Cheese and Culture: A History of Cheese and its Place in Western Civilization (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Chelsea Green Publishing, Apr 1, 2012 - Cooking - 256 pages
14 Reviews

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.


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Review: Cheese and Culture: A History of Cheese and Its Place in Western Civilization

User Review  - Katherine - Goodreads

Very interesting and easy to read. He never forgets that he's writing for a lay audience. Lots of information on how different types of cheeses are made, the problems of making cheese for export, and ... Read full review

Review: Cheese and Culture: A History of Cheese and Its Place in Western Civilization

User Review  - Theresa Porter - Goodreads

Well researched but rather dry. The repeated quotes from the christian bible in every chapter (unrelated to cheese) became tedious. Read full review


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About the author (2012)

Paul Kindstedt is a Professor of Food Science in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Vermont. He has authored numerous research articles and invited conference proceedings on dairy chemistry and cheese science, as well as many book chapters. He is the author of Cheese and Culture: A History of Cheese and its Place in Western Civilization, and the co-author of American Farmstead Cheese (2005) with the Vermont Cheese Council.  He has received national professional recognition for both his research and teaching and currently serves as the Co-Director of the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese at the University of Vermont. He is married and blessed with three children who are the joy of his life.

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