Milk! by Mark Kurlansky


Mark Kurlansky's first global food history since the bestselling Cod and Salt; the fascinating cultural, economic, and culinary story of milk and all things dairy--with recipes throughout. According to the Greek creation myth, we are so much spilt milk; a splatter of the goddess Hera's breast milk became our galaxy, the Milky Way. But while mother's milk may be the essence of nourishment, it is the milk of other mammals that humans have cultivate...

Details Milk!

Release DateMay 8th, 2018
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Food and Drink, Food, Cooking, Science, Food History

Reviews Milk!

  • Matt
    First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Mark Kurlansky, and Bloomsbury (USA) Publishing for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.I remember an advertising campaign from my youth that extolled the virtues and health benefits of drinking milk. It stuck with me and I have tried to present the same positive outlook to my son. When I saw the latest Mark Kurlansky book, all abo...
  • Trish
    Kurlansky is justly famous for his earlier works about Salt and Cod, among other things, so when I saw this 2018 Bloomsbury Publishing nonfiction about Milk, I was interested. I was particularly interested to see what he would say about humans consuming milk after infancy, when approximately sixty percent of the world's human population appear to lose their tolerance for and ability to digest lactose. Europeans, Middle Easterners, North Africans ...
  • Patty
    I'm a huge fan of Kurlansky. He's probably the most famous writer of microhistories currently, a genre I adore. Microhistories he's written include "Salt" and "Paper", books on oysters and cod, a history of just the year 1968 or the song “Dancing in the Street". You get the idea.In this book, he takes on milk. Or, well, not only milk; Kurlansky also covers butter, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, and all the other things that can be made out of milk....
  • Mich Must Read
    Thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for this ARC. We luxuriate in the richness of yummy butter, or at least I do. There is nothing more delicious to me than a simple croissant, flaky dough that has been laboriously layered with butter, and a cup of coffee. But apparently in certain cultures, I would be called a “butter stinker”. It’s these little tid-bits that I enjoyed in Milk. Milk is a social history that ignites a thoughtfu...
  • Chris
    Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley I have to have milk with breakfast unless I am getting breakfast at work. But at home, a glass milk, cold milk, and then coffee. I need that nice cool glass of milk. But I didn’t know much about milk until I read this book. Kurlansky’s book is a tour of milk in history, but also a tour of yogurt, cheese, and ice cream. And it has recipes! Kurlansky starts with ancient history, exploring when milking first develop...
  • Dree
    Thanks to netgalley for providing me with a Kindle edition galley of this book.I have read Kurlansky's Salt: A World History, and actually enjoyed this one much more. Not surprisingly, he uses a similar writing style. Much more of this book, however, focuses on post-1800 history, and on the US. Few cultures really drank milk before the 19th century, and most milk went to cheese and yogurt on a small-scale local basis. I have also read Upton Sincl...
  • Dawn Betts-Green (Dinosaur in the Library)
    This was an ok read. The first half or so was difficult to slog through because of formatting. Kurlansky includes a ridiculous number of recipes in the early chapters, and while recipes are certainly important to food history, they were poorly integrated. The text was choppy and topics jumped wildly between some paragraphs. The later half of the book was much better—but there were no recipes there. Interesting topic, but not as well put togethe...
  • Lance L
    "... a book with 126 recipes..."Almost stream of consciousness rambling broken occasionally by repeated recitations of centuries or millennia old “recipes” which only serve to encrenulate the monotony. I loved Cod. I really liked Salt. I thought Paper was sort of phoned in. This book feels more like it was cut and pasted and forwarded in by tweet.Full disclosure - could not take it any more. Quit after 4 chapters.
  • Jim Townsend
    I enjoyed this fun and easy-to-read book about my favourite beverage, even as I haven't drunk very much in the years that I've known my wife. A simple food, milk has an interesting and contentious history. I look forward to reading more by Mark Kurlansky.
  • Paul
    I love Mark Kurlansky's books - this one made me want to eat cheese, cheese and more cheese, because it was full of history and recipes!!
  • Natalia
    Mark Kurlansky is one of the best writers of social/anthropological history, and Milk! continues his success. The history of milk is fascinating and Kurlansky makes it accessible to the public without it being too dry, from the modern dairy industry to different uses of milk around the world. There are some interesting recipes too! Thanks to Netgalley and Bloomsbury USA for an advanced copy of this book.
  • Holly Senecal
    As someone who lives in dairy country in Vermont I was curious how Mark Kurlansky would handle the industry in his book. It was a great history lesson and quite interesting.
  • Nicole
    Another excellent microhistory from my favorite microhistory author.
  • Emily
    This was packed with really interesting information, but it seemed very choppy and changed subjects without warning from paragraph to paragraph.
  • Rhonda Lomazow
    Wonderful look a trip through the history of Milk fulll of facts and delicious yummy recipes.Thanks # NetGalley #bloomsbury for advance copy.
  • Steven Minniear
    Not one of Kurlansky’s best, in my opinion. While I kind of liked his use of recipes within the text, I just could not get myself into this book. I was so unhappy with it that I returned it to the bookstore.
