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The totally fascinating history of ... milk?

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'Milk!' by Mark Kurlansky
'Milk!' by Mark Kurlansky
Courtesy of publisher

Every week, The Thread checks in with booksellers around the country about their favorite books of the moment. This week, we spoke with Sara Rishforth from Roundabout Books in Bend, Ore.

Sara Rishforth first heard Mark Kurlansky expounding on the history of milk on the Sporkful podcast — and she needed more.

Luckily, Kurlansky has an entire book on the subject: "Milk!" It's not the first time the author has tackled the history of an ingredient: He's also written "Salt" and "Cod."

The book is packed with plenty of facts that Rishforth's still thinking about, like the fact that sixty percent of the world is lactose-intolerant. Or that almond milk isn't a new trendy sensation — it's actually more than a thousand years old. And probiotics? They've been experimenting with those for centuries. Plus, before Wisconsin residents got a reputation for loving cheese, it was the Danish who were called "cheese heads."

The book is also filled with historical recipes, which Rishforth didn't experiment with, but if you want to make yogurt or ice cream like they did hundreds of years ago, the option is available.

Milk Milk