Cheese is a dairy product derived from milk that is produced in a wide
range of flavors, textures, and forms by coagulation of the milk
protein casein. It comprises proteins and fat from milk, usually the
milk of cows, buffalo, goats, or sheep. During production, the milk is
usually acidified, and adding the enzyme rennet causes coagulation.
The solids are separated and pressed into final form. Some cheeses
have molds on the rind, the outer layer, or throughout. Most cheeses
melt at cooking temperature.
Hundreds of types of cheese from various countries are produced. Their
styles, textures and flavors depend on the origin of the milk
(including the animal's diet), whether they have been pasteurized, the
butterfat content, the bacteria and mold, the processing, and aging.
Herbs, spices, or wood smoke may be used as flavoring agents. The
yellow to red color of many cheeses, such as Red Leicester, is
produced by adding annatto. Other ingredients may be added to some
cheeses, such as black pepper, garlic, chives or cranberries.
For a few cheeses, the milk is curdled by adding acids such as vinegar
or lemon juice. Most cheeses are acidified to a lesser degree by
bacteria, which turn milk sugars into lactic acid, then the addition
of rennet completes the curdling. Vegetarian alternatives to rennet
are available; most are produced by fermentation of the fungus Mucor
miehei, but others have been extracted from various species of the
Cynara thistle family. Cheesemakers near a dairy region may benefit
from fresher, lower-priced milk, and lower shipping costs.
Cheese is valued for its portability, long life, and high content of
fat, protein, calcium, and 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; labels on packets of cheese often claim
that a cheese should be consumed within three to five days of opening.
Generally speaking, hard cheeses, such as parmesan last longer than
soft cheeses, such as
Brie or goat's milk cheese. The long storage
life of some cheeses, especially when encased in a protective rind,
allows selling when markets are favorable.
There is some debate as to the best way to store cheese, but some
experts[who?] say that wrapping it in cheese paper provides optimal
Cheese paper is coated in a porous plastic on the inside, and
the outside has a layer of wax. This specific combination of plastic
on the inside and wax on the outside protects the cheese by allowing
condensation on the cheese to be wicked away while preventing moisture
from within the cheese escaping.
A specialist seller of cheese is sometimes known as a cheesemonger.
Becoming an expert in this field requires some formal education and
years of tasting and hands-on experience, much like becoming an expert
in wine or cuisine. The cheesemonger is responsible for all aspects of
the cheese inventory: selecting the cheese menu, purchasing,
receiving, storage, and ripening.
Greece and Rome
2.3 Post-Roman Europe
2.4 Modern era
6 Cooking and eating
7 Nutrition and health
Neonatal infection and death
7.2 Heart disease
8 Cultural attitudes
8.1 Figurative expressions
9 See also
12 Further reading
13 External links
Different hard cheeses
The word cheese comes from Latin caseus, from which the modern word
casein is also derived. The earliest source is from the
proto-Indo-European root *kwat-, which means "to ferment, become
sour". The word cheese comes from chese (in Middle English) and cīese
or cēse (in Old English). Similar words are shared by other West
Germanic languages—West Frisian tsiis, Dutch kaas, German Käse, Old
High German chāsi—all from the reconstructed West-Germanic form
*kāsī, which in turn is an early borrowing from Latin.
Online Etymological Dictionary
Online Etymological Dictionary 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
Old High German chasi, German
Käse, Middle Dutch case, Dutch kaas), from Latin caseus [for]
"cheese" (source of Italian cacio, Spanish queso, Irish caise, Welsh
Online Etymological Dictionary
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 ostr, Danish ost, Swedish ost are related to Latin ius "broth,
When the Romans began to make hard cheeses for their legionaries'
supplies, a new word started to be used: formaticum, from caseus
formatus, or "molded cheese" (as in "formed", not "moldy"). It is from
this word that the French fromage, proper Italian formaggio, Catalan
formatge, Breton fourmaj, and
Occitan fromatge (or formatge) are
derived. Of the Romance languages, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian,
Tuscan and Southern Italian dialects use words derived from caseus
(queso, queijo, caș and caso for example). The word cheese itself is
occasionally employed in a sense that means "molded" or "formed". 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
Main article: History of cheese
A piece of soft curd cheese, oven-baked to increase longevity
Cheese is an ancient food whose origins predate recorded history.
