Moooove over whiners! June 4 is National Cheese Day!
An encyclopedia of cheese will cover the alphabet and broaden your vocabulary. It will undoubtedly contain more varieties of cheese than what’s found at the local grocer. Cheese is produced from the pressed curds of milk. The milk can come from cows, buffalo, goats or sheep. Temperature and aging affect the flavor and texture of the cheese as well as spices and other seasonings added during the process.
- Italy’s Credem Bank takes Parmesan cheese from local producers in exchange for cheap loans (charging 3-5% interest, depending on quality) & a fee ensuring the cheese matures properly (2 yrs) in the bank vault (cheese is sold if the loan defaults). Around 430,000 parmesan wheels ($200M+) are stored there.
- When cheese is digested, it breaks down into an opioid. Other opioids you may know about are heroin and morphine.
- American Cheese cannot be legally sold as “cheese” in the United States. It must instead be labeled as “cheese product,” “cheese food,” or “American Singles,” since its manufacturing process varies so significantly from that of other cheeses.
- Philadelphia cream cheese is named after a village in upstate New York, not the famous Pennsylvania city.
- Gouda accounts for over half of the world’s cheese consumption.
- The French have a different cheese for every day of the year. Cheese experts estimate the total number of different French cheeses is around 1000.
- The oldest known cheese was from 1615 BC in China and resembles cottage cheese.
- Moose cheese costs around $420 per pound, since each milking takes two hours, and must be done in complete silence.
- Pule cheese is the world’s most expensive cheese and it comes from the milk of Balkan donkeys from Serbia. It’s valued at $600 per pound; it’s so expensive because there are only ~100 jennies (female donkeys) that are milked for pule-making. It takes 3 gallons of milk to create 1 pound of cheese.
- If a cheese is named after a city (or country-hello, American!), it’s capitalized. Examples include Asiago, Brie, Camembert, Gouda, Gruyere and Parmesan. (I’d love to live in the city of Parmesan!) Cheeses that aren’t capitalized include cheddar, feta, fontina, mozarella and provolone.
- Cheese was discovered by accident by ancients carrying milk in the stomach linings of animals.