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. Kimberly says

    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. 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?

  3. Joan says

    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!

  4. kyta says

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

  5. Jeffrey says

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

  6. Jenn M says

    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!

  7. Jan says

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

  8. 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)

  9. 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!

  10. Sarah G says

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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

  14. 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!

  15. janet says

    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! : )

  16. 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.

  17. Renee C says

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

  18. linda says

    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….

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. EllenCF says

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

  22. says

    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.

  23. Nogitron says

    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!

  24. 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.

  25. Theresa says

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

  26. Emily says

    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!

  27. Melissa says

    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!

  28. says

    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!

  29. Dani says

    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…

  30. Carol says

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

  31. janet says

    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!

  32. Weds says

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

  33. Laura says

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

  34. Lorraine says

    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.

  35. Judi says

    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.

  36. says

    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…

  37. Leslie says

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

  38. 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!

  39. 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.

  40. gina says

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

  41. Lisa S says

    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.

  42. LJ says

    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!!!

  43. Jennie H says

    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.

  44. Marie says

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

  45. linda says

    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!

      • linda says

        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!

  46. says

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

  47. Donna says

    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.

  48. Mindy says

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

  49. Robin says

    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!

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