There is no conclusive evidence indicating where cheesemaking
originated, either in Europe,
Central Asia or the Middle East, but the
practice had spread within
Europe prior to Roman times and, according
to Pliny the Elder, had become a sophisticated enterprise by the time
the Roman Empire came into being.
Earliest proposed dates for the origin of cheesemaking range from
around 8000 BCE, when sheep were first domesticated. 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 and whey by the rennet from the stomach.
The earliest evidence of cheese-making in the archaeological record
dates back to 5,500 BCE, in what is now Kujawy, Poland, where
strainers with milk fats 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 evidence of
Egyptian cheese has been found in Egyptian
tomb murals, dating to about 2000 BCE.
The earliest cheeses were likely to have been quite sour and salty,
similar in texture to rustic cottage cheese or 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 microbes and molds, giving aged cheeses their respective
flavors. The earliest ever discovered preserved cheese was found in
the Taklamakan Desert in Xinjiang, China, and it dates back as early
as 1615 BCE.
There is a legend – with variations – about the
discovery of cheese by an Arab trader who used this method of storing
Greece and Rome
Cheese in a market in Italy
Greek mythology credited
Aristaeus with the discovery of
Odyssey (8th century BCE) describes the
and storing sheep's and goats' milk cheese (translation by Samuel
We soon reached his cave, but he was out shepherding, so we went
inside and took stock of all that we could see. His cheese-racks were
loaded with cheeses, and he had more lambs and kids than his pens
When he had so done he sat down and milked his ewes and goats, all in
due course, and then let each of them have her own young. He curdled
half the milk and set it aside in wicker strainers.
By Roman times, cheese was an everyday food and cheesemaking a mature
art. Columella's De Re Rustica (circa 65 CE) details a cheesemaking
process involving rennet coagulation, pressing of the curd, salting,
and aging. Pliny's 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, but did not keep long and had to be eaten fresh. Cheeses of
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's similar cheeses by
smoking. Of cheeses from overseas, Pliny preferred those of Bithynia
in Asia Minor.
Tacuinum sanitatis Casanatensis (14th century)
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'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.
Cheese Board claims that Britain has approximately 700
distinct local cheeses;
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 de Gaulle 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 today were first recorded in the late
Middle Ages or after—cheeses like Cheddar around 1500,
1597, Gouda in 1697, and Camembert in 1791.
In 1546 The Proverbs of
John Heywood claimed "the moon is made of a
greene 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 exploited this myth for an April Fools'
Day spoof announcement in 2006.
Cheese display in grocery store,
Cambridge, Massachusetts in United
Until its modern spread along with European culture, cheese was nearly
unheard of in east Asian cultures, in the pre-Columbian Americas, and
only had 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
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, New York, who in 1851 started making cheese in
an assembly-line 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 era, and factories have been the source of most cheese in America
Europe ever since.
Production of cheese – 2014
From whole cow milk
Production (millions of tonnes)
FAOSTAT of the United Nations
In 2014, world production of cheese from whole cow milk was 18.7
million tonnes, with the
United States accounting for 29% (5.4 million
tonnes) of the world total followed by Germany,
major producers (table).
Other 2014 world totals for processed cheese include:
from skimmed cow milk, 2.4 million tonnes (leading country, Germany,
from goat milk, 523,040 tonnes (leading country, South Sudan, 110,750
from sheep milk, 680,302 tonnes (leading country, Greece, 125,000
from buffalo milk, 282,127 tonnes (leading country, Egypt, 254,000
During 2015, Germany, France,
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
France, Iceland, Finland, Denmark and
Germany were the highest
consumers of cheese in 2014, averaging 25 kg (55 lb) per
Main article: Cheesemaking
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During industrial production of Emmental cheese, the as-yet-undrained
curd is broken by rotating mixers.
A required step in cheesemaking is separating the milk into solid
curds and liquid whey. Usually this is done by acidifying (souring)
the milk and adding rennet. The acidification can be accomplished
directly by the addition of an acid, such as vinegar, in a few cases
(paneer, queso fresco). More commonly starter bacteria are employed
instead which convert milk sugars into lactic acid. The same bacteria
(and the enzymes they produce) also play a large role in the eventual
flavor of aged cheeses. Most cheeses are made with starter bacteria
from the Lactococcus, Lactobacillus, or Streptococcus families. Swiss
starter cultures also include Propionibacter shermani, which produces
carbon dioxide gas bubbles during aging, giving
Swiss cheese or
Emmental its holes (called "eyes").
