Also on the brighter side: better news on Chinese cheese

No, not that the beagle-enhanced war on cheese has been called off.

Rather, a reminder of one valuable inside-the-country source, Yellow Valley Cheese. When we lived in Shanghai we often bought wheels of Yellow Valley's Gouda-style cheeses, like those depicted on the company's web site, below. Indeed the picture on the left, with all the cheeses lined up, very closely resembles what we saw in our store in Shanghai.


Cheese3.jpgThe company's founder, the Dutch agriculturalist Marc de Ruiter -- I assume this is him, in Mr. Cheese pose from the site -- says they're available in many places in Beijing and elsewhere, though I haven't noticed them at our local haunt. (Jenny Lou at Jianwai Soho.)  His cheeses aren't cheap, but they are very good. My favorites were the cumin and onion-and-garlic varieties.

De Ruiter places great stress on his company's organic-farming and fair-trade policies. I hadn't known about the online order site, which I will now try. Go to hell, sniffer beagles. I can work around you.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.

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