“Cheese is milk that gets around.”

 The Whole Fromage, pg 49.

I do love cheese, but not as much, I think, as a young woman of my acquaintance who is the daughter of a friend of mine.  The first time I really got to know her was at a showing of a film she had made while studying in Prague, and she showed it in conjunction with a cheese tasting reception afterwards, celebrating her two passions – film-making and cheese.  She had a major role in a cheese appreciation club at her college – an extracurricular activity I never would have dreamed of in my own college days!!

She has since gone on to making films all around the world, with an organization called “What Took You So Long?”, and one of her projects was Respect the Camel.

I’m a lover of zoos, despite all the bad rap they get for keeping animals in artificial environments.  But, the camels in zoos have always given me the willies!  They have the most ornery expressions, and I understand that they spit, although I have never actually witnessed a spitting camel.

In our book, The Whole Fromage. Kathe Lison writes about Salers cows – a particular breed of cattle that produces prodigious quantities of milk, but is persnickety about how it is milked.  As I read this section of the book, I thought about how challenging is must be to milk a camel.

And, thinking of that, I thought of my own daughter, who had an internship in college milking pigs who had a gene inserted into their cellular DNA to produce insulin (I think), and her stories of the challenges of milking pigs.

Milk is a wondrous natural product, which not all of us adults can enjoy consuming, due to loss of the enzyme lactase in our digestive tracts, and it’s amazing to me that we manage to manipulate this natural product in such a multitude of ways.  And, isn’t it amazing, that we humans have convinced so many other species, however reluctant they may be, to share their milk product with us?

The-Whole-Fromage-by-Kathe-Lison-223x300This post was inspired by The Whole Fromage by Kathe Lison, who traveled to France in search of its artisanal cheeses. Join From Left to Write on August 22 as we discuss The Whole Fromage.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

5 thoughts on “Cheese…mmmmm!

  1. This has been a true pleasure to read. Definitely. "Persnickety." Love it! Yeah, I can't imagine thinking of taking milk from another animal in the first place, but I'm pretty darn happy we have cheese. Thank you to our ancestors who decided to tackle those ornery animals!

  2. Emily says:

    I liked how the author explained that, for our ancestors, cheese was a way of dealing with have too much milk in certain seasons — right after the animals gave birth in spring — and not enough milk other times, like winter. It's obvious, I suppose, but I had never made that leap.

    1. jkuruppu says:

      As a physician and a student of biology, it seems very odd to me that so much milk is produced – it seems so wasteful. Biology is usually frugal, and adjusts supply to demand automatically. I suppose the milking process creates a greater demand.

      I had previously also never really given thought to the biology of cheese – i have thought a lot in the past about the miraculousness of the discovery of cheese. Having thrown out the not-so-nice smelling curds from a remainder of spoiled milk in a container from the fridge, I'm not sure I ever would have thought to taste it, or nurture it into something delicious!

  3. Alison says:

    Great Post. I love to see the themes our group come up with when talking about the book, and this is certainly a thought provoking subject you've chosen!

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