The Art of Natural Cheesemaking: Using Traditional, Non-Industrial Methods and Raw Ingredients to Make the World's Best Cheeses Spiral-Bound |
David Asher, Sandor Ellix Katz (Foreword by)
★★★★☆+ from 101 to 500 ratings
The Art of Natural Cheesemaking: Using Traditional, Non-Industrial Methods and Raw Ingredients to Make the World's Best Cheeses
Including more than 35 step-by-step recipes from the Black Sheep School of Cheesemaking
Most DIY cheesemaking books are hard to follow, complicated, and confusing, and call for the use of packaged freeze-dried cultures, chemical additives, and expensive cheesemaking equipment. For though bread baking has its sourdough, brewing its lambic ales, and pickling its wild fermentation, standard Western cheesemaking practice today is decidedly unnatural. In The Art of Natural Cheesemaking, David Asher practices and preaches a traditional, but increasingly countercultural, way of making cheese—one that is natural and intuitive, grounded in ecological principles and biological science.
This book encourages home and small-scale commercial cheesemakers to take a different approach by showing them:
• How to source good milk, including raw milk;
• How to keep their own bacterial starter cultures and fungal ripening cultures;
• How make their own rennet—and how to make good cheese without it;
• How to avoid the use of plastic equipment and chemical additives; and
• How to use appropriate technologies.
Introductory chapters explore and explain the basic elements of cheese: milk, cultures, rennet, salt, tools, and the cheese cave. The fourteen chapters that follow each examine a particular class of cheese, from kefir and paneer to washed-rind and alpine styles, offering specific recipes and handling advice. The techniques presented are direct and thorough, fully illustrated with hand-drawn diagrams and triptych photos that show the transformation of cheeses in a comparative and dynamic fashion.
The Art of Natural Cheesemaking is the first cheesemaking book to take a political stance against Big Dairy and to criticize both standard industrial and artisanal cheesemaking practices. It promotes the use of ethical animal rennet and protests the use of laboratory-grown freeze-dried cultures. It also explores how GMO technology is creeping into our cheese and the steps we can take to stop it.
This book sounds a clarion call to cheesemakers to adopt more natural, sustainable practices. It may well change the way we look at cheese, and how we make it ourselves.
"Organic farmer Asher, creator of the Black Sheep School of cheesemaking, packs plenty of information into this complete guide for both novice and experienced cheesemakers. He advocates strictly non-commercial methods in this detailed manifesto, showing aspiring cheese artisans how to craft indigenous cultures, make natural rennet, source quality raw milks, and construct their own caves. The 30 recipes with photos require neither additives nor sterilization and include methods for making chèvre, paneer, feta, yogurt-based cheeses, and aged rinded varieties (alpine, blue, and gouda). Chapters on salt, kefir, and the ecology of cheese are included. Asher’s political message is overt: He feels that regulations against using raw milk stand in the way of “your right to practice a natural and traditional cheese making.” His organic method is a political act in favor of 'cheese sovereignty' and takes a stand against corporate interference. Asher’s “contraband cheese” techniques aim to recover the traditional quality of cheese that has been lost."
David Asher is an organic farmer, goatherd, and farmstead cheesemaker, who lives on the gulf islands of British Columbia. A guerrilla cheesemaker, Asher explores traditionally cultured, noncorporate methods of cheesemaking. Though mostly self-taught, he picked up his cheese skills from various teachers, including a Brown Swiss cow, named Sundae, on Cortes Island.
Asher's Black Sheep School of Cheesemaking offers cheesemaking workshops in partnership with food-sovereignty-minded organizations and communities. His workshops teach a cheesemaking method that is natural, DIY, and well suited to any home kitchen. He has been teaching cheesemaking for over seven years.