket

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Pecorino-Perfect martini You can purchase House of Cheese directly from Di Bruno Bros (http://www.dibruno.com/di-bruno-bros-house-of-cheese-a-guide-to-wedges-recipes-and-pairings.html) or on Amazon.com.

Pecorino Perfect Martini


  • 8 oz gin, cold (Plymouth brand, if possible)
  • 1 oz vermouth, cold (Noilly Pratt brand, if possible)
  • 4 olives (Sicilian, if possible)


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add gin and vermouth. Shake well and divide between two chilled cocktail glasses.
  2. Divide olives between two cocktail skewers or toothpicks. Add to martinis.



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  1. After many months in China cheese is what I crave more than anything. It still baffles me that there are parts of the world cheese is not eaten on a regular basis. So this week, I would have to say my favorite cheese pairing is more cheese!

  2. My favorite pairing for cheese is WINE! and crusty bread or little toasts

  3. Ruth Peck says:

    My favorite pairing for cheese is usually salami, ham or pepperoni and a good Dijon.

  4. rise ruhl says:

    Cheese and wine. Cheese and fruit. Cheese and crackers. Cheese and pretzels. Cheese and macaroni. Cheese and whiz. Big and cheese. Cheese and burger. Cheese and cheese. Who can cheese… I mean… choose?

  5. I have to say more cheese also! You know the game/question..If you were stranded on an island and could only have one food for the rest of your life..what would it be? My answer is ALWAYS cheese!

  6. Alejandra says:

    I freaking love cheese!

  7. I love cheese with anything… alone, making cheese crisps, cheese straws (before I went low-carb), on salads, with deli meats…

  8. I love cheese and nothing goes better with it than pasta, homemade Mac & Cheese with a strong intrusive flavor is the bestest!

  9. Yum! I also know very little about the ins and outs of pairing. However, about once a week we have a tapas night for dinner–cheeses, artichokes, peppers, olives, sometimes a pate, berries. Would love to learn more!

  10. Brie and raspberry jam is so heavenly!

  11. Cheese makes everything better!!

  12. Laurie Cron says:

    I Love, love, love cheese! This is a fabulous giveaway! Thank you Carolyn for sharing all you do!

  13. Love cheese!!!

  14. I love Cheese! I would always pair cheese with wine but now more so probably some venison sausage!

  15. Renee Nevitt says:

    My bff always said “A day without cheese is a day without sunshine” and I couldn’t agree more!

  16. I’m a sucker for cheese paired with fruit. A Northern Spy apple with sharp cheddar is my fave!

  17. I just love cheese! Although, on crackers is great. Or, just a hunk of cheese to nibble on works, too.

  18. Wow, great giveaway! I cannot live without cheese in my life. :)

  19. I like to pair cheese with crackers, fresh veggies, and tea.

  20. Wonderful giveaway! I love cheese and I usually pair it with nuts and a lovely glass of wine (pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon, usually)

  21. I love cheese!

  22. Barbars Lumaye says:

    Cheese is awesome with about anything, endless pairings

  23. I love fruit and cheese together!

  24. Nadine Osborne says:

    Everything taste better with cheese, crackers, pasta, eggs, vegetables.

  25. Valerie R. says:

    wine and cheese!

  26. I love cheese with pears!

  27. Wendy Rusch says:

    I Love cheese and about any type of meat and cheese paninni is my go to… My favorite though would be homemade strawberry jam with ham and gruyere on a challah bread :o)

  28. Deidre Jordan says:

    Cheese …. food for the gods!
    I believe it was Shakespeare who said, “A glass of wine, a piece of cheese and thou ……” Apologies to Will, because I’m sure I got it wrong!! You get the picture though – I LOVE cheese!

  29. I usually like to pair my cheese with meat, crackers, and sometimes an apricot and rosemary jam. Wine is a must!

  30. My favorite pairing is my mouth!!

  31. Cheese!

  32. Actually one of my favorite snacks is a bunch of fruit and cheese. I couldn’t tell you my favorite specific pairing of cheese however. Maybe cheese and my tastebuds haha.

  33. I like pairing my cheese with my wine :)

  34. Karen Ostrom says:

    I love cheese, and just about anything, but I love Brie, baked in a fillo dough and then topped with a great jam. If I’m keeping it simple then a Gorgonzola with a crust french bread.

  35. sausage!

  36. Anna Jados says:

    I love cheese so much – my favorite is a good cheddar or muenster and I usually just pair it with sausage or eat it plain because it’s just perfect plain too!

