Milk! A 10,000-Year Food Fracas
Mark Kurlansky has the enviable ability to take a single item—salt, cod, oysters, milk, or paper—plug it into a human context, and produce entertaining and thought-provoking history. Milk! is part anthropology, part economics, with a dash of politics and even a stock of recipes—most of which look impossible to follow (medieval weights and measures, anyone?). Subjects include nursing (and the breast vs. bottle debate), lactose-intolerance (the natural state for most humans, he notes), and characteristics of different animal milks. Butter, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream get covered, along with less common milk byproducts like skyr and kumis.