The history of Cheese Ball Day starts at an unusual point in history, when the first cheese ball appeared at perhaps the most unexpected place, the White House. You see, in 1801, there was a farmer by the name of Elisha Brown Jr., who was seeking to present an unusual gift to then President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. So it was that an unbelievably massive ball of cheese wound up on the White House lawn. How massive? 1,235 pounds. Little wonder that it became known as “The Mammoth Cheese”.
From that point it disappeared into culinary history for nearly 150 years, surfacing in a book by Virginia Safford called Food of My Friends. In this book, a recipe was included for the Cheese Ball, and it wasn’t long after that it found itself a staple of cuisine. “Cuisine?” we hear you ask? That rather requires that there is more than one variation, doesn’t it? If you’re like most people, you’ve probably only seen the variety that’s rolled in toasted almonds. Believe it or not, there are hundreds of varieties of cheese balls available for every imaginable occasion!
- The term “cheese ball” can also refer to the puffed air orange snack that can be purchased in the snack aisle.
- The earliest mention was found in a 1944 cookbook called “Food of My Friends”. The recipe came from a Minnesota housewife.
- A “cheese ball” also refers to someone trying to be funny or corny.
- Cheese is one of the oldest foods in history, dating back 4000 years to the ancient Egyptians.
- Cheese is a generic term for a diverse group of milk-based food products. Cheese is produced throughout the world in wide-ranging flavors, textures, and forms. There are over 2000 varieties.
- Cheddar cheese is dyed orange to give it an appealing color. White cheddar is closer to its natural color.
- Cheese takes up about 1/10 the volume of the milk it was made from.
- The terms “Big Wheel” and “Big Cheese” originally referred to those who were wealthy enough to purchase a whole wheel of cheese.