What's more, Milk accomplishes what only the best single-food histories, like Mark Kurlansky's Cod (Penguin, 1998) and Salt (Walker & Co., 2002), have done: it makes the reader see what they eat in an entirely new light. Like a culinary cartographer, Mendelson redraws borders, coining sociogeographic terms that highlight the fascinating ways human beings use dairy products. She dubs the Near East, where brined cheeses, yogurts, and the fermented milk of goats, sheep, and cows figure prominently, the "Diverse Sources Belt"; a swath of the globe encompassing the Indian subcontinent is referred to as "Yogurtistan"; and most of Europe and North America falls within the "Northwestern Cow Belt". The sweep of the narrative is anchored by a wealth of practical features, including an authoritative glossary and, most notably, recipes. There are 120 of them, for everything from Bulgarian cold yogurt soup to clotted cream. And while Mendelson doesn't shy away from such thorny issues as industrial farming and pasteurization, I finished her book feeling refreshed and enlightened.