HOME

TheInfoList




Cheese is a
dairy product Dairy products or milk products are a type of food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fungal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such a ...
and produced in wide ranges of flavors, textures and forms by
coagulation Coagulation, also known as clotting, is the process by which blood Blood is a body fluid Body fluids, bodily fluids, or biofluids are liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mech ...
of the milk protein
casein Casein ( , from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in rel ...

casein
. It comprises
protein Proteins are large biomolecule , showing alpha helices, represented by ribbons. This poten was the first to have its suckture solved by X-ray crystallography by Max Perutz and Sir John Cowdery Kendrew in 1958, for which they received a No ...

protein
s and
fat In nutrition Nutrition is the biochemical Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms. A sub-discipline of both chemistry and biology, biochemistry may be divided ...

fat
from milk, usually the milk of
cows Cattle, taurine cattle, Eurasian cattle, or European cattle (''Bos taurus'' or ''Bos primigenius taurus'') are large domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a signif ...

cows
,
buffalo
buffalo
,
goat The domestic goat or simply goat (''Capra hircus'') is a domesticated species of typically kept as . It was from the (''C. aegagrus'') of and . The goat is a member of the animal family and the subfamily , meaning it is closely related ...

goat
s, or
sheep Sheep (''Ovis aries'') are quadrupedal, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Like all ruminants, sheep are members of the order (biology), order Artiodactyla, the even-toed ungulates. Although the name ''sheep'' applies to many species ...
. During production, the milk is usually
acid An acid is a or capable of donating a (hydrogen ion H+) (a ), or, alternatively, capable of forming a with an (a ). The first category of acids are the proton donors, or s. In the special case of , proton donors form the H3O+ and are ...
ified and the enzymes of either
rennet Rennet () is a complex set of enzyme Enzymes () are protein Proteins are large s and s that comprise one or more long chains of . Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organisms, including , , , providing and , and f ...
or bacterial enzymes with similar activity are added to cause the casein to coagulate. The solid
curds Curd is obtained by coagulating Coagulation, also known as clotting, is the process by which blood changes from a liquid to a gel, forming a thrombus, blood clot. It potentially results in hemostasis, the cessation of blood loss from a dama ...

curds
are then separated from the liquid
whey Whey is the liquid remaining after milk Milk is a nutrient A nutrient is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a ...

whey
and pressed into finished cheese. Some cheeses have aromatic
mold A mold () or mould () is a fungus A fungus (plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of ...
s on the rind, the outer layer, or throughout. Over a thousand
types of cheese Types of cheese Cheese is a dairy product Dairy products or milk products are a type of food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, funga ...
exist and are currently produced in various countries. Their styles, textures and flavors depend on the origin of the milk (including the animal's diet), whether they have been
pasteurized Pasteurization or pasteurisation is a process in which packaged and non-packaged foods (such as milk Milk is a nutrient-rich liquid food produced by the mammary gland A mammary gland is an exocrine gland in humans and other mammal ...
, the
butterfatButterfat or milkfat is the fat In nutrition Nutrition is the biochemical and physiological process by which an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual ...
content, the
bacteria Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are ubiquitous, mostly free-living organisms often consisting of one Cell (biology), biological cell. They constitute a large domain (biology), domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typ ...

bacteria
and
mold A mold () or mould () is a fungus A fungus (plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of ...

mold
, the processing, and how long they have been
aged Ageing or aging (see American and British English spelling differences#Dropped "e", spelling differences) is the process of becoming older. The term refers especially to humans, many other animals, and fungi, whereas for example bacteria, pere ...
for.
Herb In general use, herbs are a widely distributed and widespread group of plants, excluding vegetables Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food. The original meaning is still commonly used and is app ...

Herb
s,
spice A spice is a seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's first double album, it was releas ...

spice
s, or wood smoke may be used as
flavoring agent Flavor, or flavour, is the perceptual Perception (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area arou ...
s. The yellow to red color of many cheeses is produced by adding
annatto Annatto ( or ) is an orange-red condiment A condiment is a sauce In , a sauce is a , , or semi- food, served on or used in preparing other s. Most sauces are not normally consumed by themselves; they add flavor, moisture, and visual ap ...

annatto
. Other ingredients may be added to some cheeses, such as
black pepper Black pepper (''Piper nigrum'') is a flowering A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive Reproduction (or procreation or breeding) is the biological process by which new individual organisms – "offs ...

black pepper
,
garlic Garlic (''Allium sativum'') is a species of bulbous flowering plant in the genus ''Allium''. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, Allium fistulosum, Welsh onion and Allium chinense, Chinese onion. It is native to Central ...

garlic
,
chives Chives, scientific name ''Allium schoenoprasum'', is a species of flowering plant in the family Amaryllidaceae that produces edible leaves and flowers. Their close relatives include the common onions, garlic Garlic (''Allium sativum'') ...

chives
or
cranberries Cranberries are a group of evergreen dwarf shrubs or trailing vines in the subgenus ''Oxycoccus'' of the genus ''Vaccinium''. In Britain, cranberry may refer to the native species ''Vaccinium oxycoccos'', while in North America, cranberry ma ...

cranberries
. A cheesemonger, or specialist seller of cheeses, may have expertise with selecting the cheeses, purchasing, receiving, storing and ripening them. For a few cheeses, the milk is
curd Curd is obtained by coagulating Coagulation, also known as clotting, is the process by which blood changes from a liquid to a gel, forming a thrombus, blood clot. It potentially results in hemostasis, the cessation of blood loss from a dama ...

curd
led by adding
acid An acid is a or capable of donating a (hydrogen ion H+) (a ), or, alternatively, capable of forming a with an (a ). The first category of acids are the proton donors, or s. In the special case of , proton donors form the H3O+ and are ...
s such as
vinegar Vinegar is an aqueous solution of acetic acid and trace compounds that may include flavorings. Vinegar typically contains 5–8% acetic acid by volume. Usually, the acetic acid is produced by a double fermentation; converting simple sugars to eth ...

vinegar
or
lemon juice The lemon (''Citrus limon'') is a species of small evergreen tree in the flowering plant family Rutaceae, native to Asia, primarily Northeast India (Assam), Northern Myanmar or China. The tree's ellipsoidal yellow hesperidium, fruit is used ...

lemon juice
. Most cheeses are acidified to a lesser degree by bacteria, which turn
milk sugar Lactose is a disaccharide. It is a sugar composed of galactose and glucose subunits and has the molecular formula C12H22O11. Lactose makes up around 2–8% of milk (by weight). The name comes from ' (gen. '), the Latin word for milk, plus the su ...
s into
lactic acid Lactic acid is an organic acid An organic acid is an organic compound with acidic properties. The most common organic acids are the carboxylic acids, whose acidity is associated with their carboxyl group –COOH. Sulfonic acids, conta ...

lactic acid
, then the addition of rennet completes the curdling.
Vegetarian Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat (red meat, poultry, seafood, and the flesh of any other animal), and it may also include abstaining from by-products of animal slaughter. Vegetarianism may be adopted for v ...

