If cheese is your thing, then we’ve got a real treat for you! We are beyond delighted to be hosting Bronwen Percival, cheese buyer for Neal’s Yard Dairy in London, for a lively discussion celebrating the release of her new book, Reinventing the Wheel: Milk, Microbes, and the Fight for Real Cheese. While we hear her marvelous tales, we’ll get to taste fantastic traditionally made cheeses from the U.S. and Europe and we’ll all get our very own book to take home.
In addition to working with cheesemakers and NYD’s maturation team to select and optimize the quality of the cheese they sell, she works to mobilize collaboration between cheesemakers and the scientific community. In 2012, she instigated a biennial conference on the Science of Artisan Cheese. In early 2014, she spent two months in the Dutton Lab at Harvard University studying the role of marine-associated Proteobacteria on cheese rinds. She is a convenor of the London Gastronomy Seminars, a member of the UK Specialist Cheesemakers’ Association Technical Committee, and sat on the editorial board of the Oxford Companion to Cheese.
Praise for Reinventing the Wheel:
“Farm families and philosophy; burgeoning bacteria and old breeds of cattle; Comte, Cantal and nineteenth-century Camembert are all bound up in a cheese love story that’s so well told you won’t be able to put it down. Reinventing the Wheel is a wonderful, fantastical tale in which cheesemakers make hard choices and microbes do their thing in ways you’d never imagine, all put down on paper in gripping prose. If you are even half as fascinated by cheese, culinary history, and good stories as I am, this will be the most compelling book you read this year!”
ARI WEINZWEIG, co-founding partner, Zingerman’s Community of Businesses
“We need to reclaim cheese in all its natural diversity and strengthen the artisanal producers in their battle against the big players and their lobby. Real cheese—and real life, for that matter —is all about microbial diversity,
not sterility. Bronwen and Francis Percival state this in all its urgency. They offer a wealth of information in a very accessible and convincing way, without any academic jargon. A much-needed book which should be required reading for everybody, way beyond the experts—we all start with milk.”
URSULA HEINZELMANN, author of Beyond Bratwurst, Co-curator of Cheese Berlin, and Director of the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery
“Like almost everyone I know, I consider myself a lover of cheese, but this book sparked a deeper passion for raw-milk cheese. Stunningly rich and detailed, funny, fascinating, political, but not for a moment dull or overwhelming. Essential reading for anyone who enjoys cheese but has perhaps never considered its value, its meaning, or its potential.”
JAMES HOFFMANN, author of The World Atlas of Coffee
“This beautifully written and inspiring book is calling for nothing short of a revolution of cheesemaking and cheese culture. Bronwen and Francis Percival movingly remind us that real cheese is a living embodiment of the landscapes, soils, bacteria, grasses, native-breed cows, and cultural traditions that form its backstory. We should read this book mindful of the real risk that unless we rage against the headlong rush into industrialization, commodification, and sterilization that characterizes most modern cheesemaking, a priceless part of our cultural heritage will be lost forever.”
PATRICK HOLDEN, Chief Executive, Sustainable Food Trust