Some fresh cheeses are curdled only by acidity, but most cheeses also
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
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
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.
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
35–55 °C (95–131 °F). 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
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 proteins. Some cheeses
are salted from the outside with dry salt or brine washes. Most
cheeses have the salt mixed directly into the curds.
Cheese factory in the Netherlands
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, 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, Gouda, 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.
Parmigiano-Reggiano in a modern factory
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 milkfat into a complex mix of
amino acids, amines, and fatty acids.
Some cheeses have additional bacteria or molds 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 and Camembert, blue
cheeses such as Roquefort, Stilton, Gorgonzola, and rind-washed
cheeses such as Limburger.
Main article: Types of cheese
Maccagno cheese is from Italy
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.
Moisture content (soft to hard)
Categorizing cheeses by firmness is a common but inexact practice. The
lines between "soft", "semi-soft", "semi-hard", and "hard" are
arbitrary, and many types of cheese are made in softer or firmer
variations. The main factor that controls cheese hardness is moisture
content, which depends largely on the pressure with which it is packed
into molds, and on aging time.
Fresh, whey and stretched curd cheeses
The main factor in the categorization of these cheeses is their age.
Fresh cheeses without additional preservatives can spoil in a matter
Content (double cream, goat, ewe and water buffalo)
Some cheeses are categorized by the source of the milk used to produce
them or by the added fat content of the milk from which they are
produced. While most of the world's commercially available cheese is
made from cows' milk, many parts of the world also produce cheese from
goats and sheep. Double cream cheeses are soft cheeses of cows' milk
enriched with cream so that their fat content is 60% or, in the case
of triple creams, 75%. The use of the terms "double" or "triple" is
not meant to give a quantitative reference to the change in fat
content, since the fat content of whole cows' milk is 3%-4%.
Soft-ripened and blue-vein
There are at least three main categories of cheese in which the
presence of mold is a significant feature: soft ripened cheeses,
washed rind cheeses and blue cheeses.
Processed cheese is made from traditional cheese and emulsifying
salts, often with the addition of milk, more salt, preservatives, and
food coloring. It is inexpensive, consistent, and melts smoothly. It
is sold packaged and either pre-sliced or unsliced, in a number of
varieties. It is also available in aerosol cans in some countries.
Cooking and eating
Zigerbrüt, cheese grated onto bread through a mill, from the Canton
of Glarus in Switzerland.
Saganaki, lit on fire, served in Chicago.
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 26–32 °C (79–90 °F), 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 55 °C (131 °F), while hard, low-moisture cheeses
Parmesan remain solid until they reach about 82 °C
(180 °F). Acid-set cheeses, including halloumi, paneer, 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 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).
A cheeseboard (or cheese course) may be served at the end of a meal,
either replacing or following dessert. A cheeseboard typically
comprises portions of contrasting cheese with accompaniments such as
crackers, grapes, nuts, celery and chutney. Port or other dessert
wines may be served with a cheeseboard.
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, protein, phosphorus, sodium and saturated
fat. A 28-gram (one ounce) serving of cheddar cheese contains about 7
grams (0.25 oz) of protein and 202 milligrams of calcium.
Nutritionally, cheese is essentially concentrated milk: it takes about
200 grams (7.1 oz) of milk to provide that much protein, and 150
grams (5.3 oz) to equal the calcium.
MacroNutrients (grams) of common cheeses per 100gm
Vitamin contents in %DV of common cheeses per 100gm
Mineral contents in %DV of common cheeses per 100 grams
 Ch. = Choline; Ca = Calcium; Fe = Iron; Mg = Magnesium; P =
Phosphorus; K = Potassium; Na = Sodium; Zn = Zinc; Cu = Copper; Mn =
Manganese; Se = Selenium;
Note : All nutrient values including protein are in %DV per
100 grams of the food item except for Macronutrients. Source :
Neonatal infection and death
Cheese has the potential for promoting the growth of Listeria
Listeria monocytogenes can also cause serious infection in
an infant and pregnant woman and can be transmitted to her infant in
utero or after birth. The infection has the potential of seriously
harming or even causing the death of a preterm infant, an infant of
low or very low birth weight, or an infant with an immune system
deficiency or a congenital defect of the immune system. The presence
of this pathogen can sometimes be determined by the symptoms that
appear as a gastrointestinal illness in the mother. The mother can
also acquire infection from ingesting food that contains other animal
products such as, unpasteurized milk, delicatessen meats, and hot
Average cheese consumption and rates of mortality due to
cardiovascular disease or diabetes
A review of the medical literature published in 2012 noted that:
Cheese consumption is the leading contributor of SF (saturated fat)
in the U.S. diet, and therefore would be predicted to increase LDL-C
(LDL cholesterol) and consequently increase the risk of CVD
(cardiovascular disease)." It found that: "Based on results from
numerous prospective observational studies and meta-analyses, most,
but not all, have shown no association and in some cases an inverse
relationship between the intake of milk fat containing dairy products
and the risk of CVD, CHD (coronary heart disease), and stroke. A
limited number of prospective cohort studies found no significant
association between the intake of total full-fat dairy products and
the risk of CHD or stroke....Most clinical studies showed that
full-fat natural cheese, a highly fermented product, significantly
lowers LDL-C compared with butter intake of equal total fat and
saturated fat content."
