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There Are 60 Master Cheesemakers In The US…Every One Of Them Lives In Wisconsin

Moooove over whiners! June 4th 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.

  • 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.
  • Archaeological surveys show that cheese was being made from the milk of cows and goats in Mesopotamia before 6000 B.C
  • 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.
  • Wisconsin produces around 2.6 billion pounds of Cheese each year. – Source
  • Legend has it the first cheese was created accidentally, by storing milk in a container lined with an animal’s stomach. An enzyme from the stomach caused the milk to separate into liquid (whey) and solids (curd).
  • Over 25% of cheese in the U.S. is made in Wisconsin (the rest comes mostly from California, Idaho and New York). More than half the nation’s artisan cheese is made in Wisconsin.
  • Because of safety concerns related to bacteria, the FDA has banned certain cheeses from entering the United States. These include cheeses made with raw milk and aged under 60 days, including Brie de Meaux, Reblochon, Valencay, Epoisses, Roquefort and Camembert de Normandie.
  • Despite popular belief, mice actually don’t like cheese. Given the choice, they prefer sweets and carbs.
  • There are more than 2000 varieties of cheese available worldwide, mozzarella is the favorite around the globe, and the most consumed.
  • There are 60 Master Cheesemakers in the United States…and every one of them lives in Wisconsin
  • People of Greece are the largest consumers of cheese worldwide. An average person from Greece consumes around 27.3 kg of cheese every year, about ¾ of which is feta cheese.
  • Cheese production around the globe is more than the combined worldwide production of coffee, tobacco, tea, and cocoa beans.
  • The first cheese factory was established in Switzerland in 1815, however successful mass production began in 1851 in the United States.
  • Some varieties of cheese like mozzarella, cheddar, Swiss and American, help prevent tooth decay. It promotes the flow of saliva which leads to elimination of sugar and acids from the mouth.
  • U.S. per capita cheese consumption is about 34 pounds per person—that’s more than one full ton of cheese during the average lifetime. The French eat the most cheese, putting away an average of 57 pounds per person a year.
  • The most popular cheese recipe in America? Mac and cheese.   
  • Cheese wheels exist for a reason: traditional European cheesemakers realized they could roll their wares around instead of trying to carry it all.
  • People who love cheese are called turophiles.
  • The most stolen food item in the world is cheese, with 4% of all cheese being sold end up stolen. – Source
  • When cheese is digested, it breaks down into an opioid. Other opioids you may know about are heroin and morphine. – Source
  • Philadelphia cream cheese is named after a village in upstate New York, not the famous Pennsylvania city. – Source
  • Gouda accounts for over half of the world’s cheese consumption. – Source
  • ‘Cheese’ comes from the Latin word ‘caseus’, which has been found to mean ‘to ferment/to sour’.
  • The Ancient Greeks credit the mythological hero Aristaeus, who discovered feta cheese, which is still widely used in Greek cuisine.
  • Collecting cheese labels is known as ‘tyrosemiophilia’.


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