Pizza, popcorn, pasta, and a lot more on the list, but these foods will always have its common denominator that brings flavor, color, and good taste. It is what we all know today as cheese.
Cheese is one of the most famous dairy products in the world. A long way before, it has been good at serving its purpose for every human being that is to satisfy and bring a smile to every empty and hungry stomach. Ever wonder how it was first made or how it was discovered?
During ancient times, the introduction of cheese to the world was thought to arise around 8000 BC when sheep were first domesticated. Sheep are a ruminant animal where they store food in one of its four-chambered stomach. A naturally occurring stomach enzyme called rennet helps to produce cheese. This enzyme plays a indispensable role in the making of cheese, for it is used to thicken cheese in the process. Warm temperature and rennet produce a naturally curdled milk that separates into solid curds and liquid whey. These solid curds resulted in the earliest form of cheese. Salt is used for preservation.
Early Romans took delight in making and eating cheese. They were the ones to consider cheese making as a form of art. They made hard cheese for the Roman legions.
The word cheese came from the Latin word caseus, developed from the proto-Indo-European word kwat, meaning “to ferment” or “become sour.”
During the Medieval Period, varieties of cheese were first produced in Europe. With the help of a cooler climate in the Northern part of Europe, a creamier and milder cheeses were first produced with a lesser salt for preservation. The spread of cheesemaking led to the invention of aged, ripened, and blue cheeses such as what we all know today as cheddar, parmesan, and camembert cheeses.
The first cheese factory was built in 1815 in Switzerland. After establishing the first cheese factory, mass production of cheese spread rapidly after some scientists found a way on how to mass-produce the rennet.
Pasteurization is a process used to preserve and extend the shelf life of cheese. It is a process used to make soft cheese safer and preventing an outbreak of tuberculosis, salmonellosis, brucellosis, and listeriosis from raw milk. Pregnant women are warned about the intake of soft-ripened cheeses, and blue cheeses for outbreaks might still occur.
As the industrial food evolved in America, the processed cheese transpired. There were changes in how the cheese was made. Processed cheese is a mixture of ingredients such as milk, flavoring, coloring, emulsifiers, and stabilizers with natural cheese. Since then, processed cheese became the favorite cheese of the Americans. It became the most consumed cheese rather than the natural cheese because of its ability to melt easily and because of its low price.
Handmade Artisan Cheese
With the immense prosperity of the processed cheese industry, handmade artisan cheese was then put aside. But today, the classic method of cheesemaking is having its way back through small farmers and creameries in the United States. Local shops in America that specialized in cheese are once again dominated by handcrafted imported artisan cheese.