Wine and Spirits Book of the Year 2017
In little more than a century, the drive towards industrial and intensive farming has altered every aspect of the cheesemaking process, from the bodies of the animals that provide the milk to the science behind the microbial strains that ferment it. Reinventing the Wheel explores what has been lost as expressive, artisanal cheeses that convey a sense of place have given way to the juggernaut of homogeneous factory production.
While Bronwen and Francis Percival lament the decline of farmhouse cheese and reject the consequences of industrialisation, this book's message is one of optimism. Scientists have only recently begun to reveal the significance of the healthy microbial communities that contribute to the flavour and safety of cheese, while local producers are returning to the cheese-making methods of their parents and grandparents.
This smart, engaging book sheds light on the surprising truths and science behind the dairy industry. Discover how, one experiment at a time, these dynamic communities of researchers and cheesemakers are reinventing the wheel.
Bronwen Percival is the cheese buyer for Neal's Yard Dairy in London. In addition to working with cheesemakers and the company's maturation team to select and optimise the quality of the cheese they sell, she works to mobilise collaboration between cheesemakers and the scientific community. Bronwen served as an editor for the Oxford Companion to Cheese, winner of the 2017 James Beard Award for Reference & Scholarship. Francis Percival is a food writer and columnist for The World of Fine Wine. His writing won Louis Roederer Best International Wine Columnist in 2013 and Pio Cesare Food & Wine Writer of the Year in 2015. Along with Bronwen, he is a co-founder of the London Gastronomy Seminars.