Audrey E, November 14, 2011 (view all comments by Audrey E)
Disappointing and uneven. There are some useful and informative sections, like the chapter on the history of modern industrial dairy production, but overall the writing is repetitive, frequently interjects the author's personal opinions as factual statements, and seems culturally inept (the author insists on referring to the entire swath of historically yogurt-producing regions as "Yogurtistan", for example). Clearer (and more accurate) information on producing cultured dairy foods (buttermilk, yogurt, and cheese) can be found elsewhere.
Tracey Herman, April 26, 2009 (view all comments by Tracey Herman)
This is a terrific book for anyone interested in dairy. The book is broken up into a few sections that address the history of man's use of animal milk, the current state of the dairy "industry," and amazing recipes. This book reveals what you always suspected about American dairy products: they are processed and/or fake! But it also takes you on a guided adventure that reveals how you can bring back the true flavor and richness of milk, butter, cream, cheese, etc to your kitchen.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Knopf Publishing Group -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"In a recipe book that is part cultural critique and part culinary history, Mendelson (Stand Facing the Stove) reaps nearly 400 fascinating pages from that most elemental of ingredients. Yet the story of dairy is perhaps not quite so surprising as the title suggests — it's more or less the story of all industrialized food production through the last century, in which the flavor and quality of natural foods have been subjugated to dietary concerns, food safety and the sheer volume needed for mass consumption. As a result, Mendelson argues, the product most Americans call milk bears very little resemblance to what initially spurts from the cow's udder. Mendelson exhaustively traces milk production and consumption back to 6000 B.C. and through the Middle East, India and Europe, where milch animals were first herded and bred. The final two-thirds of the book are divided into chapters devoted to fresh milk and cream; yogurt; cultured milk and cream; butter, true buttermilk and fresh cheese, each with traditional recipes from around the world. Aspiring cheese makers will find some basic science, and the eclectic recipes (such as French Vichyssoise, Turkish Ayran and Eastern European Kugel) are reliable and detailed. Mendelson is optimistic that a brighter future for dairying lies in the rise of small farm operations — a future in which more consumers can share her obvious passion for the product." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Part cookbook — with more than 120 enticing recipes — part culinary history, part inquiry into the evolution of an industry, Milk is a one-of-a-kind book that will change forever the way people think about milk.
Part cookbook—with more than 120 enticing recipes—part culinary history, part inquiry into the evolution of an industry, Milk is a one-of-a-kind book that will forever change the way we think about dairy products.
Anne Mendelson, author of Stand Facing the Stove, first explores the earliest Old World homes of yogurt and kindred fermented products made primarily from sheeps and goats milk and soured as a natural consequence of climate. Out of this ancient heritage from lands that include Greece, Bosnia, Turkey, Israel, Persia, Afghanistan, and India, she mines a rich source of culinary traditions.
Mendelson then takes us on a journey through the lands that traditionally only consumed milk fresh from the cow—what she calls the Northwestern Cow Belt (northern Europe, Great Britain, North America). She shows us how milk reached such prominence in our diet in the nineteenth century that it led to the current practice of overbreeding cows and overprocessing dairy products. Her lucid explanation of the chemical intricacies of milk and the simple home experiments she encourages us to try are a revelation of how pure milk products should really taste.
The delightfully wide-ranging recipes that follow are grouped according to the main dairy ingredient: fresh milk and cream, yogurt, cultured milk and cream, butter and true buttermilk, fresh cheeses. We learn how to make luscious Clotted Cream, magical Lemon Curd, that beautiful quasi-cheese Mascarpone, as well as homemade yogurt, sour cream, true buttermilk, and homemade butter. She gives us comfort foods such as Milk Toast and Cream of Tomato Soup alongside Panir and Chhenna from India. Here, too, are old favorites like Herring with Sour Cream Sauce, Beef Stroganoff, a New Englandish Clam Chowder, and the elegant Russian Easter dessert, Paskha. And there are drinks for every season, from Turkish Ayran and Indian Lassis to Batidos (Latin American milkshakes) and an authentic hot chocolate.
This illuminating book will be an essential part of any food lovers collection and is bound to win converts determined to restore the purity of flavor to our First Food.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.