Vegetarian
alternatives to rennet are available; most are produced by
fermentation Fermentation is a metabolic Metabolism (, from el, μεταβολή ''metabolē'', "change") is the set of life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as Cell signalin ...

fermentation
of the
fungus A fungus (plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full ...

fungus
'' Mucor miehei'', but others have been extracted from various species of the ''
Cynara ''Cynara'' is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumsc ...

Cynara
'' thistle family.
Cheesemaker Cheesemaking (or caseiculture) is the craft of making cheese. The production of cheese, like many other food preservation processes, allows the nutritional and economic value of a food material, in this case milk, to be preserved in concentrated ...

Cheesemaker
s near a dairy region may benefit from fresher, lower-priced milk, and lower shipping costs. Cheese is valued for its portability, long
shelf life Shelf life is the length of time that a commodity may be stored without becoming unfit for use, consumption, or sale. In other words, it might refer to whether a commodity should no longer be on a pantry shelf (unfit for use), or just no longer ...
, and high content of
fat In nutrition Nutrition is the biochemical Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms. A sub-discipline of both chemistry and biology, biochemistry may be divided ...

fat
,
protein Proteins are large biomolecule , showing alpha helices, represented by ribbons. This poten was the first to have its suckture solved by X-ray crystallography by Max Perutz and Sir John Cowdery Kendrew in 1958, for which they received a No ...

protein
,
calcium Calcium is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elem ...

calcium
, and
phosphorus Phosphorus is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical el ...

phosphorus
. Cheese is more compact and has a longer shelf life than milk, although how long a cheese will keep depends on the type of cheese.
Hard cheese Types of cheese Cheese is a dairy product Dairy products or milk products are a type of food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fung ...
s, such as
Parmesan Parmigiano-Reggiano (, ) is an Italian hard, granular cheese produced from cow's milk and aged at least 12 months. It is named after the producing areas, the provinces of Reggio Emilia Reggio nell'Emilia ( egl, Rèz; la, Regium Lepidi ...

Parmesan
, last longer than soft cheeses, such as
Brie Brie (; ) is a soft cow's-milk cheese Cheese is a dairy product and produced in wide ranges of flavors, Mouthfeel, textures and forms by coagulation (milk), coagulation of the milk protein casein. It comprises proteins and fat from milk, us ...

Brie
or
goat's milk cheese Goat cheese, or chevre ( or ; from the French word for ''goat''), is cheese Cheese is a dairy product, derived from milk and produced in wide ranges of flavors, Mouthfeel, textures and forms by coagulation (milk), coagulation of the milk ...

goat's milk cheese
. The long storage life of some cheeses, especially when encased in a protective rind, allows selling when markets are favorable. Vacuum packaging of block-shaped cheeses and gas-flushing of plastic bags with mixtures of
carbon dioxide Carbon dioxide (chemical formula A chemical formula is a way of presenting information about the chemical proportions of s that constitute a particular or molecule, using symbols, numbers, and sometimes also other symbols, such as pare ...

carbon dioxide
and
nitrogen Nitrogen is the chemical element upright=1.0, 500px, The chemical elements ordered by link=Periodic table In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science ...

nitrogen
are used for storage and
mass distribution{{Other uses, Weight distribution In physics and mechanics Mechanics (Ancient Greek, Greek: ) is the area of physics concerned with the motions of physical objects, more specifically the relationships among force, matter, and motion. Forces appl ...
of cheeses in the
21st century The 21st (twenty-first) century is the current century A century is a period of 100 years. Centuries are numbered names of numbers in English#Ordinal numbers, ordinally in English and many other languages. The word ''century'' comes from the L ...

21st century
.


Etymology

The word ''cheese'' comes from
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
', from which the modern word
casein Casein ( , from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in rel ...

casein
is also derived. The earliest source is from the
proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
root ''*kwat-'', which means "to
ferment Fermentation is a metabolism, metabolic process that produces chemical changes in organic Substrate (chemistry), substrates through the action of enzymes. In biochemistry, it is narrowly defined as the extraction of energy from carbohydrates in ...
, become sour". That gave rise to ' (in
Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured sys ...
) and ' or ' (in
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
). Similar words are shared by other
West Germanic languages The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples ...
West Frisian ',
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
',
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
',
Old High German Old High German (OHG, german: Althochdeutsch, German abbr. ) is the earliest stage of the German language German ( Standard High German: , ) is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Euro ...
'—all from the reconstructed West-Germanic form ''*kāsī'', which in turn is an early borrowing from Latin. The ''
Online Etymological Dictionary The ''Online Etymology Dictionary'' is a free online dictionary A dictionary is a listing of lexemes from the lexicon of one or more specific languages, often arranged Alphabetical order, alphabetically (or by radical-and-stroke sorting, ra ...
'' states that "cheese" comes from "Old English cyse (West Saxon), cese (Anglian)...from West Germanic *kasjus (source also of Old Saxon kasi, Old High German chasi, German Käse, Middle Dutch case, Dutch kaas), from Latin caseus "cheese" (source of Italian cacio, Spanish queso, Irish caise, Welsh caws)." The ''Online Etymological Dictionary'' states that the word is of "unknown origin; perhaps from a PIE root *kwat- "to ferment, become sour" (source also of Prakrit chasi "buttermilk;" Old Church Slavonic kvasu "leaven; fermented drink," kyselu "sour," -kyseti "to turn sour;" Czech kysati "to turn sour, rot;" Sanskrit kvathati "boils, seethes;" Gothic hwaþjan "foam"). Also compare fromage. Old Norse , Danish , Swedish are related to Latin "broth, sauce, juice.'" When the Romans began to make hard cheeses for their legionaries' supplies, a new word started to be used: ', from ', or "molded cheese" (as in "formed", not "moldy"). It is from this word that the ', standard
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
',
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * C ...
',
Breton Breton most often refers to: *anything associated with Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo language, Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula and cultural region in the west of France, covering the western part ...
', and
Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no ,), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evol ...
' (or ') are derived. Of the Romance languages,
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
,
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
,
Romanian Romanian may refer to: *anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Euro ...
,
Tuscan Tuscan may refer to: Places * A person from, or something of, from, or related to Tuscany, a region of Italy * Tuscan Archipelago Currency * Tuscan pound * Tuscan florin Linguistics * Etruscan language, an extinct language which gives its name t ...
and Southern Italian dialects use words derived from ' (', ', ' and ' for example). The word ''cheese'' itself is occasionally employed in a sense that means "molded" or "formed". ''
Head cheese Head cheese or brawn is a cold cut Lunch meats—also known as cold cuts, luncheon meats, cooked meats, sliced meats, cold meats, and deli meats—are precooked or cured meats that are sliced and served cold or hot. They are typically ser ...

