Cheese: A Global History

Cheese: A Global History

4.6 10
by Andrew Dalby
     
 

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Take a slice of bread. It’s perfectly okay in and of itself. Maybe it has a nice, crisp crust or the scent of sourdough. But really, it’s kind of boring. Now melt some cheese on it—a sharp Vermont cheddar or a flavorful Swiss Gruyere. Mmm, delicious. Cheese—it’s the staple food, the accessory that makes everything better, from

Overview

Take a slice of bread. It’s perfectly okay in and of itself. Maybe it has a nice, crisp crust or the scent of sourdough. But really, it’s kind of boring. Now melt some cheese on it—a sharp Vermont cheddar or a flavorful Swiss Gruyere. Mmm, delicious. Cheese—it’s the staple food, the accessory that makes everything better, from the hamburger to the ordinary sandwich to a bowl of macaroni. Despite its many uses and variations, there has never before been a global history of cheese, but here at last is a succinct, authoritative account, revealing how cheese was invented and where, when, and even why.

In bite-sized chapters well-known food historian Andrew Dalby tells the true and

savory story of cheese, from its prehistoric invention to the moment of its modern rebirth. Here you will find the most ancient cheese appellations, the first written description of the cheese-making process, a list of the luxury cheeses of classical Rome, the medieval rule-of-thumb for identifying good cheese, and even the story of how loyal cheese lover Samuel Pepys saved his parmesan from the great Fire of London. Dalby reveals that cheese is one of the most ancient of civilized foods, and he suggests that our passion for cheese may even lay behind the early establishment of global trade.

Packed with entertaining cheese facts, anecdotes, and images, Cheese also

features a selection of historic recipes. For those who crave a pungent stilton, a creamy brie, or a salty pecorino, Cheese is the perfect snack of a book.

Editorial Reviews

Washington Post

"In Cheese: A Global History, Andrew Dably travels easily from the sheep's- and goat's-milk cheeses of The Odyssey to the white Wensleydale preferred by Wallace and Gromit—and that's just along the literary and fictional trails. Dalby also identifies the rightful lace of cheese in different cultures.. . . . Even the many images used to illustrate 'Cheese' are wonderfully evocative. I could almost smell the heady bouquet from the photo of the Olympic Cheese Mart."—Washington Post
Diplomat

“The history of each foodstuff is set out compactly and with erudition . . . Andrew Dalby takes a stab at sheep in Iranian mountains as being the first providers of smelly, spreadable cheese—some 9,000 years ago. But in each case, it's when the history moves closer to current day that revelation and delight meet.” —Diplomat

Bonnie S. Benwick
In Cheese: A Global History, Andrew Dalby travels easily from the sheep's- and goat's-milk cheeses of The Odyssey to the white Wensleydale preferred by Wallace and Gromit—and that's just along the literary and fictional trails. Dalby also identifies the rightful place of cheese in different cultures…Even the many images used to illustrate Cheese are wonderfully evocative.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
In this disappointing food biography, historian and translator Dalby (Food in the Ancient World from A to Z) pursues cheese from era to era and across the globe. Though he lacks a narrative, or even an authoritative voice, readers will take away some interesting history and trivia: cheese might be an Iranian invention, King Charles I's court demanded more Cheddar than could be made, and another story for every cheese and cheese-producing region throughout time. As it turns out, however, cheese trivia isn't enough to hold a book together, making this more an encyclopedic, uninvolving work than a cogent history. A fascinating selection of photos is included, but captions are anemic (a photo of well-dressed African-American students making cheese is simply labeled "Agriculture students gather around a cheese press, Hampton, Virginia, 1900"). 40 color plates, 20 b&w.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781861895233
Publisher:
Reaktion Books, Limited
Publication date:
09/15/2009
Series:
Reaktion Books - Edible Series
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
855,275
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Dalby is a linguist, translator and historian based in France. He is the author of many books including Bacchus: A Biography, Flavours of Byzantium, Food in the Ancient World from A to Z, and Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices, which was named Food Book of the Year by the Guild of Food Writers.

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Cheese: A Global History 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
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