Some Cheesy Facts About Cheese

Some cheesy facts about cheese

Who doesn’t like cheese? With all of the different kinds of the tasty food item and the infinite variety of uses in cuisine, cheese is an indispensable staple in the kitchens of the best chefs of the world.

Grab a thick slice of your favorite cheese and brush up on these cheesy facts:

Cheese classification
Click on image to learn about different types of cheese.
  • Cheese comes from the Latin word caseus, meaning “to ferment” or “to sour.”
  • Cheese comes in a number of varieties, but there is no universally-accepted method of classification. Among the varieties are blue, hard, pasta filata, processed, semi-hard, semi-soft, soft and fresh, and soft-ripened.
  • Within each of the varieties of cheese, there are multiple types. All told, there are nearly 2,000 different types of cheese. For a list of the different type, along with a description of each, go here.
  • Among the more popular types of cheese are American, Bel Paese, Bresse Bleu, Brie, Caerphilly, Camembert, Cheddar, Chesire, Cottage Cheese, Cream Cheese, Danish Blue, Demi-Sel, Derby, Dunlop, Double Gloucester, Edam, Emmenthal, Gjestost, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyère, Lancashire, Leicester, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Port Salut, Roquefort, Samsoe, St. Paulin, Stilton, Tome au Raisin, and Wensleydale.
  • If your passion is collecting cheese labels, there is a name for what you do. It is called “tyrosemiophilia.”
  • Cheese is made from milk, but you don’t have to be particularly picky about the source of the milk. Cheese has been made from the milk of cows, buffalos, goats, sheep, horses, and camels.
  • Cheese is made by boiling milk before the curds and liquid whey is separated. Rennet, an enzyme found in the stomach of mammals, is then added.
  • Some cheeses can be curdled by adding lemon juice or vinegar.
  • The yellow to red coloring of cheese comes from the Annah to, seeds of tropical trees.
  • Cheese Rolling is an annual event in Gloucester, England. Contestants chase an 8-pound wheel of Double Gloucester cheese down a hill. The person who gets to the bottom of the hill first and ahead of the cheese wins the cheese and a cash prize.
  • There are many types of cheese such as hard cheese, soft cheese, cream cheese, and processed cheese, all which can be used in cooking.
  • Hard cheeses have a longer shelf live than soft cheeses.
  • Blue cheese, which has distinctive smells and tastes, have blue veins running through, which is caused by piercing the cheese and its crust with stainless steel needles and copper wires, to allow air into the product.
  • Cheese production can be dated back to 8000 BC when sheep when first domesticated.
  • The Ancient Greeks credit the mythological hero Aristaeus for the discovery of feta cheese.
  • The United States is the top producer of cheese, with nearly 6,000 metric tons per year. Germany is second, with over 2,700 metric tons, followed by France, with nearly 1,900 metric tons.
  • Worldwide, more than 22,600 metric tons of cheese is produced annually.
  • Although the USA is the top producer of cheese, it doesn’t even make the top ten in terms of consumption. The top ten cheese-eating countries, in terms of pounds of cheese consumed per person, are:
  1. France – 57.9 pounds per year
  2. Germany – 53.2 pounds per year
  3. Luxembourg – 53.2 pounds per year
  4. Iceland – 53.2 pounds per year
  5. Greece – 51.5 pounds per year
  6. Finland – 49.5 pounds per year
  7. Italy – 48 pounds per year
  8. Switzerland – 48 pounds per year
  9. Estonia – 45.8 pounds per year
  10. Netherlands – 42.7 pounds per year
  • A seller of cheese is known as a ‘cheesemonger’.
  • Vegetarians eat vegetable based cheeses, which are usually almond or soy based
  • A New York dairy farmer once sent President Andrew Jackson a 1,400 cheese wheel as a Christmas gift in 1836. It was made from the milk of 150 cows. Jackson left it in the entrance hall of the White House for a year to age (and because no one really knew what to do with it). On March 3, 1837, the President offered the cheese to the public. It was consumed in under two hours, but the smell of cheese lingered for months.
  • In the 1960s, an inventor created cheese-filtered cigarettes as an alternative to charcoal.
  • The cheese slicer was not invented until 1925.
  • Illinois law prohibits taking a nap in a cheese factory.
  • Casu marzu is an Italian cheese that contains live maggots.

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