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Say cheese! Book leaves few holes in story of ancient food


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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A new book edited by a Vermont professor says cheese is far more than something slapped on a sandwich or sprinkled on top of a pizza.

"The Oxford Companion to Cheese" from Oxford University Press includes more than 850 entries covering cheese varieties, ancient cheesemaking traditions, cheese shops, and cultural influences like cheese museums and tattoos.

There are entries on cows, sheep and even yaks whose milk is used in cheesemaking; cheese cuisine; the science of cheese; and historical references like the mention of cheese in Homer's "Odyssey."

Editor Catherine Donnelly is a University of Vermont nutrition and food science professor. She acknowledges that while the intention was to produce the most comprehensive reference book on cheese, the editors had to be choosy so as not to appear too promotional.

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