The Milk Is Alive



My friend Fred Plotkin, author of numerous authoritative guides to Italy and music, especially opera, sent a link to this story, about an English dairy latching on to the treat-animals-nice movement to get itself some publicity. But it's about gelato, and music, so why resist.

The dairy, in Lancashire, imported an Italian tenor imported from Germany (where he lives) to sing to its cows and produce more lilting gelato. Why would the cows do this? Apparently it worked in Italy, where singing to the cows was an important part of the technique and recipe an immigrant Italian businessman according is using in England. A sign of what multi-culturalism and fluid borders can produce--and also, of course, global publicity thanks to the Web.

If massaging cows to produce tender Kobe beef can work--that is, if promulgating the myth can work--why not music? More fodder, of course, for parodists of happy-animals-make-happy-hamburgers farmers' tales. But then, I'll go anywhere for good gelato, not to mention English (and Irish!) dairy products. Maybe even Cockshotts Farm, near Clitheroe.

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Corby Kummer's work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him "a dean among food writers in America." More

Corby Kummer's work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him "a dean among food writers in America." Julia Child once said, "I think he's a very good food writer. He really does his homework. As a reporter and a writer he takes his work very seriously." Kummer's 1990 Atlantic series about coffee was heralded by foodies and the general public alike. The response to his recommendations about coffees and coffee-makers was typical--suppliers scrambled to meet the demand. As Giorgio Deluca, co-founder of New York's epicurean grocery Dean & Deluca, says: "I can tell when Corby's pieces hit; the phone doesn't stop ringing." His book, The Joy of Coffee, based on his Atlantic series, was heralded by The New York Times as "the most definitive and engagingly written book on the subject to date." In nominating his work for a National Magazine Award (for which he became a finalist), the editors wrote: "Kummer treats food as if its preparation were something of a life sport: an activity to be pursued regularly and healthfully by knowledgeable people who demand quality." Kummer's book The Pleasures of Slow Food celebrates local artisans who raise and prepare the foods of their regions with the love and expertise that come only with generations of practice. Kummer was restaurant critic of New York Magazine in 1995 and 1996 and since 1997 has served as restaurant critic for Boston Magazine. He is also a frequent food commentator on television and radio. He was educated at Yale, immediately after which he came to The Atlantic. He is the recipient of five James Beard Journalism Awards, including the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award.

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