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". 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, 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 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.
A cheese merchant in a French market
A traditional Polish sheep's cheese market in Zakopane, Poland
Although cheese is a vital source of nutrition in many regions of the
world and 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. In Nepal, the
Dairy Development Corporation
commercially manufactures cheese made from yak milk and a hard cheese
made from either cow or yak milk knows as chhurpi. The national
dish of Bhutan, ema datshi, is made from homemade yak or mare milk
cheese and hot peppers. In Yunnan, China, several ethnic minority
groups produce 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 U.S. dollars a
year). Certain kinds of Chinese preserved 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
Judaism must avoid
cheeses made with rennet from animals not slaughtered in a manner
adhering to halal or 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
Cheese and kashrut.) As cheese is a dairy food, under kosher rules it
cannot be eaten in the same meal with any meat.
Rennet derived from animal slaughter, and thus cheese made with
animal-derived rennet, is not vegetarian. Most widely available
vegetarian cheeses are made using rennet produced by fermentation of
the fungus Mucor miehei. Vegans and other dairy-avoiding
vegetarians do not eat conventional cheese, but some vegetable-based
cheese substitutes (soy or almond) are used as substitutes.
Even in cultures with long cheese traditions, consumers may perceive
some cheeses that are especially pungent-smelling, or mold-bearing
varieties such as Limburger or 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."
Collecting cheese labels is called "tyrosemiophilia".
In the 19th century, "cheese" was used as a figurative way of saying
"the proper thing"; this usage comes "from Urdu chiz "a thing," from
Persian chiz, 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 chiz". 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
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 wishes 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 slang "to cheese somebody" 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
Dutch cheese markets
List of cheeses
List of cheese dishes
List of dairy products
List of microorganisms used in food and beverage preparation
Sheep milk cheese
^ Fankhauser, David B. (2007). "Fankhauser's
Cheese Page". Archived
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^ Gray, Joe (July 15, 2014). "
Cheese Paper: How It Saves Your Cheese".
^ Jones, G. Stephen (January 29, 2013). "Conversation with a
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^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "cheese". Online Etymology
^ "The History Of Cheese: From An Ancient Nomad's Horseback To Today's
Cheese Cart". The Nibble. Lifestyle Direct, Inc. Retrieved
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^ Subbaraman, Nidhi (December 12, 2012). "Art of cheese-making is
7,500 years old". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2012.12020.
^ "History of Cheese". www.gol27.com. Retrieved December 23,
^ Watson, Traci (February 25, 2014). "Oldest
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Retrieved February 25, 2015.
^ Jenny Ridgwell, Judy Ridgway, Food around the World, (1986) Oxford
University Press, ISBN 0-19-832728-5
Cheese homepage". British
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^ Quoted in Newsweek, October 1, 1962 according to The Columbia
Dictionary of Quotations (Columbia University Press, 1993
ISBN 0-231-07194-9, p. 345). Numbers besides 246 are often cited
in very similar quotes; whether these are misquotes or whether de
Gaulle repeated the same quote with different numbers is unclear.
^ Smith, John H. (1995).
Cheesemaking in Scotland – A History. The
Dairy Association. ISBN 0-9525323-0-1. . Full text
(Archived link), Chapter with cheese timetable (Archived link).
^ Cecil Adams (1999). "Straight Dope: How did the moon=green cheese
myth start?".. Retrieved October 15, 2005.
