The figure above shows the locations of the last couple of dozen hits to www.cheesescience.net. As can be seen, the world of cheese is very diverse, but hereabouts it is shortly going to be Christmas, a time for goodwill and thanks. Hence, I would like to thank the people behind the 4,129 hits to www.cheesescience.net since about last March. It is very gratifying to see that this little site receives so many hits and I hope the miscellany of snippets about cheese science and technology have been of some interest and use to you.
It was a busy year for me travel-wise: conferences in Berne, Buenos Aires and Mexico City, teaching courses in Ankara and a university in Bolu (a city half-way between Ankara and Istanbul) and visiting students in parts of north Cork as far-flung as Kanturk! Holidays this year were tied mainly onto work trips. I had a couple of fascinating days revelling in museums and the Byzantine remains of Istanbul and finally got to explore a bit of Argentina properly with a few days in Buenos Aires (and yes, I did see the tango in its native habitat!) with a short trip right up north to Salta in the foothills of the Andes (wonderful scenery). As for publishing, with great relief to me and Prof Fox, the manuscript for the third and final volume of the third edition of Advanced Dairy Chemistry (covering lactose, water, vitamins and minor constituents of milk) left my desk for the publishers during the summer with publication due for early 2009. Our main publishing project now is the revised edition of the four volume Encyclopedia of Dairy Sciences which will be published by Elsevier in 2011.
I wish a most Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year to those who celebrate these festivals at this time of the year and, to those who do not, please accept my good wishes for your special days. There are not many Christmas traditions related to cheese, but I do suggest you try the combination of Port wine and Stilton (or the Blue variety of your choice). The full bodied intensity of Port perfectly complements the strong methyl ketone flavour of Blue cheese.
I leave you with my best wishes and a photo of the Christmas tree in chez McSweeney.