Rolling the Dice on Cheese

Georgia Tech research on display at Irish edible show

Just like wine, there are hundreds of ways to make cheese. Some use cow milk, goat milk or even a mixture of the two. Then there are hard, soft and semi-hard cheeses with sharp or mild flavors. In other words, the possibilities are nearly endless.

Carl DiSalvo, an assistant professor in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, has developed a creative way to help people understand and recognize cheese combinations. His work, Cheese Combinatorics, is currently on display in Dublin, Ireland, during a unique exhibit: Edible – The Taste of Things to Come.

DiSalvo has created dice with various images on them, each representing a different cheese element: milk, rennet, flavor, texture and treatment. Attendees roll the dice and then find the combination in a table that catalogs all 127 Irish farmhouse cheeses. Three different cheeses per day are available for sampling at the exhibit using DiSalvo’s combo as a reference.

“The goal of Cheese Combinatorics is to teach people that cheese, and other foods, aren’t as simple as they might think,” said DiSalvo. “Perhaps someday the cheese industry could use similar images on packaging for customers. It would be a quick, convenient way to find cheeses you enjoy.”

DiSalvo’s work in the School of Literature, Communication and Culture explores the intersection of food, design, art, technology and politics. 

To see a video of the dice, click here. The show continues through April 4.