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Yogurt Culture: A Global Look at How to Make, Bake, Sip, and Chill the World's Creamiest, Healthiest Food Hardcover – April 28, 2015

4.8 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Internet has plenty of yogurt how-to's, but I found the most accessible and complete guide in a book called "Yogurt Culture," by Cheryl Sternman Rule, published last year. Her book made homemade yogurt seem not only easy, but also kind of essential." —The New York Times 

"Sternman Rule stuffs her book with a global smorgasbord of tempting recipes. Some were gathered during trips abroad, or adapted from interviews and cooking lessons with immigrants in the U.S. for whom yogurt remains an essential taste of home." —NPR.org

"Yogurt is hugely popular in American supermarkets, but it’s often sweetened to sugar-bomb status, packed into snack cups or processed into squeezable tubes. In food writer Cheryl Sternman Rule’s kitchen, though, we get a worldwide, whirlwind tour of the versatile ingredient...” —The Seattle Times

"Sternman Rule traveled and interviewed yogurt producers, chefs, and home cooks from a wide range of cultures while writing the book to explore how yogurt is used across the globe and just how versatile it can be in the kitchen..." –The Oregonian
 
"Part cookbook, part guide, and 100% inspiring. Whether you buy little containers of it from the store or make your own at home, Yogurt Culture will make you fall in love with the tart and creamy stuff anew..." –Paste.com
 
"[Cheryl Sternman Rule's] anecdotes throughout give texture and context to many of the recipes, from the Eritrean spicy tomato bread salad with yogurt (called fata) to the syrup-drenched orange phyllo cake. Rule’s yogurt primer is comprehensive, going so far as to delve into the relationship between yogurt and gender..." –The San Francisco Chronicle
 
Sternman Rule shares recipes and stories from kitchens around the world and visits yogurt producers large and small to explore the scope of this booming industry. After exploring the history of yogurt, she... offers a fool-proof guide on how to take the anxiety of making yogurt from scratch. Rule also explains how to strain regular yogurt into a thick, creamy Greek version, then combines it with blood orange and kalamata olives for an outstanding dip..." –The Detroit News
 
"... [Rule's] evocative descriptions of the people and cultures that inspire her recipes make me want to pull out my pots and pans — or my passport — just so I can taste what she tasted…Cheryl Sternman Rule delves deeply into the traditional flavors and food ways where yogurt plays a starring role, and with “Yogurt Culture,” we are all the richer for it." –The San Diego Union-Tribune

"...Turning a critical eye to the history and economics of this extremely popular food, [Rule] explores global eating habits, the practices of large co-packing facilities, and the growth of notable companies such as Dannon and Chobani. In addition to this informative content, and perhaps best of all, Rule delivers outstanding recipes..." —Library Journal, starred

“In the America of my lifetime, yogurt has gone from being a fringe food for ‘health nuts’ to the (usually too sweet) snack of hipsters everywhere. Yet there is so much more to this profound and ancient food than most people may realize. Cheryl’s delightful and beautifully communicated book brings yogurt to center stage with the focus it deserves, as a cornerstone ingredient in its own right. And the recipes are terrific.” —Mollie Katzen, author of Moosewood Cookbook and The Heart of the Plate
 
Yogurt Culture is rich in history and lore, big on common sense, and filled with appealing ways to use yogurt as expressed in the recipes, with clear instructions for making your own yogurt and a useful trouble-shooting guide. This is a great little book about a food that is part of so many of our lives. With it in hand, yogurt will undoubtedly have a bigger role to play in your life, too. I know it will in mine.” —Deborah Madison, author of Vegetable Literacy and The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
 
“From something so simple as yogurt, Cheryl Sternman Rule has painted a picture of vast possibility. Yogurt Culture is a beautifully written book, with astute observations on the global importance of the ingredient and stunning recipes to explore.” — Hugh Acheson, chef/author
 
“Cheryl Sternman Rule not only understands that plain honest yogurt puts all the strange confections in the supermarket yogurt case to shame for flavor and versatility, but knows how to bring home the point to fellow cooks. Her worldwide Eritrea-to-Mongolia-to California quest for yogurt traditions is also a very contemporary exploration of its limitless flavor potential. If her inventive recipes for anything from waffles to cooling summer drinks, relishes to savory marinades, curries to frozen desserts help turn yogurt into the newest culinary craze — well, it's about time!” –Anne Mendelson, author, Milk
 
“Through pointed research and experimentation, Cheryl distills for us a primer on at-home yogurt making, shows how she integrates it into her own day-to-day cooking, and explores and celebrates yogurt’s traditional place in global cultures. You come away with a deeper understanding of the facets of yogurt that make it such a dynamic, adaptive, and globally loved part of our lives.” — Heidi Swanson, author, Super Natural Every Day

