“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
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.