Head cheese
'' uses the word in this sense. The term "cheese" is also used as a noun, verb and adjective in a number of figurative expressions (e.g., "the big cheese", "to be cheesed off" and "cheesy lyrics").


History


Origins

Cheese is an ancient food whose origins predate recorded history. There is no conclusive evidence indicating where cheesemaking originated, whether in
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
,
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north, including the former Soviet Union, Soviet republics of the Sov ...

Central Asia
or the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
. Earliest proposed dates for the origin of cheesemaking range from around 8000 BCE, when
sheep Sheep (''Ovis aries'') are quadrupedal, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Like all ruminants, sheep are members of the order (biology), order Artiodactyla, the even-toed ungulates. Although the name ''sheep'' applies to many species ...

sheep
were first
domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to secure a more predictable supply of resources from that sec ...
. Since animal skins and inflated internal organs have, since ancient times, provided storage vessels for a range of foodstuffs, it is probable that the process of cheese making was discovered accidentally by storing milk in a container made from the stomach of an animal, resulting in the milk being turned to
curd Curd is obtained by coagulating Coagulation, also known as clotting, is the process by which blood changes from a liquid to a gel, forming a thrombus, blood clot. It potentially results in hemostasis, the cessation of blood loss from a dama ...

curd
and
whey Whey is the liquid remaining after milk Milk is a nutrient A nutrient is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a ...

whey
by the rennet from the stomach. There is a
legend A legend is a Folklore genre, genre of folklore that consists of a narrative featuring human actions, believed or perceived, both by teller and listeners, to have taken place in human history. Narratives in this genre may demonstrate human valu ...

legend
—with variations—about the discovery of cheese by an Arab trader who used this method of storing milk. The earliest evidence of cheesemaking in the archaeological record dates back to 5500 BCE and is found in what is now
Kuyavia Kuyavia ( pl, Kujawy; german: Kujawien; la, Cuiavia), also referred to as Cuyavia, is a historical region in north-central Poland, situated on the left bank of Vistula, as well as east from Noteć River and Lake Gopło. It is divided into three t ...
, Poland, where strainers coated with molecules have been found. Cheesemaking may have begun independently of this by the pressing and salting of curdled milk to preserve it. Observation that the effect of making cheese in an animal stomach gave more solid and better-textured curds may have led to the deliberate addition of rennet. Early
archeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better understanding of it. The technique h ...

archeological
evidence of
Egyptian cheese Egyptian cheese ( arz, جبنة '  ) has a long history, and continues to be an important part of the Egyptian diet. There is evidence of cheese-making over 5,000 years ago in the time of the First Dynasty of Egypt. In the Middle Ages the ci ...
has been found in
Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex and stable culture with thousands of years of r ...

Egyptian
tomb murals, dating to about 2000 BCE. A 2018 scientific paper stated that the world's oldest cheese, dating to approximately 1200 BCE (3200 years before present), was found in ancient Egyptian tombs. The earliest cheeses were likely quite sour and salty, similar in texture to rustic
cottage cheese Cottage cheese is a simple fresh cheese curd product with a mild flavor and a creamy, non-homogenous, soupy texture. It is also known as curds and whey. It is made from Cow’s milk, cow's milk by draining the cheese, as opposed to pressing it to ...
or
feta Feta ( el, φέτα, ) is a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populatio ...

feta
, a crumbly, flavorful Greek cheese. Cheese produced in Europe, where climates are cooler than the Middle East, required less salt for preservation. With less salt and acidity, the cheese became a suitable environment for useful
microbe A microorganism, or microbe,, ''mikros'', "small") and ''organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes ...
s and molds, giving aged cheeses their respective flavors. The earliest ever discovered preserved cheese was found in the Taklamakan Desert in
Xinjiang Xinjiang (),, SASM/GNC: ''Xinjang''; zh, c=, p=Xīnjiāng; alternately romanized as Sinkiang officially the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and formerly romanized as Sinkiang, is a landlocked autonomous region An autonomous ...

Xinjiang
,
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
, dating back as early as 1615 BCE (3600 years before present).


Ancient Greece and Rome

Ancient
Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psyc ...
credited
Aristaeus A minor god in Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the Ancient Greece, ancient Greeks, and a genre of Ancient Greek folklore. These stories concern the Cosmogony, origin and Cosmology#Metaphysical cosmolog ...
with the discovery of cheese.
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
's ''
Odyssey The ''Odyssey'' (; grc, Ὀδύσσεια, Odýsseia, ) is one of two major ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí ...
'' (8th century BCE) describes the
Cyclops In Greek mythology and later Roman mythology, the Cyclopes ( ; el, Κύκλωπες, ''Kýklōpes'', "Circle-eyes" or "Round-eyes"; singular Cyclops ; , ''Kýklōps'') are giant one-eyed creatures. Three groups of Cyclopes can be distinguished ...

