Review: Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages

Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages
Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages by Anne Mendelson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really miss being able to consume dairy products, so I thought it might be fun to read Milk. However, reading it just left a bad taste in my mouth. This has nothing to do with the recipes, which seem well researched and tested with relatively easy-to-follow instructions. The author’s food snobbery really got to me after a while, though; surely it would have been sufficient for her to state once, clearly, before every recipe section that she thinks it would be better to use milk that is unhomogenized and, if possible, pasteurized slowly at a lower temperature, rather than saying it in every recipe.

Should you be tempted to undertake preparing some of the recipes in this book, you should be aware that they are most emphatically not for the budget-conscious cook. You’ll need to buy, beg, borrow, or steal a double boiler, stockpots of varying sizes, rennet tablets, the aforementioned artisanal milk in udder-busting quantities, the “correct” kind of cheesecloth (not the kind you can get in the grocery store–the author says this repeatedly as well–and something called a Flame Tamer to keep your dairy delights at the proper temperature. It all sounds lovely, but so expensive!

That being said, the book is an interesting read, and I do recommend it to anyone who’s curious about the cultural history of milk and can afford to try the recipes.

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