Chelsea Green Publishing

The Art of Natural Cheesemaking

Pages:320 pages
Size: 8 x 10 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603585781
Pub. Date July 08, 2015
eBook: 9781603585798
Pub. Date June 30, 2015

The Art of Natural Cheesemaking

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

By David Asher
Foreword by Sandor Ellix Katz

Availability: In Stock

Paperback

Available Date:
July 08, 2015

$34.95

Availability: In Stock

eBook

Available Date:
June 30, 2015

$34.95 $27.96

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.

REVIEWS AND PRAISE

Publishers Weekly-

"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."

“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. There are chapters on kefir, yogurt cheeses and paneer for beginners and, for advanced students, detailed instructions on how to make rennet from the fourth stomach of a calf. Everything is beautifully illustrated and carefully explained. This book will entice many to join the ranks of those engaged in the art of transforming milk to delicious end products. As the old saying goes, ‘Blessed are the cheesemakers.’ Many more will become blessed thanks to David Asher's work.”-- Sally Fallon Morell, president, the Weston A. Price Foundation, and cheesemaker, P. A. Bowen Farmstead

“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, Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture

The Art of Natural Cheesemaking is a breakthrough book. The interest among eaters to explore this next stage in do-it-yourself living in the 21st century has finally reached dairy. What’s great about Asher’s book is that it is practical and zeroes in on cheese products one may actually make successfully at home. It is unlikely that DIY cheesemaking will put any cheesemonger or cheese producer out of business. Quite the opposite, in fact: 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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Asher

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.

AUTHOR EVENTS

March 11, 2017

David Asher at Jamberoo Valley Farm

185 Wallaby Hill Rd, Jamberoo, Australia, NSW 2533 | David Asher
David Asher will teach a workshop on natural cheesemaking at the beautiful Jamberoo Valley Farm in Jamberoo, in the dairy country 1.5hrs south of Sydney. Day one will focus on the basics, as well as fresh and french cheeses. Day two of the workshop will focus on rennet, alpine and blue cheeses. Cost to participate in this course is set at A$712.50 for early birds (before 11 Jan), with a full price of A$750.

See all Events by this Author

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Full Moon Feast

Full Moon Feast

By Jessica Prentice

Full Moon Feast invites us to a table brimming with locally grown foods, radical wisdom, and communal nourishment.

In Full Moon Feast, accomplished chef and passionate food activist Jessica Prentice champions locally grown, humanely raised, nutrient-rich foods and traditional cooking methods. The book follows the thirteen lunar cycles of an agrarian year, from the midwinter Hunger Moon and the springtime sweetness of the Sap Moon to the bounty of the Moon When Salmon Return to Earth in autumn. Each chapter includes recipes that display the richly satisfying flavors of foods tied to the ancient rhythm of the seasons.

Prentice decries our modern food culture: megafarms and factories, the chemically processed ghosts of real foods in our diets, and the suffering--physical, emotional, cultural, communal, and spiritual--born of a disconnect from our food sources. She laments the system that is poisoning our bodies and our communities.

But Full Moon Feast is a celebration, not a dirge. Prentice has emerged from her own early struggles with food to offer health, nourishment, and fulfillment to her readers. She recounts her relationships with local farmers alongside ancient harvest legends and methods of food preparation from indigenous cultures around the world.

Combining the radical nutrition of Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions, keen agri-political acumen, and a spiritual sensibility that draws from indigenous as well as Western traditions, Full Moon Feast is a call to reconnect to our food, our land, and each other.

Available in: Paperback, eBook

Read More

Full Moon Feast

Jessica Prentice, Deborah Madison

Paperback $25.00

The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved

The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved

By Sandor Ellix Katz

An instant classic for a new generation of monkey-wrenching food activists. Food in America is cheap and abundant, yet the vast majority of it is diminished in terms of flavor and nutrition, anonymous and mysterious after being shipped thousands of miles and passing through inscrutable supply chains, and controlled by multinational corporations. In our system of globalized food commodities, convenience replaces quality and a connection to the source of our food. Most of us know almost nothing about how our food is grown or produced, where it comes from, and what health value it really has. It is food as pure corporate commodity. We all deserve much better than that.

