In an engaging tour of the science and history of cheese, Michael Tunick explores the art of cheese making, the science that lies underneath the deliciousness, and the history behind how humanity came up with one of its most varied and versatile of foods. Dr. Tunick spends his everyday deep within the halls of the science of cheese, as a researcher who creates new dairy products, primarily, cheeses. He takes us from the very beginning, some 8000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, and shows us the accidental discovery of cheese when milk separated into curds and whey. This stroke of luck would lead to a very mild, and something akin to cottage, cheese-deemed delicious enough by our traveling cheese maker that he or she did it again another day. Today we know of more than 2,000 varieties of cheese from Gorgonzola, first noted in year 879, to Roquefort in 1070 to Cheddar in 1500. But Tunick delves deeper into the subject to provide a wide-ranging overview that begins with cows and milk and then covers the technical science behind creating a new cheese, milk allergies and lactose intolerance, nutrition and why cheese is a vital part of a balanced diet. The Science of Cheese is an entertaining journey through one of America's favorite foods.
©2014 Oxford University Press (P)2014 Audible Inc.
If you know what a gas spectrometer is, love finding out what ph mozzarella is stretchier at and need to know the only cheese intentionally infested with maggots then this is the book for you. Less geeky types my not enjoy this strait forward science book about cheese. There are no descriptions of green mountain pastures with contented cows, no descriptions of the aroma of early morning fresh from the goat milk or the musings of a cheese maker after a long day. There is great facts, info on appellations, & historical tidbits (spoiler: Kraft did not invent Velveeta!) Nice material on sensory analysis & flavor.
I am blind so the Audio version is my choice. I have read thousands of books over the years. I found that Dennis Holland, the narrator of this book to be one of the top readers I have come across. I think that he understands what he is reading and he especially has portrayed the ideas of the author if fine form.
Michael is the favorite character in this book. His wry sense of humor and his brilliance as a scientist comes forth in his words.
Dennis Brings Michael's personality into focus.
"The Science of Cheese" would be best purchased and read in three cycles. Once for the general information and enjoyment of quips and quotes. Two for Memory of terms and formulas and the Third as a reference textbook.
I have already been recommending this book to others. I am looking forward to finding other books by Michael Tunick in the future.
A special note: Michael is writing this book with immense scientific knowledge, experience in the field and his expanded knowledge of literature, humor and human nature. This is all relevant in making this book stand out over others.
Read enjoy and learn.
Chocoholic technomancer who reads mostly nonfiction.
great but I think I would rather have read it in hard copy. there is so many facts I don't think the format does it justice
I love cheese. I understand the process for making it and have made several varieties of it myself - cheddar, colby, cottage, mozzarella, ricotta, feta, brie, blue, paneer. I also enjoy non-fiction books in audio format and was prepared for (and looking forward to) a fairly science-y book. But this was unfinishable.
The author is not a passionate and engaged home cheese making enthusiast, and the people who are passionate and engaged home cheese making enthusiasts are most definitely not his target audience. Michael Tunick is a food scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and his writing style reflects that. This book reads like exactly what it is - a very dry and painfully boring textbook on how to make cheese in a laboratory or a giant factory. Imagine someone reading aloud from the owner's manual of your car or a managerial finance textbook. Throughout the reading constant references are made to side boxes with additional information, and then at the end of each chapter the side boxes are read separately, one by one. Side boxes really don't translate well to audiobook format and it's incredibly frustrating to listen to.
Despite being written about a truly fascinating subject, the material in this book is not interesting in the slightest, and the narrator does not do the book any favors either. It seems like he is giving it his best shot, but there's not much for him to work with here and his reading inevitably takes on a bored, droning tone. I'd had just about as much as I could handle when he started butchering the word terroir ("TARE-WOW") with 5.5 hours still remaining and I decided that I should cut my losses.
Good luck to you if you decide to purchase this audiobook, and I sincerely hope that you have a better time of it than I did. But if it's not too late I strongly suggest saving yourself the expense.
I just started making cheese as a hobby, and this is an excellent reference and interesting history of all the different types of cheese. However, it's very dry for audio. It would also be handy to look up different cheeses by name, which is next to impossible in an audiobook, since the chapters aren't named in this app. So I recommend getting a physical copy and skipping the audio version...
This is not a book about cheese per say, (history, types, etc.), but specifically on the science of cheese, as it says. That is both its allure, ("wow, I never knew that!"), and its weakness, ("ugh, this is pretty dry"). I found myself totally fascinated in some places, and wondering if we had an upcoming midterm exam in others.
The the author certainly spares no details, and the excellent narrator reads through all of it like he's reading a science book to his 6th grade class who are preparing for an exam. However, this is also what I loved about the book, as I felt it covered every possible thing you could ever wish to know about cheese, and makes you love cheese even more than before.
All in all, if you love cheese I would recommend this book as a great companion to a more suitable book that covers the history of cheese itself from a sociological or historical aspect, along with a book that covers the types of cheeses from a gourmet's point of view. This is purely a scientific book, although the author certainly loves cheese.
this book is mostly a list of facts strewn together in some sort of a sequence but in no way any kind of analytical work or any kind of story. It might be interesting for those people who are so passionate about making Tuesday want to know a little bit more about some molecules but for the average reader it's just a lot of extra thrown together. It's almost like the guy is reading a chart to you. The actual reader and performance is totally fine but the material that he's reading from is just completely over Technical and not well put together.
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