  • Nick Ertz
    There is a lot of time to cover. This is not an exciting book, too much "and then this and then that" to make it very engaging. Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that milk has been debated since the beginning. First, which is better, cow or goat or camel or buffalo or... Then, why does everyone die after drinking this milk? Yet, who doesn't like a good piece of cheese?
  • Lee Ellen
    As the title suggests, this book is about milk in human history. It also necessarily discusses milk products: cheese, ice cream, yogurt, custards; since I have a nearly pathological love for cheese, I was quite engrossed in this book from the beginning. It also served somewhat as an enabler of my cheese abuse, since it is quite difficult to curtail a craving for fermented curd without indulging in the consumption of cheesy comestibles.While it de...
  • Claudia
    Wow, what a lot of material - most of which I would never have considered if I was writing a book about milk. But then, I'm not an author noted for his well-done microhistories.Mr. Kurlansky includes 122 recipes although some are more relevant today than others. Really, how many of us need to know how to recover bad butter? Anyway, he starts with the earliest mentions of milk-based origin myths and what basically defines milk and the different ty...
  • Miriam Downey
    Remember the advertising campaign, “Milk. It does a body good.” from the 80s and 90s? Or the campaign “Got Milk” where celebrities had milk mustaches? Everything milk is covered in Kurlansky’s newest study of a single food topic and its place in the cultures around the world.Wow! Who knew that so much fascinating information could be written about such a commonplace topic as milk. Of course, I have navigated the topic in many settings o...
  • Ann
    I'm not sure if it's because I read the book instead of listening to an audiobook, or if it's because I know so much more about the topic, or because the topic was too broad, but I did not enjoy this book nearly as much as I did his other works. There were several little things that bugged me about the way they were presented that I thought misrepresented them (though of course I can't remember specifics as I right this, which is frustrating. I t...
  • FernsAndFauna
    The format of Milk shares much in common with the ambitious global food histories that Kurlansky undertakes in Salt and Cod. But here, much like with Paper he falls short of his earlier work: Even though his thesis–that milk is the most argued about food in human history–is both imaginative and provocative, his book never marshals sufficient evidence to support his argument. Instead, Kurlanksy moves through milk's history with little regard f...
  • Geoffrey
    (Note: I received an advanced electronic copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley)Master of microhistory Kurlansky once more takes a ubiquitous part of our daily livings that we never cared to think too much about if at all, and provides more information about it than I thought was imaginable. Admittedly there are moments where this book will drag a bit. Throughout the book Kurlansky will add in blocks of relevant recipes from throughout history, ...
  • Matt Lennert
    Mark Kurlansky's books have been some of my favorites over the years, going all the way back to Cod and, of course, his epic book, Salt. He doesn't always write about food—see for example his recent book on the history of paper—but no matter what his topic is about, he really is writing about social history. And we readers of his work love him for it, because it's so contextual and relevant. Looking at human history through the lens of milk c...
  • Susan
    If there is anything, you want to know about milk the answer is most likely in this book. If like me you haven't given much thought to milk other than pouring it in your coffee or over you breakfast cereal you might be surprised to find that Kurlansky has looked into the history of milk from antiquity until today and the role it plays in our modern lives. Whether he is examining old recipes in which milk was first used, exploring accounts of maki...
  • Jennifer
    I was given an advanced copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I really like this kind of micro history that focuses on a single event or single topic, in this case the history of Milk. This book is a nice mix of history and historic and modern recipes so it's a bit different than some of single topic books but I really enjoyed it. The detailed uses for milk (and all dairy) across cultures, through history, is fascinating...
  • Nann
    Kurlansky is both a food historian and a master of narrative nonfiction, the genre that treats a single topic exhaustively and entertainingly. From early civilization to organic farming, from yogurt and butter and cheese, with breastfeeding and formula, cattle breeding -- he covers it all. My delight in the book (I like the genre and I've enjoyed Kurlansky's books about cod, oysters, salt, and paper) was somewhat diminished by the choppiness of m...
  • Jason Paterson
    I became acquainted with Kurlansky's writing when his book Salt was recommended to me. That novel was so expertly crafted, I found myself being amazed by interesting history just about every paragraph. It's the type of story you would want to return to several times. Milk! is written in much the same style, but isn't quite that engaging in practice. This may be because Kurlansky has peppered the book with a greater number of recipes, or it may ju...
  • Carissa
    This was very, very interesting and covers (almost) all things milk from cultural use to recipes to dairy farming to everything in-between. That really isn't an exaggeration. I think the only thing missing that I do wish was covered was the different in how governments manage milk, as in the quota system of Canada versus America and how it impacts trade and economy. On the other hand, it was interesting seeing the history of how different recipes...