  37. Lois Edwards says:

    A staple in my diet, love it with everything, love it with crackers and summer sausage, fruit, I don’t always have to pair it-it can stand on its own

  38. Wine… of course! :)

  39. Sara Kenefick says:

    Is there such thing as a cheese-a-holic? If so, I admit it! I love to pair a salty cheese with a little sweet – pecorino or manchego with a little whipped honey! Yum!

  40. favorite pairing with cheese… hum, there are so many! But I think I would have to say, Brie with nuts… and dried fruit… and Port… Tawny Port… oh man, now I want some cheese! : )

  41. Venison salami & any good cheddar

  42. Cheese and wine. Cheese and flax crackers. Cheese and cheese. :-)

  43. Yours is easily one of my favorite food blogs. Keep up the good work!

  44. Annette Mahoney says:

    Hubby and I adore cheese. Cheese is so creamy and luscious and good for you. Sheep milk cheese, goat milk cheese and cow milk cheese, mild to robust. Tangy to creamy. And all in between. Cheese with olive, wine and a good apple used to be our go to before going low carb. Now it is just cheese and olives.

  45. Ann Stewart says:

    Boursin Cheese is delicious on fresh baguette.

  46. Debby Robic says:

    I like cheese with meats and peppers – like on an ante pasta plate!

  47. I <3 cheese! What an awesome giveaway, Carolyn!! :)

  48. I love cheese with wine but really Im not too picky. I’ll enjoy cheese with anything or nothing at all. Looove cheese :-)

  49. Roquefort (or other Bleu) and red currant jelly, baby bellas stuffed with garlic or pepper boursin and roasted, cheddar cheese with baked apples (with cinnamon), jarslberg and avocado sandwiches….

  50. Cheese and the egg fast diet!

  51. I love cheese with just about everything!

  52. Debbie Jennings says:

    Almost any variety of cheese and low carb crackers. : )

  53. jjmcgaffey says:

    Cheese (usually extra-sharp cheddar) and pesto over brown rice is one of my favorite meals. Most of my other pairings you wouldn’t like – goat cheese and honey, or fig, walnut, and brie… Oh, I know, blue cheese tucked into a burger! Yum.

  54. My favorite pairing with cheese is ring bologna and olives!

  55. Vickie Grissom says:

    Cheese is like bacon. You can never have too much! I like it with about anything.

  56. Jamie Pantophlet says:

    I love the simplicity of a grilled cheese sandwich but since embarking on a low carb lifestyle I have begun grilling zucchini (sliced lengthwise on a mandolin) brushed with olive oil and peppercorn with a slice of sharp cheddar and bacon in-between. Delicious.

  57. Red wine and pear

  58. Cheese makes the world go round

  59. My favourite pairing is a good, homemade bread!

  60. Jenice Taggart says:

    I have not met a cheese I did not like. Cheese goes with everything.

  61. Those cheeses look mouthwatering!

  62. Fresh figs are my favorite, but I’ll take just cheese and knife!

  63. I love gruyere, red wine, and good friends!

  64. Diana Van Dyke says:

    Wine and pepperoni are my most favorite pairings with cheese!

  65. I love your recipes and would really like to win the cheese.

  66. I love your recipes and the other facebook posts you have… and I am a cheeseaholic not looking for a 12 step program

  67. Stephanie says:

    I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like!

  68. My fave cheese pairing is usually apples or pears, but I’ve been known to wrap Havarti around carrot sticks when I’m desperate. We’ve become real cheese+veg people, since going low carb.

  69. My favorite pairing depends on the cheese. One of my favorite things to do is take bites of fresh mozzarella, wrap them in fresh basil and prosciutto, and dip them in olive oil. Now that’s a keto snack I could eat every single day!

  70. Dee Matters says:

    Cheese is my saving grace on low carb. However, I don’t know much about it, other than which cheeses I like so I would be thrilled to receive a prize like this.

  71. Pam Arbogast says:

    I love cheese too! Cheese with wine or cheese with fruit — or some crispy no grain crackers!

  72. Blair Eckman says:

    Cheese and crackers. Or cheese and good wine.

  73. I can hardly think of a thing that isn’t better with some cheese….

  74. I love cheese with everything…nuts, pretzel crisps, pita chips, crackers, fruit, antipasto platter, fruit, etc. Cheese makes everything better!!

  75. I just discovered the wonders of gouda! I’ve been eating it with just about anything. I love it on salad, with steak or by itself!

  76. Lauren G. says:

    Cheese and wine….havarti and merlot or Pinot noir

  77. My favorite thing to pair with cheese depends on the time of day. For breakfast, eggs (is there anything better than eggs and feta and spinach)? The rest of the time? Nuts. Any kind of nuts!

