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Cheese And Culture: A History Of Cheese And Its Place In Western Civilization

Behind every traditional type of cheese there is a fascinating story. By examining the role of the cheesemaker throughout world history and by understanding a few basic principles of cheese science and technology, we can see how different cheeses have been shaped by and tailored to their surrounding environment, as well as defined by their social and cultural context. Cheese and Culture endeavors to advance our appreciation of cheese origins by viewing human history through the eyes of a cheese scientist. There is also a larger story to be told, a grand narrative that binds all cheeses together into a single history that started with the discovery of cheese making and that is still unfolding to this day. This book reconstructs that 9000-year story based on the often fragmentary information that we have available. Cheese and Culture embarks on a journey that begins in the Neolithic Age and winds its way through the ensuing centuries to the present. This tour through cheese history intersects with some of the pivotal periods in human prehistory and ancient, classical, medieval, renaissance, and modern history that have shaped western civilization, for these periods also shaped the lives of cheesemakers and the diverse cheeses that they developed. The book offers a useful lens through which to view our twenty-first century attitudes toward cheese that we have inherited from our past, and our attitudes about the food system more broadly. This refreshingly original book will appeal to anyone who loves history, food, and especially good cheese.

Paperback: 272 pages

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing (April 1, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1603585060

ISBN-13: 978-1603585064

Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches

Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #284,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #109 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking by Ingredient > Cheese & Dairy #433 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Education & Reference > History #556 in Books > Science & Math > Agricultural Sciences > Food Science

This book was OK, not great. I had hoped that this book would be to cheese what the book Salt was to ... well...salt, but it was a big let down.First, it is really dry in the beginning the author did not do a very good job of telling a story. I was actually warned by others that this book was dry, but I said it was OK because I liked dry cheese. :-) He basically just wrote down facts. He didn't breath any life into the subject, I know several people who gave up on the book at this point. You have to get through the first 50 or 60 pages before the book gets interesting.In addition, his Christian beliefs just permeated the book which really distracted from the subject. The author seems to focus almost the first half of the book on the Middle East. So much was spent just on Israel when I am sure that there was a lot to discussed in other parts of world in relation to cheese. I suspect that he has a great deal of interest in that part of the world because of his obvious beliefs.Most chapters open with Bible quotes or quotes from Christians in history. Whenever he could think of the thinest execuse to go into long, and at times tedious detail, of Christianity he would do so for pages. At one point he even works in a discussion of gnosticism!!! A good editor should have cut a lot of this.Please do not misunderstand me, I don't have anything against Christianity, but it was really a stretch to be so focused on Christianity in a book about cheese. If I want to read about Christianity, I will get a book on that subject. I wanted to read a book on Cheese. I mean rather than use all those pages discussing religion, it would have been great to read a discussion on cheese. He could have developed a better discussion on the various tyes and production methods.

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