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197 × 120 × 16 mm
152 pages
60 illustrations, 37 in colour
01 Sep 2009
  • £11.99

Cheese A Global History Andrew Dalby

Cheese is one of the most ancient of civilized foods and one of the most nourishing. Despite its many uses and variations, there has never been a global history of cheese, but here at last is a succinct, authoritative account, revealing how cheese was invented and where, when and even why.

In bite-sized chapters well-known food historian Andrew Dalby tells the true and savoury story of cheese, from its prehistoric invention to its modern rebirth. Here you will find the most ancient cheese appellations, the first written description of the cheese-making process, a list of the luxury cheeses of classical Rome, the medieval rule-of-thumb for identifying good cheese, and the story of how loyal cheese lover Samuel Pepys saved his parmesan from the Great Fire of London. Dalby reveals that cheese is one of the most ancient of civilized foods. He suggests that our passion for cheese may even lie behind the early establishment of global trade, and asks in conclusion whether real cheese can survive the current imperative to globalize, pasteurize and sterilize our food. . .

Packed with entertaining cheese facts, anecdotes and images, Cheese also features a selection of historic recipes. For those who crave a stinky Stilton, a creamy Brie or a salty pecorino, Cheese is the perfect snack.

‘Andrew Dalby travels easily from the sheeps- and goats-milk cheeses of The Odyssey to the white Wensleydale preferred by Wallace and Gromit and thats just along the literary and fictional trails. Dalby also identifies the rightful place of cheese in different cultures . . . the many images used to illustrate Cheese are wonderfully evocative . . . mere shavings from a monks head, as Dalby describes his chronicle, yet satisfying when enjoyed at room temperature.’ — Washington Post

‘The history of each foodstuff is set out compactly and with erudition . . . Andrew Dalby takes a stab at sheep in Iranian mountains as being the first providers of smelly, spreadable cheese some 9,000 years ago. But in each case, its when the history moves closer to current day that revelation and delight meet.’ — Diplomat magazine

‘From Roquefort to Tilsit, from cheddaring to cheese mites, the pocket-sized Cheese: A Global History explores the fascinating evolution of one of the worlds favourite foods.’ — Australian Dairy Foods magazine

‘Dalby brings this considerable erudition to a comprehensive and entertaining study of cheese.’ — Text Journal of Writing

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Andrew Dalby is a linguist, translator and historian, based in France. He is the author of many books, including Bacchus: A Biography (2005), Flavours of Byzantium (2003), Food in the Ancient World from A to Z (2003) and Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices (2000), which was named Food Book of the Year by the Guild of Food Writers. He has also written Empire of Pleasures (2000), Siren Feasts: A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece (1996), which won the Runciman Award, Cheese: A Global History (Reaktion, 2009) and The Breakfast Book (Reaktion Books, 2013).

1  The Cheeseboard
2  History
3  Making
4  Consuming
Select Bibliography
Websites and Associations
Photo Acknowledgements