On National Cheese Lover’s Day, don’t feel bleu, throw a feta or act capricious. January 20th is a gouda day to kummin over and have some cheddar or asiago or fontina!
- There is no firm evidence of how cheese making was discovered. but legend tells us it was likely by chance that someone created the first cheese. Thousands of years ago, people transported milk and stored it in sheep stomachs. Left to sit a few days, the proteins would separate into curds and whey.
- From there, preserving the solids with salt may have seemed a logical next step. Salt was a highly valued preservative in ancient times.
- The earliest record of cheese making dates back to 5,500 BCE in what is now Poland.
- Today there are over 2,000 varieties of cheese.
- Cheeses are more flavorful at room temperature. Let them stand for a half-hour before serving.
- Cheese is an ancient food whose origins predate recorded history.
- Some studies claim that cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss and American cheeses can help to prevent tooth decay.
- A study by the British Cheese Board in 2005 showed cheese has positive effects on sleep, not nightmares as Ebeneser Scrooge seemed to think.
- The most recognizable characteristic of Swiss cheese is its holes which punctuate the pale yellow exterior. These holes, also called “eyes,” are caused by the expansion of gas within the cheese curd during the ripening period.
- The first cheese factory to make cheese from scratch was started in Rome, New York in 1851 by Jesse Williams.
- The terms “Big Wheel” and “Big Cheese” originally referred to those who were wealthy enough to purchase a whole wheel of cheese.
- Processed American cheese was developed in 1915 by J. L. Kraft (founder of Kraft Foods) as an alternative to the traditional cheeses that had a short shelf life.
- Grilled cheese sandwiches originally showed up in America during the 1920s
- Almost 90% of all cheese sold in the United States is classified as a Cheddar type cheese.
- Pizza Hut uses about 300 million pounds of cheese per year.
- In 2016, scientists and experts named Vieux Boulogne as the smelliest cheese. The scientists and experts at Cranfield University in Bedford used an electronic nose device and a panel of human testers to carry out the test. The cheese which comes from Boulogne Sur Mer in Northern France is a soft cheese and beat 14 other kinds of cheese.
- More cheese is produced than the combined worldwide production of coffee, chocolate and tea put together. A mighty 20 million metric tons of cheese are produced worldwide each year.
- The people of Greece are the largest consumers of cheese in the world and eat around 27.3kg (60.1 pounds) of the stuff every year. Their firm favorite being feta.