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The Art of Natural Cheesemaking

 Using Traditional, Non-Industrial Methods and Raw Ingredients to Make the World’s Best Cheeses

by David Asher
320 pages, 8x10, softcover  
Published by Chelsea Green
Forward by Sandor Katz

 

More often than not, something is missing in cheese these days—even when it tastes good, when it is made artisanally or just off the ship from some foreign country. A mysterious element sets some cheeses apart as “the best.” David Asher assures us that this missing ingredient is nothing more than a foundational connection to, and cooperation with, nature: the seasons and the elements, the fauna and the flora and, especially, the microbes. The methods detailed in this book suggest a traditional yet radical approach to cheesemaking that reflects Asher’s “fermentationism,” and his belief that all bacterial and fungal cultures needed to make good cheese are native to good raw milk. No expensive fancy equipment or weary lab-grown cultures needed. If you want to make the best cheese, prepare to smell the milk and and trust your clabber, harvest and process your own rennet, keep your own Penicillium roqueforti on homemade sourdough bread, backslop your whey for a starter culture, leave your milk bucket unwashed, respect your kefir, improvise your own cheese forms and just say no to Big Dairy. Both a manifesto and a framework. And, yes, you’ll find 35 recipes with beautifully lit photographs to guide the way. Hats off to Asher.

Review from the Fedco Seed Catalogue, 2016 edition.

Translation available in Russian.
Soon to be released in
German, Bulgarian and French

 

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Back of the book blurbs:

“Finally, the cheesemaking book I’ve always wanted to read! For anyone interested in traditional, low-tech cheesemaking, The Art of Natural Cheesemaking will be an empowering tool.”
          --- Sandor Ellix Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation, from the Foreword

“David Asher’s book is brave and important, teaching us to tend to what matters by helping us understand process before recipes.  This book expands the boundaries of sustainability, deepening the power of independent autonomy and local flavor, making our world more delicious.”
          --- Shannon Hayes, author of Radical Homemakers

The Art of Natural Cheesemaking is a breakthrough book. The more we remove the mystery to manufacturing even the simplest of cheeses at home, the more we will come to admire the craftsmanship that dairy farmers and artisanal cheesemakers bring to their work, to make life better and tastier for the rest of us.”
          ---Richard McCarthy, executive director, Slow Food USA

“If you want to know every possible detail about cheesemaking the natural way and on a small scale in your home, The Art of Natural Cheesemaking is the book for you—even if you'd just like to dabble in your kitchen.”
          ---Sally Fallon Morell, president, the Weston A. Price Foundation