About the Author

CHERYL STERNMAN RULE is the author of Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables. Her blog, 5 Second Rule, was named best culinary blog of 2012 by the IACP and best writing blog by Saveur in 2014. Her work has appeared in Cooking Light, EatingWell, Health, Vegetarian Times, and more.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (April 28, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0544252322
  • ISBN-13: 978-0544252325
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

From the Manufacturer

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A beautiful book that is also fascinating (just got educated about Eritrean two-stage yogurt-making and Afghani dehydrated salted yogurt balls--and I want to eat both!) and most of all makes me hungry. Too many pages to dog-ear; just going to have to cook my way through it. A single ingredient cookbook can veer towards the kind of territory that I associate with vintage bookstore finds ('brought to you by the national carrot council') that feature a few items that seem tasty enough and 99 that never ought to have anything to do with a carrot or Pepsi or whatever forms the backbone of the thing. In contrast, there is a gorgeously appetizing versatility to this book; no sameness and no "your guests will never guess it's yogurt!" Yum. Got my eye on the labneh stuffed peppers with feta, pistachios and mint but the brownie tart with yogurt dimples and a couple of the marinades may jump the line.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this at a book signing and fell in love. The photos are beautiful and the recipes are inspirational! I have made 4 recipes from the book and they came out delicious! All of the recipes I tried are written clear and concise; making them very easy to follow with a great outcome. If you enjoy yogurt I would highly recommend this book. There are also instructions for making your own yogurt at home!
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Format: Hardcover
As a longtime fan of yogurt, I've tried many of the store brands of flavored yogurts, but have only recently begun exploring the possibilities of cooking with plain yogurt for sweet and savory dishes. "Yogurt Culture" has so many wonderful recipes that I would never have thought to make on my own. So far, Burnt Sugar-Apricot Halves (photo included), Middle Eastern Eggplant Casserole (Fatet Makdous), and Lamb Kefte Sandwiches with Middle Eastern Yogurt Salad (photo included) are a few favorites--and Eritrean Spicy Tomato Bread Salad with Yogurt (Fata) is on the menu this week. The recipes have all been very easy to follow, and the results have been completely delicious.

With a toddler who also loves yogurt, it's important to me to keep unnecessary sugar out of his diet, but sorting through the range of supermarket yogurts can be daunting. Cheryl Sternman Rule provides a helpful guide of what to look for in a store-bought yogurt, and I feel more confident in my choices now. My little guy has also enthusiastically scarfed down all of the meals we've tried from Yogurt Culture.

I've also really enjoyed Rule's stories of traveling to various countries and learning the locals' methods of yogurt-making and favorite dishes. The anecdotes make the book come alive, and are a great accompaniment to the recipes.

I highly recommend this book, and can't wait to try more of the recipes.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Yo! I had my doubts about a book that was only about yogurt -- but, wow, Yogurt Culture is really cool. Not only are the recipes clearly written and interesting, the pictures are really beautiful. I particularly enjoyed the Chicken Curry with almond cream -- just the right amount of heat! You'd have to be crazy if you don't put the Curry Chicken into your repertoire of family meals. Most of all, I was pleasantly surprised that the book found so many uses for yogurt in savory dishes. I don't know if I'm going to make my own yogurt (there are great detailed instructions for people who are interested in that) but I plan on cooking my way through this whole book anyway!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What I’ve learned from cooking from Cheryl Sternman Rule’s books is that I can count on the recipes working from the get-go – the ingredients are in the right quantities, the directions are spot-on and most importantly, the end result is a delicious dish. I learned this from cooking from her first book, Ripe, and I just bought her Yogurt Culture book, knowing that I’d probably be thrilled with the recipes. The book is divided into chapters: Flavor (think roasted blueberries); Wake (cardamom pancakes); Dip, Dress, Drizzle, Spread (avocado ranch dressing); Sip (orange-clove lassi); Slurp (cold yogurt soup with cucumber, herbs, and rose petals); Dine (savory starters, mains and side dishes); Bake (cherry galettes with yogurt-ricotta cream); Chill (salted caramel panna cottas); and Lick (blackberry-lavender frozen yogurt).

So far I’ve made three recipes. Well, two… one, the Saffron-Pistachio (Kulfi) Frozen Yogurt recipe was an inspiration for a “gourmet” smoothie I made and I loved the flavor combination of sweet yogurt, saffron and ground pistachios. I’m sure it makes a terrific frozen yogurt. The other two recipes I followed to a T. One was Warm Lentil Salad with French Vinaigrette -- easy and deliciously tart and tangy. Next time I will not use quite as much of the yogurt topping but otherwise this is a fantastic recipe, especially for a crowd, and only takes 20 minutes or so to make. The other recipe I’ve made is Oven-Baked Tarragon-Scented Salmon. Wow. So simple and so delicious! You spread a layer of yogurt mixed with crushed fennel seeds and tarragon and let it marinate for a few hours, and then finish in the oven. It’s topped with skillet-browned panko and more tarragon -- so moist and flavorful!

I, too, am a professional food writer and cookbook author.
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