^ Nemiroff, R.; Bonnell, J., eds. (April 1, 2006). "Hubble Resolves
Expiration Date For Green
Cheese Moon". Astronomy Picture of the Day.
NASA. Retrieved October 8, 2009.
^ Thom, Charles (1918). The Book of Cheese. New York: The Macmillan
^ "History of Cheese". traditionalfrenchfood.com.
^ a b c "World production of cheese (from whole cow milk) in 2014;
Browse Data/Livestock Processed/World Regions/Production Quantity from
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization,
Statistics Division (FAOSTAT). 2017. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
^ a b Workman, Daniel (12 April 2016). "
Cheese Exports by Country in
2015". World's Top Exports. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
Cheese Consumption – Kilograms per Capita". Canadian Dairy
Information Centre. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
^ a b "Chymosin". GMO Compass. Archived from the original on March 26,
2015. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
^ a b c Patrick F. Fox (2000). Fundamentals of cheese science.
Springer. p. 388. ISBN 978-0-8342-1260-2.
^ Patrick F. Fox (1999-02-28). Cheese: chemistry, physics and
microbiology, Volume 1. Springer, 1999. p. 1.
ISBN 978-0-8342-1338-8. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
^ "Classification of cheese types using calcium and pH".
www.dairyscience.info. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
^ Barbara Ensrud, (1981) The Pocket Guide to Cheese, Lansdowne
Press/Quarto Marketing Ltd., ISBN 0-7018-1483-7
^ "Classification of Cheese". www.egr.msu.edu. Archived from the
original on November 24, 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
^ a b c d McGee, Harold (2004). On Food and Cooking: The Science and
Lore of the Kitchen. Scribner. ISBN 978-0-684-80001-1.
^ "How to eat: cheese and biscuits". The Guardian. 27 June 2012.
Retrieved 3 January 2017.
^ a b c "Nutrition facts for various cheeses per 100 g".
Nutritiondata.com. Conde Nast; republished from the USDA National
Nutrient Database, version SR-21. 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
Listeria (Listeriosis)". Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. 22 October 2015. Retrieved 2015-12-23.
^ Huth, Peter J.; Park, Keigan M. (2012). "Influence of dairy product
and milk fat consumption on cardiovascular disease risk: a review of
the evidence". Advances in Nutrition. 3 (3): 266–85.
doi:10.3945/an.112.002030. PMC 3649459 .
^ FDA Warns About Soft
Cheese Health Risk". Consumer Affairs.
Retrieved October 15, 2005.
^ Chris Mercer (September 23, 2005). "
Australia lifts Roquefort cheese
safety ban". ap-foodtechnology.com. Archived from the original on June
27, 2006. Retrieved October 22, 2005.
Listeria and Pregnancy.. Retrieved February 28, 2006.
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on Composition of Nepalese Cheeses,
Milk Science. 46 (2).
^ "How to Make Ema Datshi-the National Dish of Bhutan". Inspiria
^ Allen, Barry; Allen, Silvia. "
Mozzarella of the East (Cheese-making
and Bai culture)" (PDF). Ethnorêma.
^ Buckman, Rebecca (2003). "Let Them Eat Cheese". Far Eastern Economic
Review. 166 (49): 41.
^ "Frequently Asked Questions about
Halal Foods". Toronto Public
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October 15, 2005.
^ a b Mauseth, James D (2012). Plants and People. Jones & Bartlett
Publishers. p. 432. ISBN 978-0-7637-8550-5.
^ Hui YH, Meunier-Goddik L, Josephsen J, Nip WK, Stanfield PS (2004).
Handbook of Food and Beverage
Fermentation Technology: Food Science
and Technology (Marcel Dekker), Vol 134. CRC Press. pp. 392–3.
Cheese label". Virtualroom.de. Archived from the original on April
4, 2009. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
^ dictionary.com. "Article to Cheesed". dictionary.com. Retrieved July
Listen to this article (info/dl)
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Ensrud, Barbara (1981). The Pocket Guide to Cheese. Sydney: Lansdowne
Press. ISBN 0-7018-1483-7.
Jenkins, Steven (1996).
Cheese Primer. Workman Publishing Company.
Mellgren, James (2003). "2003 Specialty
Cheese Manual, Part II:
Knowing the Family of Cheese". Retrieved October 12,
2005. [permanent dead link]
Layton, T. A. (1967) The ... Guide to
London: Wine and Food Society (reissued by the Cookery Book Club,
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