'The Whole Fromage' at M&Q

When Lucia Watson enthuses about a book, people listen. Of "The Whole Fromage" by Kathe Lison, Watson (of Lucia's Restaurant) says that the book expresses Lison's "loving familiarity with the wonderful and complex world of French cheese. It takes you from the fields where the animals graze, through the creamery, shops and right to your table. Prepare to devour this book! And prepare to be hungry!" Kirkus Reviews also included the book on its list of "nine epic true-life adventures to read this summer." How handy, then, that Lison will be reading, answering questions and signing her book at 7 p.m. Aug. 8 at Magers & Quinn, 3038 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. The book traces Lison's travels from the last cheesemaking burons in the pastures of Auvergne and the Abbaye de Tamié, where monk-made Tamié ages in caves beneath the cloisters, to the headquarters of Isigny Sainte-Mère, where a True Camembert Defense Committee was founded in the wake of laws against making Camembert with raw, untreated milk. In short, a great melding of cuisine, history and culture.

YouthLink gets a boost

You can multitask this month, eating well while helping kids. More than a dozen local food trucks are raising money for YouthLink, a nonprofit dedicated to helping homeless youths. For $10, you can buy a food truck discount card that offers a variety of deals at many Minneapolis food trucks through August. All proceeds will go to YouthLink. A Wilder Study released this spring said that almost half of Minnesota's homeless are under age 21. Cards may be purchased in person at YouthLink, 41 N. 12th St., Mpls., by calling 612-252-1280, or online at www.youthlinkmn.org/foodtrucks/, where there's also a list of participating vendors.

Got kringle?

As you wend your way through Wisconsin to the cabin, or the lake, or just through, know that the kringle now is the state's official pastry. Racine legislator Cory Mason, in touch with his Danish constituency, noted in a letter to the governor: "While there are many items in this biennial budget about which Republicans and Democrats disagree, I am glad that my colleagues and I can find common ground around my suggestion to designate the kringle as Wisconsin's Official State Pastry." The state's tourism department highlights four Racine bakeries: Bendtsen's Bakery, www.bendtsensbakery.com; Larsen's Bakery, www.larsenskringle.com; Lehmann's Bakery, lehmannsbakery.com; and O & H Danish Bakery, ohdanishbakery.com. Side note: The cream puff was proposed as the state pastry last year, but it died in the Assembly. Don't mess with the kringle lobby.