  78. Cheese and good bread with olive oil!

  79. This is like a taste of home for me! I grew up in Philly and we went to the original DiBruno’s in South Philly on 9th Street to stock up on cheeses weekly. A couple of years before I left Philly, they opened a huge specialty food store downtown that expanded their food and that was also amazing. Whoever wins this is lucky and will be thrilled!

  80. Almost anything! Grapes, wine, pears, apples, you name it!

  81. I love cheese with wine and fruit and a little hard salami.

  82. Just love cream cheese and raspberry jam, or any creamier cheese, but they all have their place!

  83. I love cheese! I splurge on the fancy stuff even though I’ve put myself on a $25 per week grocery budget. Sometimes I am in danger of spending it all on cheese…

  84. I love, love, love DiBruno Bros cheese. I am blessed to live near Philly. They are also now in select other shops.

  85. Way back in the 70`s, my future hubby and I used to meet for lunch in Green park in London. He would stop on the way and get a bottle of wine, and I would pick up a baguette and some type of cheese. Delicious and cheap and so much fun. Oh, great memories!

  86. I love havarti, or gruyere or Brie or goat cheese or provolone on my homemade celery/onion flaxseed crackers. It is the best!

  87. Every Sunday evening my husband and I like to have cheese with apples and popcorn. It’s our favorite family dinner!

  88. Cheese, wine & potato chips!!

  89. Hmmm. Never had a martini with cheese, but I’m willing to try. Thanks for this awesome opportunity!

  90. Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese and good dry salami! But then, I like them all.

    When my kids were little, we would sometimes do a party type of meal for dinner with cheese, mini bread, salami and other meats, fruit, and veggies with dip. Our kids called it “tables and chairs” because we’d have platters on several different tables, like a party, instead of sitting at the dining table.

  91. Brie and fresh fruit

  92. I love a bacon, mushroom and swiss frittata. That is such a great combination. Also, pre-low carb days I enjoyed brie with blackberry jelly all wrapped in pastry and heated in the oven.

  93. William Dotson says:

    I like cheese with most anything especially a good ham sandwich with a good strong cheese.

  94. Anne-Marie Cain says:

    I love a grilled cheese sandwich! So cheese with grain-free bread is my favorite pair! :)

  95. Cheese and anything!

  96. I didn’t realise that cheese needed to go with anything, I’ve been known to eat it straight off the block. Good thing I’m the only one who eats cheese in the house, there’s been more than one occasion where teeth marks have been discovered in the remains of a hunk…

  97. Laura Johnson says:

    Cheese figs and a good dry aged salami…..YUM

  98. I can’t say I ever get fancy with my cheese pairings. Normally it’s just a meat like salami or pepperoni.

  99. Annemarie A says:

    Being a Philly girl like the DiBruno family, there is only one answer that goes with this question… Cheese and steak… mmm…nothing beats a cheesesteak with fried onions and peppers…. and some pepperoni and bacon like my husband makes them… OK.. now I know what I want for dinner tonight. Carolyn, have you tried some of their cheese spreads? The gorgonzola one on top of a nice steak is really good too!

  100. Erin Ellis says:

    Wine and cheese is my favorite pairing! Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.

  101. I love to pair cheese with fruit, olives and homemade almond crackers.

  102. Christa M says:

    I love a creamy brie or something sharp and dry with a drizzle of chili honey on some sort of seedy cracker. The combination of cheese and honey is positively intoxicating to me.

  103. Ooh-la-la….I’d love to try this beautiful basket of wonderment!

  104. My favorite pairing with cheese is simply crackers and/or meat. Yum!

  105. I love cheese with an assortment of olives and a glass of wine!

  106. Blue cheese and honey – omg! So good. Our favorite dessert is a cheese plate!

  107. ooohhhh my favorite cheese pairing is some yummy crackers!

  108. Your Pecorino Martini looks amazing! My favorite pairing with cheese is olives, all kinds, nuts, fruit, and lots of wine.

  109. I love good cheese. Love martinis, too! This looks interesting!

  110. PS: I like cheese best with some kind of cracker or fruit or olives or anything! I just like cheese.

  111. My favorite pairing is WINE! And walnuts :-)

  112. I like crackers

  113. Beth Cole says:

    Pepperoni is delish with cheese!

  114. Sherrie Lee Nelson says:

    Cheese goes great with everything! Even more cheese!

  115. Wine, Ritz crackers and cheese are my go to!

  116. My favorite pairing for cheese is usually salami, fruit, crackers, bread…the possibilities are endless…
    Cheese is love.

  117. Ginger Hackney says:

    My favorite pairing with cheese is a great big smile! Great offer – sure would love to win.

