The Curious Case of Cheese


After doing some lengthy research, here is a list of the most interesting tidbits about cheese, that might be “news” to many…

From a Variety of Sources

Although the milk used in cheese-making commonly uses the milk of cows, milk involved the this process can also come from other animals such as sheep, goats, horses, buffaloes, camels, donkeys and moose. Although a rare type of milk used in making cheese, moose milk is made on farms native to Sweden and can be a bit challenging given the short lactation period of the moose.

Photo Credit: Alexis Negranti

When it Rome, Eat Cheese

One of the unknown facts about the Romans was their love of cheese. Romans that had larger end homes dedicated a room in the house as a special kitchen specifically for the purpose of cheese-making, which was called a Careale. As part of their custom, the Romans used the Careale to smoke the cheese as a means to add flavor and more importantly, to preserve it. Each state of the, then, Roman Empire, began creating their own customized cheese, native to their state, as the Roman Empire expanded through the centuries.

Maggot Cheese?!?!

Sounds disgusting, right? In anyone’s right mind, yes, you’d easily pass up the offer of eating cheese with maggots without a second though. But, there are folks that love the cheese and will swear that it is just the “bee’s knees”. The Cheese is called Cazu Marzu and is made from the likes of sheep’s milk, with an extra ingredient that, well… is unique, the “cheese fly”. Once in the cheese, the cheese flies will lay eggs, hatching and becoming maggots over time, causing the cheese to decompose, partially. I could go on with further detail of this cheese, but I think we all get the big picture here and I would rather not have you lose your lunch after reading this. Cazu Marzu is a delicacy in Sardinia, but illegal to eat due to its obvious nature and risk of health. Who would’ve thought you would need to sign over your will before eating a cheese… pass!

Do You Fancy Cheese

As there is an app for almost everything these days, there is a term for everything as well. In this case, the term that is coined for a true connoisseur and love of cheese is called a “Turophile”.

What Is That Smell???

Vieux Boulogne is a cheese native to France, made from cows’ milk and washed beer. Huh? Yes, washed beer. It is believed to be the cheese with the most potent smell on the planet. Limburger, you have company. Two other cheese that have a comparable pungent aroma are washed rine cheese and Stinking Bishop, a cheese native to England made from fermented pear juice. Just remember, a pungent cheese does not mean it has poor flavor.

Photo Credit: noodlepie via photopin cc

An Explosion Of Flavor

Unbeknownst to many is the oddity that while many dairy products are at their best quality when cooled, cheese is the polar opposite in the dairy family as it is at its best taste when eaten at room temperature as it has the most flavor when not chilled.

Cheesy Countries

When you think of nations that consume the most cheese, you’re thinking the United States has to be at the top. Wrong, the United States doesn’t even crack the top 3. The nations that lead in cheese consumption are: Greece, France and Iceland.

 

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