If you are a cheese scholar, you will already have this book on your wish list: Cheese and Culture: A History of Cheese and Its Place in Western Civilization, by Paul S. Kindstedt, professor of food science in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Vermont.
He is also the codirector of the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese.
This book is an exhaustive history of the earliest relationship between humankind and his cheddar, from prehistory to the modern era.
From the publisher:
How have different cheeses been shaped by their natural environment (or terroir) and defined by their social and cultural context? Who were the people who made these cheeses, who consumed them, what role did they play in local economies and trade? Cheese and Culture answers all these questions and at the same time advances our appreciation of cheese by viewing human history through the eyes of an inquisitive scientist. Kindstedt leads the reader down some intriguing, yet little-traveled, pathways, revealing facts such as these:
- Ancient peoples relied upon cheese, not only because it preserved the nutritious liquid milk of domestic animals, but also because, in these early times, almost all human adults were lactose-intolerant.
- The early Christian church clamped down on certain heretics who insisted that cheese, not bread, should properly be used in the sacrament of Holy Communion.
- Enslaved African-Americans, especially women, once played a key role as cheesemakers in areas of 17th and 18th century New England, whose exports to plantations in the South and the West Indies contributed to the notorious “triangle” trafficking of rum and human beings.
If ever you have said to yourself, “Self: You need to know everything there is to know about the history of cheese, wonderful cheese,” then this is your book, and this is your lucky day.
We are giving away two copies to two winners through the website of this definitive book. To read more about it, please see here.
To sign up for a chance to get a free copy, please click the link below: