Milk! A 10,000-Year Food Fracas is a feat of investigation, compilation and organization, given that there have been such diverse ideas about milk’s production, sale, use, safety and healthfulness world-wide. Cramming this much historical minutiae into 20 chapters can make the book feel disjointed at times, but Kurlansky fans expect and enjoy his generous narratives, chock-full of curious if occasionally digressing facts ... The library of food history already has two fine books on milk...but Mark Kurlansky’s contribution goes further and deeper, especially in the realm of modern global and political milk developments. The book stands apart too with travel entries from the author’s firsthand probes in far-flung dairy lands. Altogether a complex and rich survey, Milk! is a book well worth nursing.
Every chapter of Milk! entrances with I-did-not-know-that facts and observations. The book also includes 126 milk-based recipes that Kurlansky thinks are tastiest. His own childhood favorite? Creamed potato leek soup, or vichyssoise. Early in the book, Kurlansky says that milk is 'the most argued-over food in human history.' A skeptical reader will wonder, but in the end, they will likely be convinced of this statement’s truth.
He makes a convincing case that milk, both that produced by human mothers and that supplied by a surprising array of other mammals, is one of the most controversial foodstuffs around ... Kurlansky’s wide-ranging curiosity makes a familiar topic seem exotic.