  118. I love Brie with figs or apples.

  119. I love cheese with just about everything but I most enjoy sharing it with my son Evan who is 8 and loves lots of cheese varieties.

  120. Hands down–best pairing with cheese is wine! I miss living in VT near Cabot Creamery where my BIL worked and we had cheese ALL the time!!!

  121. I love just about any cheese, but I really like cheese with nuts (almonds and walnuts), grapes and wine. Makes a good meal all on it’s own, although cheese is pretty good on salad, too.

  122. I live in the Philadelphia area and am lucky enough to get to shop at the DiBruno Bros store. Amazing!!! Every time!

  123. More cheese of course! ;)

  124. Jennifer L says:

    I love sweet and savory pairings. Fruit, nuts, or a jelly sometimes!

  125. Francine Anchondo says:

    Cheese and Wine

  126. Knowing about the low-carb lifestyle diet – and following it for years – I am shocked at the number of replies that indicate grapes, figs, fruit and fruit jellies (I did- but sugar-free), RITZ CRACKERS?? Wine….??
    Cheese is an amazing food that I use daily making omelets, quiche (crusts made with almond flour/parmesan) and so many other things. It’s one of my main food sources for good fat.
    It seems many others are not reading your words…..

    Keep it up Carolyn – I need your food ideas since they’re certainly not in the grocery store yet!

    • Not all the people who read my blog or enter my giveaway are low carb, Linda. It’s open to everyone. :)

      • Of course I understand that. But over the last few years I’ve progressed from simply low-carb to ketogenic. After reading Death by Food Pyramid (Denise Minger), Wheat Belly, Grain Brain, Gary Taubes’ Why We Get Fat, etc….. I no longer believe even a moderate amount of sugar is healthy. And certainly grains are definitely off my food list. I recommend Maria Emmerich’s site (Mind Body Health) for anyone else interested in restoring their health and most certainly energy!

        This topic always gets me going – I see so many unhealthy people here in Canada and my heart goes out to them. I find my doctor to be clueless about nutrition and I don’t want to think about the nonsense that is still being taught to Nutritionists! I’ll stop now…..

        Thanks for all you do!

  127. Gosh, a difficult question! I love cheese with grapes, or to melt cheese onto a soft baguette. Or cheese by itself! :D Thanks for the opportunity to enter! be BLESSED!

  128. Keith Veilleux says:

    I like to pair cheese with more cheese

  129. Wine and dark chocolate

  130. Denise Fedor says:

    I like to pair my cheese with more cheese!

  131. I love cheese. My uncle used to send it to me from Italy. I can appreciate good quality so much more now that I’m older.

  132. I love brie and berries and honey

  133. I love cheese any way; any where and for any reason. I love cheese with salami!

  134. Holly Ellerton says:

    My favorite is fruit and cheese. Thank you for the give away! I love trying different cheeses…

  135. What could be better than room temperature cheese! It doesn’t need anything with it.

  136. Would love to win cheese basket to go with my wine. Thanks so much for the great site

  137. Cured meats.

  138. Jacque Baker says:

    Quality cheese, meat & nuts. And, a little glass of good wine makes it a good day.

  139. Mmmmm…that Pecorino would be good with a glass of riesling!

  140. I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t love!!!!! Can’t wait to win this giveaway. Thanks.

  141. Barbara Linder says:

    A book like that is such a great idea! I loooove cheese, but there is so much I don’t know…

  142. Brie and pesto is my current crave

  143. What a great give away! Cheese makes the world go around!

  144. My favorite pairing is apple wood smoked cheddar and blueberries.

  145. Sam McNeal says:

    DiBruno Brothers are an institution.

  146. Fruit! Especially dried apricots!

  147. I have recently discovered DiBruno Bro’s Gouda with foenegreek– the maple flavor pairs so well on an egg and bacon breakfast sandwich!

  148. Wine :)

  149. i’ve been really into home-made low carb crackers or cucumber slices as my cheese delivery system.

  150. This is great! Thanks for the chance!

  151. I love brie with fig jam.

  152. I love cheese. I would be pretty happy with a prize package like that.

  153. Debra Schramm says:

    Salami and jalapeno stuffed olives

  154. I like to pair cheese with more cheese!!!

  155. I love to let cheese come to room temp, as that seems to bring out the best flavor. I prefer cheese by itself, but if I have a good, buttery cracker, that is great too. Thanks for your giveaway and recipes! Much appreciated!

  156. AnnaMarie says:

    I neeeeeed that cheese!!!!

  157. I love many recipes with cheese. My favorite is pizza!

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