May 07, 2017

Shari Jacobson, associate professor of anthropology at Susquehanna University, contributed to a book that won the 2017 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference and Scholarship.

Jacobson wrote “Dietary Laws,” which appeared in the Oxford Companion to Cheese, edited by Catherine Donnelly and published by Oxford University Press last year.

Dietary laws are restrictions or prescriptions imposed by a community on what its members consume. Jacobson’s entry addressed regulations around cheese in Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Ayurvedic and Rastafarian communities. She focused on concerns about ingredients in cheese and how they are combined; circumstances under which cheese is produced and consumed; and the effects of cheese on body and mind.

The Oxford Companion to Cheese is the first major reference work dedicated to cheese and contains 855 entries on cheese history, culture, science and production.

More than 300 authors contributed entries to this wide-ranging cheese encyclopedia, including anthropologists like Jacobson, and cheesemakers, cheesemongers, dairy scientists, food historians, journalists, archaeologists and more.

The James Beard Foundation Awards are presented by the James Beard Foundation for excellence in cuisine, culinary writing and culinary education in the United States. The awards were established in 1990 and honor the finest chefs, restaurants, wine professionals, journalists, cookbook authors, restaurant designers and other food professionals in the United States. Recipients receive a bronze medallion etched with the image of James Beard and a certificate from the foundation.