Cyclops
making and storing sheep's and goats' milk cheese (translation by
Samuel ButlerSamuel Butler may refer to: *Samuel Butler (poet) (1613–1680), English poet and satirist *Samuel Butler (schoolmaster) (1774–1839), English classical scholar *Samuel Butler (novelist) (1835–1902), English author of ''Erewhon'' *Sam ...
):
Columella Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella (; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of ...
's ''De Re Rustica'' (c. 65 CE) details a cheesemaking process involving rennet coagulation, pressing of the curd, salting, and aging. According to
Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder#REDIRECT Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman author, a naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, includi ...

Pliny the Elder
, it had become a sophisticated enterprise by the time the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...
came into being. Cheese was an everyday food and cheesemaking a mature art in the Roman empire. ''Natural History'' (77 CE) devotes a chapter (XI, 97) to describing the diversity of cheeses enjoyed by Romans of the early Empire. He stated that the best cheeses came from the villages near
Nîmes Nîmes ( , ; oc, Nimes ; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roma ...
, but did not keep long and had to be eaten fresh. Cheeses of the
Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest and most extensive mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt ...

Alps
and
Apennines The Apennines or Apennine Mountains (; grc-gre, links=no, Ἀπέννινα ὄρη or Ἀπέννινον ὄρος; la, Appenninus or  – a singular with plural meaning;''Apenninus'' (Greek or ) has the form of an adjective, which woul ...

Apennines
were as remarkable for their variety then as now. A Ligurian cheese was noted for being made mostly from sheep's milk, and some cheeses produced nearby were stated to weigh as much as a thousand pounds each. Goats' milk cheese was a recent taste in Rome, improved over the "medicinal taste" of
Gaul Gaul ( la, Gallia) was a region of Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rat ...

Gaul
's similar cheeses by
smoking Smoking is a practice in which a substance is burned and the resulting smoke Smoke is a collection of airborne and es emitted when a material undergoes or , together with the quantity of air that is or otherwise mixed into the ma ...
. Of cheeses from overseas, Pliny preferred those of
Bithynia Bithynia (; Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek language, ...
in Asia Minor.


Post-Roman Europe

As Romanized populations encountered unfamiliar newly settled neighbors, bringing their own cheese-making traditions, their own flocks and their own unrelated words for ''cheese'', cheeses in Europe diversified further, with various locales developing their own distinctive traditions and products. As long-distance trade collapsed, only travelers would encounter unfamiliar cheeses:
Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or Charles the Great ( la, Carolus Magnus; 2 April 748 – 28 January 814) was King of the Franks The Franks—Germanic-speaking peoples that invaded the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century—were first led by i ...

Charlemagne
's first encounter with a white cheese that had an edible rind forms one of the constructed anecdotes of Notker's ''Life'' of the Emperor. The British Cheese Board claims that Britain has approximately 700 distinct local cheeses;
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
and
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
have perhaps 400 each. (A French proverb holds there is a different French cheese for every day of the year, and
Charles de Gaulle Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle (; ; 22 November 18909 November 1970) was a French army officer and statesman who led Free France against Nazi Germany in World War II and chaired the Provisional Government of the French Republic from 19 ...
once asked "how can you govern a country in which there are 246 kinds of cheese?") Still, the advancement of the cheese art in Europe was slow during the centuries after Rome's fall. Many cheeses popular today were first recorded in the late
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
or after—cheeses like
Cheddar Cheddar most often refers to either: *Cheddar cheese *Cheddar, Somerset, the village after which Cheddar cheese is named Cheddar may also refer to: Places * Cheddar, Ontario, Canada * Cheddar Complex, a biological site of special scientific inter ...
around 1500,
Parmesan Parmigiano-Reggiano (, ) is an Italian hard, granular cheese produced from cow's milk and aged at least 12 months. It is named after the producing areas, the provinces of Reggio Emilia Reggio nell'Emilia ( egl, Rèz; la, Regium Lepidi ...

Parmesan
in 1597,
Gouda Gouda may refer to: * Gouda, South Holland, a city in the Netherlands ** Gouda (pottery), style of pottery manufactured in Gouda ** Gouda cheese, type of cheese originally made in and around Gouda ** Gouda railway station * Gouda, Western Cape, a sm ...
in 1697, and
Camembert Camembert (, also , , ) is a moist, soft, creamy, surface-ripened cow's milk cheese. It was first made in the late 18th century at Camembert, Orne, Camembert, Normandy, in northwest France. Production The first camembert was made from raw milk ...

Camembert
in 1791. In 1546, '' The Proverbs of John Heywood'' claimed " the moon is made of a green cheese." (''Greene'' may refer here not to the color, as many now think, but to being new or unaged.) Variations on this sentiment were long repeated and
NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit corporation is a term that has different meanings in differen ...

NASA
exploited this myth for an
April Fools' Day April Fools' Day or April Fool's Day is an annual custom on April 1 consisting of practical jokes and hoaxes. Jokesters often expose their actions by shouting "April Fool!" at the recipient. Mass media can be involved in these pranks, which may ...
spoof announcement in 2006.


Modern era

Until its modern spread along with European culture, cheese was nearly unheard of in east Asian cultures and in the pre-Columbian Americas and had only limited use in sub-Mediterranean Africa, mainly being widespread and popular only in Europe, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and areas influenced by those cultures. But with the spread, first of European imperialism, and later of Euro-American culture and food, cheese has gradually become known and increasingly popular worldwide. The first factory for the industrial production of cheese opened in Switzerland in 1815, but large-scale production first found real success in the United States. Credit usually goes to Jesse Williams, a dairy farmer from
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...
,
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
, who in 1851 started making cheese in an fashion using the milk from neighboring farms. Within decades, hundreds of such dairy associations existed. The 1860s saw the beginnings of mass-produced rennet, and by the turn of the century scientists were producing pure microbial cultures. Before then, bacteria in cheesemaking had come from the environment or from recycling an earlier batch's whey; the pure cultures meant a more standardized cheese could be produced. Factory-made cheese overtook traditional cheesemaking in the
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
era, and factories have been the source of most cheese in America and Europe ever since.


