David Asher is an organic farmer, goatherd, and farmstead cheesemaker, who lives on the gulf islands of British Columbia. A guerrilla cheesemaker, Asher explores traditionally cultured, noncorporate methods of cheesemaking. Though mostly self-taught, he picked up his cheese skills from various teachers, including a Brown Swiss cow, named Sundae, on Cortes Island. Asher's Black Sheep School of Cheesemaking offers cheesemaking workshops in partnership with food-sovereignty-minded organizations and communities. His workshops teach a cheesemaking method that is natural, DIY, and well suited to any home kitchen. He has been teaching cheesemaking for over seven years. Sandor Ellix Katz is a fermentation revivalist. A self-taught experimentalist who lives in rural Tennessee, his explorations in fermentation developed out of overlapping interests in cooking, nutrition, and gardening. He is the author of two best-selling books: Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation, which won a James Beard Foundation award in 2013. The hundreds of fermentation workshops he has taught around the world have helped catalyze a broad revival of the fermentation arts. The New York Times calls Sandor "one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene." For more information, check out his website www.wildfermentation.com.
"Organic farmer Asher, creator of the Black Sheep School of cheesemaking, packs plenty of information into this complete guide for both novice and experienced cheesemakers. He advocates strictly non-commercial methods in this detailed manifesto, showing aspiring cheese artisans how to craft indigenous cultures, make natural rennet, source quality raw milks, and construct their own caves. The 30 recipes with photos require neither additives nor sterilization and include methods for making chevre, paneer, feta, yogurt-based cheeses, and aged rinded varieties (alpine, blue, and gouda). Chapters on salt, kefir, and the ecology of cheese are included. Asher's political message is overt: He feels that regulations against using raw milk stand in the way of "your right to practice a natural and traditional cheese making." His organic method is a political act in favor of 'cheese sovereignty' and takes a stand against corporate interference. Asher's "contraband cheese" techniques aim to recover the traditional quality of cheese that has been lost."
"The Art of Natural Cheesemaking is a breakthrough book. The interest among eaters to explore this next stage in do-it-yourself living in the 21st century has finally reached dairy. What's great about Asher's book is that it is practical and zeroes in on cheese products one may actually make successfully at home. It is unlikely that DIY cheesemaking will put any cheesemonger or cheese producer out of business. Quite the opposite, in fact: The more we remove the mystery to manufacturing even the simplest of cheeses at home, the more we will come to admire the craftsmanship that dairy farmers and artisanal cheesemakers bring to their work, to make life better and tastier for the rest of us."-- Richard McCarthy, executive director, Slow Food USA
"David Asher's book is brave and important, teaching us to tend to what matters by helping us understand process before recipes. This book expands the boundaries of sustainability, deepening the power of independent autonomy and local flavor, making our world more delicious."--Shannon Hayes, author, Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture
"If you want to know every possible detail about cheesemaking the natural way and on a small scale in your home, The Art of Natural Cheesemaking is the book for you--even if you'd just like to dabble in your kitchen. There are chapters on kefir, yogurt cheeses and paneer for beginners and, for advanced students, detailed instructions on how to make rennet from the fourth stomach of a calf. Everything is beautifully illustrated and carefully explained. This book will entice many to join the ranks of those engaged in the art of transforming milk to delicious end products. As the old saying goes, 'Blessed are the cheesemakers.' Many more will become blessed thanks to David Asher's work."-- Sally Fallon Morell, president, the Weston A. Price Foundation, and cheesemaker, P. A. Bowen Farmstead