In The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved, author Sandor Ellix Katz (Wild Fermentation, Chelsea Green 2003) profiles grassroots activists who are taking on Big Food, creating meaningful alternatives, and challenging the way many Americans think about food. From community-supported local farmers, community gardeners, and seed saving activists, to underground distribution networks of contraband foods and food resources rescued from the waste stream, this book shows how ordinary people can resist the dominant system, revive community-based food production, and take direct responsibility for their own health and nutrition.

Available in: Paperback, eBook

Read More

The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved

Sandor Ellix Katz

Paperback $20.00

The Nourishing Homestead

The Nourishing Homestead

By Ben Hewitt and Penny Hewitt

A practiculture way to grow nutrient-dense food, produce healthy fats, and live the good life

The Nourishing Homestead tells the story of how we can create truly satisfying, permanent, nourished relationships to the land, nature, and one another.

The Hewitts offer practical ways to grow nutrient-dense food on a small plot of land, and think about your farm, homestead, or home as an ecosystem. Much of what the Hewitts have come to understand and embrace about their lives of deep nourishment is informed by their particular piece of land and local community in northern Vermont, but what they have gleaned is readily transferable to any place—whether you live on 4 acres, 40 acres, or in a 400-square-foot studio apartment.

Ben and Penny (and their two sons) maintain copious gardens, dozens of fruit and nut trees and other perennial plantings, as well as a pick-your-own blueberry patch. In addition to these cultivated food crops, they also forage for wild edibles, process their own meat, make their own butter, and ferment, dry, and can their own vegetables. Their focus is to produce nutrient-dense foods from vibrant, mineralized soils for themselves and their immediate community. They are also committed to sharing the traditional skills that support their family, helping them be self-sufficient and thrive in these uncertain times.

Much of what the Hewitts are attempting on their homestead is to close the gaps that economic separation has created in our health, spirit, and skills. Ben uses the term “practiculture” to describe his family’s work with the land—a term that encompasses the many practical life skills and philosophies they embody to create a thriving homestead, including raw-milk production, soil remediation, wildcrafting, Weston A. Price principles, bionutrient-dense farming, permaculture, agroforestry, traditional Vermont hill farming, and more. The Nourishing Homestead also includes information on deep nutrition, the importance of good fats, and integrating children into the work of a homestead.

The Hewitts’ story is reminiscent of The Good Life, by Helen and Scott Nearing, and is sure to inspire a new generation of homesteaders, or anyone seeking a simpler way of life and a deeper connection to the world.

Available in: Paperback, eBook

Read More

The Nourishing Homestead

Ben Hewitt, Penny Hewitt

Paperback $29.95

The Raw Milk Revolution

The Raw Milk Revolution

By David E. Gumpert

Beginning in 2006, the agriculture departments of several large states-with backing from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-launched a major crackdown on small dairies producing raw milk. Replete with undercover agents, sting operations, surprise raids, questionable test-lab results, mysterious illnesses, propaganda blitzes, and grand jury investigations, the crackdown was designed to disrupt the supply of unpasteurized milk to growing legions of consumers demanding healthier and more flavorful food.

The Raw Milk Revolution takes readers behind the scenes of the government's tough and occasionally brutal intimidation tactics, as seen through the eyes of milk producers, government regulators, scientists, prosecutors, and consumers. It is a disturbing story involving marginally legal police tactics and investigation techniques, with young children used as political pawns in a highly charged atmosphere of fear and retribution.

Are regulators' claims that raw milk poses a public health threat legitimate? That turns out to be a matter of considerable debate. In assessing the threat, The Raw Milk Revolution reveals that the government's campaign, ostensibly designed to protect consumers from pathogens like salmonella, E. coli 0157:H7, and listeria, was based in a number of cases on suspect laboratory findings and illnesses attributed to raw milk that could well have had other causes, including, in some cases, pasteurized milk.

David Gumpert dares to ask whether regulators have the public's interest in mind or the economic interests of dairy conglomerates. He assesses how the government's anti-raw-milk campaign fits into a troublesome pattern of expanding government efforts to sanitize the food supply-even in the face of ever-increasing rates of chronic disease like asthma, diabetes, and allergies. The Raw Milk Revolution provides an unsettling view of the future, in which nutritionally dense foods may be available largely through underground channels.

Available in: Paperback, eBook

Read More

The Raw Milk Revolution

David E. Gumpert, Joel Salatin

Paperback $19.95