Production

In 2014, world production of cheese from whole cow milk was 18.7 million
tonne The tonne ( or ; symbol: t) is a metric unit of mass equal to 1,000 kilogram The kilogram (also kilogramme) is the base unit of mass Mass is the physical quantity, quantity of ''matter'' in a physical body. It is also a meas ...
s, with the United States accounting for 29% (5.4 million tonnes) of the world total followed by Germany, France and Italy as major producers (table). Other 2014 world totals for processed cheese include: * from skimmed cow milk, 2.4 million tonnes (leading country, Germany, 845,500 tonnes) * from goat milk, 523,040 tonnes (leading country,
South Sudan South Sudan (), officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country in East Africa, east/central Africa. It is bordered to the east by Ethiopia, to the north by Sudan, to the west by the Central African Republic, to th ...

South Sudan
, 110,750 tonnes) * from sheep milk, 680,302 tonnes (leading country,
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
, 125,000 tonnes) * from milk, 282,127 tonnes (leading country,
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
, 254,000 tonnes) During 2015, Germany, France, Netherlands and Italy exported 10-14% of their produced cheese. The United States was a marginal exporter (5.3% of total cow milk production), as most of its output was for the domestic market.


Consumption

France, Iceland, Finland, Denmark and Germany were the highest consumers of cheese in 2014, averaging per person.


Processing


Curdling

A required step in cheesemaking is separating the milk into solid
curd Curd is obtained by coagulating Coagulation, also known as clotting, is the process by which blood changes from a liquid to a gel, forming a thrombus, blood clot. It potentially results in hemostasis, the cessation of blood loss from a dama ...

curd
s and liquid
whey Whey is the liquid remaining after milk Milk is a nutrient A nutrient is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a ...

whey
. Usually this is done by acidifying (
souringSouring is a cooking technique that uses exposure to an acid An acid is a molecule or ion An ion () is a particle In the Outline of physical science, physical sciences, a particle (or corpuscule in older texts) is a small wikt:local, ...
) the milk and adding
rennet Rennet () is a complex set of enzyme Enzymes () are protein Proteins are large s and s that comprise one or more long chains of . Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organisms, including , , , providing and , and f ...
. The acidification can be accomplished directly by the addition of an acid, such as vinegar, in a few cases (
paneer Paneer (), also known as ponir () or Indian cottage cheese, is a fresh Fresh or FRESH may refer to: People *DJ Fresh Daniel Edward Stein (born 11 April 1977), better known by his stage name DJ Fresh, is an English musician, DJ and reco ...
,
queso fresco Queso blanco (), literally ''white cheese'' in Spanish, can refer to many different kind of cheeses whose only common trait is their white color. The specific cheese referred to depends on the region. Production Queso blanco is considered one ...
). More commonly starter bacteria are employed instead which convert into
lactic acid Lactic acid is an organic acid An organic acid is an organic compound with acidic properties. The most common organic acids are the carboxylic acids, whose acidity is associated with their carboxyl group –COOH. Sulfonic acids, conta ...

lactic acid
. The same bacteria (and the
enzyme Enzymes () are proteins that act as biological catalysts (biocatalysts). Catalysts accelerate chemical reactions. The molecules upon which enzymes may act are called substrate (chemistry), substrates, and the enzyme converts the substrates in ...

enzyme
s they produce) also play a large role in the eventual flavor of aged cheeses. Most cheeses are made with starter bacteria from the ''
Lactococcus ''Lactococcus'' is a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer ...
'', ''
Lactobacillus ''Lactobacillus'' is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including ...
'', or ''
Streptococcus ''Streptococcus'' is a genus of gram-positive bacteria, gram-positive ' (plural ) or spherical bacteria that belongs to the family Streptococcaceae, within the order Lactobacillales (lactic acid bacteria), in the phylum Firmicutes. Cell divisio ...

Streptococcus
'' genera.
Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial ...
starter cultures also include '' Propionibacter shermani'', which produces carbon dioxide gas bubbles during aging, giving Swiss cheese (North America), Swiss cheese or Emmental cheese, Emmental its holes (called "Eyes (cheese), eyes"). Some fresh cheeses are curdled only by acidity, but most cheeses also use rennet. Rennet sets the cheese into a strong and rubbery gel compared to the fragile curds produced by acidic coagulation alone. It also allows curdling at a lower acidity—important because flavor-making bacteria are inhibited in high-acidity environments. In general, softer, smaller, fresher cheeses are curdled with a greater proportion of acid to rennet than harder, larger, longer-aged varieties. While rennet was traditionally produced via extraction from the inner mucosa of the fourth stomach chamber of slaughtered young, unweaned calves, most rennet used today in cheesemaking is produced recombinant DNA, recombinantly. The majority of the applied chymosin is retained in the whey and, at most, may be present in cheese in trace quantities. In ripe cheese, the type and provenance of chymosin used in production cannot be determined.


Curd processing

At this point, the cheese has set into a very moist gel. Some soft cheeses are now essentially complete: they are drained, salted, and packaged. For most of the rest, the curd is cut into small cubes. This allows water to drain from the individual pieces of curd. Some hard cheeses are then heated to temperatures in the range of . This forces more whey from the cut curd. It also changes the taste of the finished cheese, affecting both the bacterial culture and the milk chemistry. Cheeses that are heated to the higher temperatures are usually made with thermophilic starter bacteria that survive this step—either ''Lactobacilli'' or ''streptococcus salivarius, Streptococci''. Salt has roles in cheese besides adding a salty flavor. It preserves cheese from spoiling, draws moisture from the curd, and firms cheese's texture in an interaction with its
protein Proteins are large biomolecule , showing alpha helices, represented by ribbons. This poten was the first to have its suckture solved by X-ray crystallography by Max Perutz and Sir John Cowdery Kendrew in 1958, for which they received a No ...

protein
s. Some cheeses are salted from the outside with dry salt or brine washes. Most cheeses have the salt mixed directly into the curds. Other techniques influence a cheese's texture and flavor. Some examples are : * Stretching: (Mozzarella, Provolone) The curd is stretched and kneaded in hot water, developing a stringy, fibrous body. * Cheddaring: (
Cheddar Cheddar most often refers to either: *Cheddar cheese *Cheddar, Somerset, the village after which Cheddar cheese is named Cheddar may also refer to: Places * Cheddar, Ontario, Canada * Cheddar Complex, a biological site of special scientific inter ...
, other English cheeses) The cut curd is repeatedly piled up, pushing more moisture away. The curd is also mixed (or ''milled'') for a long time, taking the sharp edges off the cut curd pieces and influencing the final product's texture. * Washing: (Edam cheese, Edam,
Gouda Gouda may refer to: * Gouda, South Holland, a city in the Netherlands ** Gouda (pottery), style of pottery manufactured in Gouda ** Gouda cheese, type of cheese originally made in and around Gouda ** Gouda railway station * Gouda, Western Cape, a sm ...
, Colby cheese, Colby) The curd is washed in warm water, lowering its acidity and making for a milder-tasting cheese. Most cheeses achieve their final shape when the curds are pressed into a mold or form. The harder the cheese, the more pressure is applied. The pressure drives out moisture—the molds are designed to allow water to escape—and unifies the curds into a single solid body.


