Milk!: A 10,000-Year Food Fracas

Milk!: A 10,000-Year Food Fracas

Mark Kurlansky's first global food history since the bestselling Cod and Salt; the fascinating cultural, economic, and culinary story of milk and all things dairy--with recipes throughout.

According to the Greek creation myth, we are so much spilt milk; a splatter of the goddess Hera's breast milk became our galaxy, the Milky Way. But while mother's milk may be the essence of nourishment, it is the milk of other mammals that humans have cultivated ever since the domestication of animals more than 10,000 years ago, originally as a source of cheese, yogurt, kefir, and all manner of edible innovations that rendered lactose digestible, and then, when genetic mutation made some of us lactose-tolerant, milk itself.

Before the industrial revolution, it was common for families to keep dairy cows and produce their own milk. But during the nineteenth century mass production and urbanization made milk safety a leading issue of the day, with milk-borne illnesses a common cause of death. Pasteurization slowly became a legislative matter. And today milk is a test case in the most pressing issues in food politics, from industrial farming and animal rights to GMOs, the locavore movement, and advocates for raw milk, who controversially reject pasteurization.

Profoundly intertwined with human civilization, milk has a compelling and a surprisingly global story to tell, and historian Mark Kurlansky is the perfect person to tell it. Tracing the liquid's diverse history from antiquity to the present, he details its curious and crucial role in cultural evolution, religion, nutrition, politics, and economics.

Title:Milk!: A 10,000-Year Food Fracas
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781632863829
Format Type:

About Mark Kurlansky

Mark Kurlansky (born 7 December 1948 in Hartford, Connecticut) is a highly-acclaimed American journalist and writer of general interest non-fiction. He is especially known for titles on eclectic topics, such as cod or salt.


    Milk!: A 10,000-Year Food Fracas Reviews

  • Matt

    First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Mark Kurlansky, and Bloomsbury (USA) Publishing for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased re...

  • Trish

    Kurlansky is justly famous for his earlier works about Salt and Cod, among other things, so when I saw this 2018 Bloomsbury Publishing nonfiction about Milk, I was interested. I was particularly inter...

  • Patty

    I'm a huge fan of Kurlansky. He's probably the most famous writer of microhistories currently, a genre I adore. Microhistories he's written include "Salt" and "Paper", books on oysters and cod, a hist...

  • Mich Must Read

    Thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for this ARC. We luxuriate in the richness of yummy butter, or at least I do. There is nothing more delicious to me than a simple croissant, flaky doug...

  • Chris

    Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley I have to have milk with breakfast unless I am getting breakfast at work. But at home, a glass milk, cold milk, and then coffee. I need that nice cool glass of milk. But ...

  • Dree

    Thanks to netgalley for providing me with a Kindle edition galley of this book.I have read Kurlansky's Salt: A World History, and actually enjoyed this one much more. Not surprisingly, he uses a simil...

  • Dawn Betts-Green (Dinosaur in the Library)

    This was an ok read. The first half or so was difficult to slog through because of formatting. Kurlansky includes a ridiculous number of recipes in the early chapters, and while recipes are certainly ...

  • Lance L

    "... a book with 126 recipes..."Almost stream of consciousness rambling broken occasionally by repeated recitations of centuries or millennia old “recipes” which only serve to encrenulate the mono...

  • Jim Townsend

    I enjoyed this fun and easy-to-read book about my favourite beverage, even as I haven't drunk very much in the years that I've known my wife. A simple food, milk has an interesting and contentious his...

  • Paul

    I love Mark Kurlansky's books - this one made me want to eat cheese, cheese and more cheese, because it was full of history and recipes!!...