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

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-04-01
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Pub Co
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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 Cultureendeavors 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 Cultureembarks 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.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
Southwest Asia and the Ancient Origins of Cheesep. 3
Cheese, Religion, and the Cradle of Civilizationp. 17
Bronze, Rennet, and the Ascendancy of Tradep. 40
Greece, Cheese, and the Mediterranean Miraclep. 63
Caesar, Christ, and Systematic Cheese Makingp. 81
The Manor, the Monastery, and the Age of Cheese Diversificationp. 116
England, Holland, and the Rise of Market-Driven Cheese Makingp. 158
The Puritans, the Factory, and the Demise of Traditional Cheese Makingp. 185
The Cultural Legacy of Cheese Making in the Old and New Worldsp. 212
Acknowledgmentsp. 227
Bibliographyp. 229
Indexp. 245
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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