Ripening

A newborn cheese is usually salty yet bland in flavor and, for harder varieties, rubbery in texture. These qualities are sometimes enjoyed—cheese curds are eaten on their own—but normally cheeses are left to rest under controlled conditions. This aging period (also called ripening, or, from the French, ''affinage'') lasts from a few days to several years. As a cheese ages, microbes and enzymes transform texture and intensify flavor. This transformation is largely a result of the breakdown of casein proteins and butterfat, milkfat into a complex mix of amino acids, amines, and fatty acids. Some cheeses have additional bacteria or
mold A mold () or mould () is a fungus A fungus (plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of ...
s intentionally introduced before or during aging. In traditional cheesemaking, these microbes might be already present in the aging room; they are simply allowed to settle and grow on the stored cheeses. More often today, prepared cultures are used, giving more consistent results and putting fewer constraints on the environment where the cheese ages. These cheeses include soft ripened cheeses such as Brie (cheese), Brie and Camembert (cheese), Camembert, blue cheeses such as Roquefort (cheese), Roquefort, Stilton (cheese), Stilton, Gorgonzola (cheese), Gorgonzola, and rind-washed cheeses such as Limburger cheese, Limburger.


Types

There are many types of cheese, with around 500 different varieties recognized by the International Dairy Federation, more than 400 identified by Walter and Hargrove, more than 500 by Burkhalter, and more than 1,000 by Sandine and Elliker. The varieties may be grouped or classified into types according to criteria such as length of ageing, texture, methods of making, fat content, animal milk, country or region of origin, etc.—with these criteria either being used singly or in combination, but with no single method being universally used. The method most commonly and traditionally used is based on moisture content, which is then further discriminated by fat content and curing or ripening methods. Some attempts have been made to rationalise the classification of cheese—a scheme was proposed by Pieter Walstra which uses the primary and secondary starter combined with moisture content, and Walter and Hargrove suggested classifying by production methods which produces 18 types, which are then further grouped by moisture content. File:Wikicheese - Brie de Melun - 20150515 - 015.jpg,
Brie Brie (; ) is a soft cow's-milk cheese Cheese is a dairy product and produced in wide ranges of flavors, Mouthfeel, textures and forms by coagulation (milk), coagulation of the milk protein casein. It comprises proteins and fat from milk, us ...

Brie
cheese File:Bleu de Gex.jpg, Bleu de Gex File:Maccagno (cheese).jpg, Maccagno cheese File:Berkswell cheese.jpg, Berkswell Cheese, Berkswell cheese File:Maroilles (cheese).jpg, Maroilles cheese File:Mozzarella cheese.jpg, Mozzarella File:Queso fresco.JPG, Queso blanco, Queso fresco File:Smoked Gruyère cheese.jpg, Smoked cheese File:Bergader Almkäse Chili 01 WikiCheese Lokal K.jpg, Bergader Almkase cheese File:00928 Beskider Käse aus Schafsmilch 2013; Sheep's-milk cheeses from Poland; Northern Subcarpathians.JPG, Sheep milk cheese from Poland File:Cœurs de Neufchâtel 01.jpg, Neufchâtel cheese, Cœur de Neufchâtel File:Cowgirl Creamery Point Reyes - Devil’s Gulch cheese.jpg, Cowgirl Creamery, Devil's Gulch cheese File:Camembert (Cheese).jpg,
Camembert Camembert (, also , , ) is a moist, soft, creamy, surface-ripened cow's milk cheese. It was first made in the late 18th century at Camembert, Orne, Camembert, Normandy, in northwest France. Production The first camembert was made from raw milk ...

Camembert
File:WikiCheese - Saint-Julien aux noix 01.jpg, Saint-Julien aux noix File:Bavaria blu 03 WikiCheese Lokal K.jpg, Bavaria blu cheese File:SmallEdamCheese.jpg, Edam cheese, Edam File:Sainte-Maure de touraine 03.jpg, Sainte-Maure de Touraine File:WikiCheese - Tentation du Vercors - 20150619 - 001.jpg, Tentation du Vercors File:Bleu d'Élizabeth.jpg, File:Météorite fromage.jpg, Météorite fromage File:Ricotta salata e zucchina.jpg, Ricotta File:WikiCheese - Rigotte de Condrieu - 20150619 - 001.jpg, Rigotte de Condrieu File:Parmigiano Reggiano DOP Billa.jpg, Parmigiano-Reggiano File:Chabichou du Poitou 01.jpg, Chabichou, Chabichou du Poitou File:Grünschimmelkäse Österkron.jpg, Österkron blue cheese File:Reblochon 01.jpg, Reblochon File:Pouligny-saint-pierre (fromage) 02.jpg, Pouligny-Saint-Pierre cheese, Saint-Pierre Cheese File:Fourme d'Ambert 01.jpg, Fourme d'Ambert File:Blue Stilton 02.jpg, Stilton cheese File:Langres fromage AOP coupe.jpg, Langres cheese, Langres File:Emmental (fromage) 01.jpg, Emmental cheese, Emmental File:2014-12-08 Bergkäse mit Antipasta 5713.jpg, Bergkäse File:2015-01-25 Tobermory, Isle of Mull Cheese Sgriob-ruadh Farm - hu - 7900.jpg, Isle of Mull Cheddar, Isle of Mull Cheese File:Zacharie Cloutier (fromage).jpg, Zacharie cheese File:Sauermilchkaese diverse.jpg, Diverse Sour milk cheese, Sauermilchkäse sour cheese File:Gruyere alpage th wa.jpg, Gruyère cheese, Gruyère File:Wikicheese - Brie de Nangis - 20150515 - 018.jpg, Brie de Nangis File:Rouelle du Tarn.jpg, Rouelle du Tarn File:Comte AOP.jpg, Comté cheese, Comté


