Milk! A 10,000-Year Food Fracas

Bloomsbury Pr. May 2018. 400p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781632863829. $29; ebk. ISBN 9781632863843. COOKING
Kurlansky (Salt: A World History), a James Beard Award-winning writer, continues his exploration of food with a thorough study of milk, "the most argued-over food in human history." Covering numerous civilizations and geographic locations over thousands of years, Kurlansky shows how various cultures produced, cooked, consumed, and thought about milk and the significant role it has played in history. Readers will uncover the reasons behind the constant rise and fall of the beverage's popularity (the Romans thought consumption was barbaric), the plethora of animals that humans have utilized to produce milk (from camels to cows), and the numerous foods made using milk. The author also ties in subjects such as religion, breastfeeding and wet nursing, and socioeconomics and gender roles. While this work's primary focus is history, Kurlansky does touch on current topics, including milk safety regulations, production, and even lactose intolerance. Also included is a mixture of 126 historical and contemporary recipes.
VERDICT A fascinating and comprehensive book that will keep readers engaged and entertained. The recipes, especially those on the historical side, are a unique and complimentary addition. Will appeal to both foodies and readers of world history. Highly recommended.
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