Topics: Cheese, Milk, Whey Pages: 2 (703 words) Published: August 1, 2013
Cheese is nutritious food made mostly from the milk of cows but also other mammals, including sheep, goats, buffalo, reindeer, camels and yaks. Around 4000 years ago people have started to breed animals and process their milk. That's when the cheese was born. Cheese consumption predates recorded history, with scholars believing it began as early as 8000 BC, when sheep were first domesticated, to as late as 3000 BC. It is believed to have been discovered in the Middle East or by nomadic Turkic tribes in Central Asia, where foodstuffs were commonly stored in animal hides or organs for transport. Milk stored in animal stomachs would have separated into curds and whey by movement and the rennet and bacteria naturally present. Egypt brings us the earliest archeological evidence of cheesemaking, found in tomb murals that date back to 2000 BC. These cheeses were likely to have been very sour and salty (lots of salt was needed to preserve the cheese in the hot, arid climate) and similar to a cottage cheese or feta in texture. Cheeses made in Europe didn’t require as much salt because of cooler conditions, thus paving the way for beneficial microbes and molds to form and give aged cheeses their interesting and robust flavors. Ancient Greeks and Romans were the first to turn cheesemaking into a fine art. Larger Roman houses even had a special kitchen, called a careale, just for making cheese. After developing new techniques for smoking and adding other flavors into cheeses, the Romans spread this knowledge slowly through their empire. Local resources allowed for different varieties to develop along the way. After the fall of the Roman Empire, innovative monks were responsible for inventing some of the classic varieties of cheese we know today. According to the British Cheese Board, Britain has approximately 700 distinct local cheeses. It is thought that France and Italy have perhaps 400 each. The varying flavors, colors, and textures of cheese come from many factors,...
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