Cooking and eating

At refrigerator temperatures, the fat in a piece of cheese is as hard as unsoftened butter, and its protein structure is stiff as well. Flavor and odor compounds are less easily liberated when cold. For improvements in flavor and texture, it is widely advised that cheeses be allowed to warm up to room temperature before eating. If the cheese is further warmed, to , the fats will begin to "sweat out" as they go beyond soft to fully liquid. Above room temperatures, most hard cheeses melt. Rennet-curdled cheeses have a gel-like protein matrix that is broken down by heat. When enough protein bonds are broken, the cheese itself turns from a solid to a viscous liquid. Soft, high-moisture cheeses will melt at around , while hard, low-moisture cheeses such as Parmesan remain solid until they reach about . Acid-set cheeses, including halloumi cheese, halloumi,
paneer Paneer (), also known as ponir () or Indian cottage cheese, is a fresh Fresh or FRESH may refer to: People *DJ Fresh Daniel Edward Stein (born 11 April 1977), better known by his stage name DJ Fresh, is an English musician, DJ and reco ...
, some whey cheeses and many varieties of fresh goat cheese, have a protein structure that remains intact at high temperatures. When cooked, these cheeses just get firmer as water evaporates. Some cheeses, like raclette, melt smoothly; many tend to become stringy or suffer from a separation of their fats. Many of these can be coaxed into melting smoothly in the presence of acids or starch. Fondue, with wine providing the acidity, is a good example of a smoothly melted cheese dish. Elastic stringiness is a quality that is sometimes enjoyed, in dishes including pizza and Welsh rarebit. Even a melted cheese eventually turns solid again, after enough moisture is cooked off. The saying "you can't melt cheese twice" (meaning "some things can only be done once") refers to the fact that oils leach out during the first melting and are gone, leaving the non-meltable solids behind. As its temperature continues to rise, cheese will Non-enzymatic browning, brown and eventually burn. Browned, partially burned cheese has a particular distinct flavor of its own and is frequently used in cooking (e.g., sprinkling atop items before baking them).


Cheeseboard

A cheeseboard (or cheese course) may be served at the end of a meal, either replacing, before or following dessert. The British tradition is to have cheese after dessert, accompanied by sweet wines like Port wine, Port. In France, cheese is consumed before dessert, with robust red wine. A cheeseboard typically has contrasting cheeses with accompaniments, such as crackers, biscuits, grapes, nuts, celery or chutney. A cheeseboard long was used to feature the variety of cheeses manufactured in Wisconsin, where the Wisconsin State Legislature, state legislature recognizes a "cheesehead" hat as a state symbol.


Nutrition and health

The nutritional value of cheese varies widely. Cottage cheese may consist of 4% fat and 11% protein while some whey cheeses are 15% fat and 11% protein, and triple-crème cheeses are 36% fat and 7% protein. In general, cheese is a rich source (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of
calcium Calcium is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elem ...

calcium
,
protein Proteins are large biomolecule , showing alpha helices, represented by ribbons. This poten was the first to have its suckture solved by X-ray crystallography by Max Perutz and Sir John Cowdery Kendrew in 1958, for which they received a No ...

protein
,
phosphorus Phosphorus is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical el ...

phosphorus
, sodium and saturated fat. A 28-gram (one ounce) serving of cheddar cheese contains about of protein and 202 milligrams of calcium. Nutritionally, cheese is essentially concentrated milk, but altered by the culturing and aging processes: it takes about of milk to provide that much protein, and to equal the calcium, though values for water-soluble vitamins and minerals can vary widely.


Cardiovascular disease

National health organizations, such as the American Heart Association, British Dietetic Association, Association of UK Dietitians, British National Health Service, and Mayo Clinic, among others, recommend that cheese consumption be minimized, replaced in snacks and meals by plant foods, or restricted to low-fat cheeses to reduce caloric intake and blood levels of high-density lipoprotein, HDL fat, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. There is no evidence-based medicine, high-quality clinical evidence that cheese consumption lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases.


Pasteurization

A number of food safety agencies around the world have warned of the risks of raw-milk cheeses. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration states that soft raw-milk cheeses can cause "serious infectious diseases including listeriosis, brucellosis, salmonellosis and tuberculosis".FDA Warns About Soft Cheese Health Risk"
. Consumer Affairs. Retrieved October 15, 2005.
It is U.S. law since 1944 that all raw-milk cheeses (including imports since 1951) must be aged at least 60 days. Australia has a wide ban on raw-milk cheeses as well, though in recent years exceptions have been made for Swiss Gruyère cheese, Gruyère, Emmental cheese, Emmental and Sbrinz, and for French Roquefort. There is a trend for cheeses to be pasteurized even when not required by law. Pregnant women may face an additional risk from cheese; the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control has warned pregnant women against eating soft-ripened cheeses and blue-veined cheeses, due to the listeria risk, which can cause miscarriage or harm the fetus.Listeria and Pregnancy.
. Retrieved February 28, 2006.


Cultural attitudes

Although cheese is a vital source of nutrition in many regions of the world and it is extensively consumed in others, its use is not universal. Cheese is rarely found in Southeast and East Asian cuisines, presumably for historical reasons as dairy farming has historically been rare in these regions. However, Asian sentiment against cheese is not universal. Paneer (pronounced [pəniːr]) is a fresh cheese common in the Indian subcontinent. It is an unaged, non-melting soft cheese made by curdling milk with a fruit- or vegetable-derived acid, such as lemon juice. Its acid-set form, (cheese curd) before pressing, is called chhena. In Nepal, the Dairy Development Corporation commercially manufactures cheese made from yak milk and a hard cheese made from either cow or yak milk known as chhurpi. The national dish of Bhutan, ema datshi, is made from homemade yak or mare (horse), mare milk cheese and hot peppers. In Yunnan,
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
, several ethnic minority groups produce Rushan (cheese), Rushan and Rubing from cow's milk. Cheese consumption may be increasing in China, with annual sales doubling from 1996 to 2003 (to a still small 30 million United States dollar, U.S. dollars a year). Certain kinds of Chinese preserved Bean curd#Fermented, bean curd are sometimes misleadingly referred to in English as "Chinese cheese" because of their texture and strong flavor. Strict followers of the dietary laws of Islam and Judaism must avoid cheeses made with
rennet Rennet () is a complex set of enzyme Enzymes () are protein Proteins are large s and s that comprise one or more long chains of . Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organisms, including , , , providing and , and f ...
from animals not slaughtered in a manner adhering to halal or kosher foods, kosher laws. Both faiths allow cheese made with vegetable-based rennet or with rennet made from animals that were processed in a halal or kosher manner. Many less orthodox Jews also believe that rennet undergoes enough processing to change its nature entirely and do not consider it to ever violate kosher law. (See ''Kosher foods#Cheese, Cheese and kashrut''.) As cheese is a dairy food, under kosher rules it cannot be eaten in the meat and milk, same meal with any meat. Rennet derived from animal slaughter, and thus cheese made with animal-derived rennet, is not vegetarianism, vegetarian. Most widely available vegetarian cheeses are made using rennet produced by fermentation of the
fungus A fungus (plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full ...

fungus
'' Mucor miehei''. Vegans and other dairy-avoiding vegetarians do not eat conventional cheese, but some vegan cheese, vegetable-based cheese substitutes (soybean, soy or almond) are used as substitutes. Collecting cheese labels is called "tyrosemiophilia".


Odorous cheeses

Even in cultures with long cheese traditions, consumers may perceive some cheeses that are especially pungent-smelling, or
mold A mold () or mould () is a fungus A fungus (plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of ...
-bearing varieties such as Limburger cheese, Limburger or Roquefort (cheese), Roquefort, as unpalatable. Such cheeses are an acquired taste because they are processed using molds or microbiological cultures, allowing odor and flavor molecules to resemble those in rotten foods. One author stated: "An aversion to the odor of decay has the obvious biological value of steering us away from possible food poisoning, so it is no wonder that an animal food that gives off whiffs of shoes and soil and the stable takes some getting used to."


Effect on sleep

There is some support from studies that dairy products can help with insomnia. Scientists have debated how cheese might affect sleep. There is some evidence that the tryptophan in cheese can be sleep-inducing, as it is a hormone that reduces stress and stabilizes nerve cells. The high levels of calcium in cheese facilitate the use of tryptophan in the body to produce melatonin, which induces sleep. An antithetical folk belief that cheese eaten close to bedtime can cause nightmares may have arisen from the Charles Dickens novella ''A Christmas Carol'', in which Ebenezer Scrooge attributes his visions of Jacob Marley to the cheese he ate. This belief can also be found in folklore that predates this story. The theory has been disproven multiple times, although night cheese may cause vivid dreams or otherwise disrupt sleep due to its high saturated fat content, according to studies by the British Cheese Board. Other studies indicate it may actually make people dream less.


Figurative expressions

In the 19th century, "cheese" was used as a figurative way of saying "the proper thing"; this usage comes from Urdu cheez "a thing," from Persian cheez, from Old Persian...ciš-ciy [which means] "something." The term "cheese" in this sense was "[p]icked up by [colonial] British in India by 1818 and [was also] used in the sense of "a big thing", for example in the expression "he's the real cheez". The expression "big cheese" was attested in use in 1914 to mean an "important person"; this is likely "American English in origin". The expression "to cut a big cheese" was used to mean "to look important"; this figurative expression referred to the huge wheels of cheese displayed by cheese retailers as a publicity stunt. The phrase "cut the cheese" also became an American slang term meaning to flatulate. The word "cheese" has also had the meaning of "an ignorant, stupid person." Other figurative meanings involve the word "cheese" used as a verb. To "cheese" is recorded as meaning to "stop (what one is doing), run off," in 1812 (this was "thieves' slang"). To be "cheesed off" means to be annoyed. The expression "say cheese" in a photograph-taking context (when the photographer wants the people to smile for the photo), which means "to smile" dates from 1930 (the word was probably chosen because the "ee" encourages people to make a smile). The verb "cheese" was used as slang for "be quiet" in the early 19th century in Britain. The fictional "...notion that the moon is made of green cheese as a type of a ridiculous assertion is from 1520s". The figurative expression "to make cheeses" is an 1830s phrase referring to schoolgirls who amuse themselves by "...wheeling rapidly so one's petticoats blew out in a circle then dropping down so they came to rest inflated and resembling a wheel of cheese". In Video game culture#Slang and terminology, video game slang "to cheese it" means to win a game by using a strategy that requires minimal skill and knowledge or that exploits a glitch or flaw in game design. The adjective "cheesy" has two meanings. The first is literal, and means "cheese-like"; this definition is attested to from the late 14th century (e.g., "a cheesy substance oozed from the broken jar"). In the late 19th century, medical writers used the term "cheesy" in a more literal sense, "to describe morbid substances found in tumors, decaying flesh, etc." The adjective also has a figurative sense, meaning "cheap, inferior"; this use "... is attested from 1896, perhaps originally U.S. student slang". In the late 19th century in British slang, "cheesy" meant "fine, showy"; this use is attested to in the 1850s. In writing lyrics for pop music, rock music or musical theatre, "cheesy" is a pejorative term which means "blatantly artificial" (''OED'').


See also

* Dutch cheese markets * List of cheese dishes * List of cheeses * List of dairy products * List of microorganisms used in food and beverage preparation * Sheep milk cheese


References


Bibliography

* * *


Further reading

* Layton, T.A. (1967) ''The ... Guide to Cheese and Cheese Cookery''. London: Wine and Food Society (reissued by the Cookery Book Club, 1971) *


External links

*
Cheese.com
– includes an extensive database of different types of cheese.

– why is one cheese type different from another?
Aged cheese preparation (English-style)
{{Authority control Cheese, Ancient dishes Condiments Dairy products Articles containing video clips Types of food