Saturday, January 21, 2012

Jan. 20th: Cheese Lover's Day!!!

 When I noticed it was National Cheese Lover's Day I was ecstatic! I LOVE cheese & so I thought I'd post a little entry devoted to this love.

A little history & facts that you may not know:
  •  Long, long time ago: The first cheese made can't really be pin-pointed to a certain location, however  some of the oldest cheesemaking comes from Europe, Central Asia, Middle East, & even Egypt. Some say it began around the time of the domestication of sheep & goats in 8000 BCE.                           Point being...Cheese has been around a while.
  •  1848: The term 'Cottage Cheese' was first used as the cheese was made in cottages from the milk left over from making butter.
  • 1872: The first American cream cheese was made in New York.
  • 1880: 'Philadelphia' became the brand name for American cream cheese. Currently, the USDA requires it has a minimum of 33% milk fat... YUM!
  • 1903: J.L. Kraft started a wholesale door-to-door cheese business in Chicago. His first year of operations didn't go so well as he lost $3000 & a horse. As we all know that didn't last long. In 1914, there were 31 varieties of cheese in Kraft's company. Today, Kraft has expanded to 150 brands & more than 40 of those brands are 100 years old.
  • 1911: Processed cheese was invented by Walter Gerber of Switzerland only in...
  • 1916: J.L.Kraft had a patent on his precessed cheese method in America.
  • 1918: Velveeta was made! Hello non-refrigerated cheeses!!!
  • 1930s: That famous, yummy Kraft Macaroni & Cheese came along
  • 1950: Packaged, sliced cheese
  • 1975: The can for Easy Cheese was invented by a Swiss engineer, Jean Hardt. It's not an aerosol can either, there's a whole other process for which this can squirts that star shaped string onto crackers.
  • Korbaciky from Slovakia
  • 1980s-1990s: String Cheese became a popular snack it the U.S. & it's base is mainly mozzarella & comes in that 6inch tube shape & when you pull it, it strings!!! When looking up this wonderful snack I found other 'string cheeses' that I had no idea about. For instance, in Slovakia, a traditional string cheese is called Korbaciky. It is made with sheep milk & by hand pulling steamed sheep cheese into strings & braiding them. In Armenia, traditional string cheese is made with a white base & milk from an older goat or sheep. It includes a black cumin & a Middle-Eastern spice call mahleb & it comes in the form of a braided endless loop. It's also made by being pulled in processing. Another cheese that's processed this way comes from Syria. 

How many cheese are there in the world? This question, no matter where I looked the answer was always different. There are so many things to take into consideration in determining a cheese.... the age, the milk, the processing, etc. Needless to say the world of cheese is endless & I LOVE IT!

What's my favorite cheese? Oh buddy, that's a good question. Well, my top two would have to be Muenster (a soft-washed, cow milk cheese from the U.S) & Provolone (a semi-hard, cow milk cheese from Italy). I also like Havarti (a semi-soft, cow milk cheese from Denmark). Then again who doesn't love a good ole Cheddar (a semi-hard, cows milk cheese originally from England). I like any cheddar, smoked, mild, sharp, yellow or white.
One story I have of a cheese is from when my friend Kelsey & I were in Switzerland. The people we were staying with took us to his grandmothers house in the valley. She was very old fashioned, had her cows living right next to her, which gave her milk for her home made cheese, milk, & butter.  She sat us down for drinks, bread, & cheese...even though we couldn't understand a word she was saying, I will never forget that amazing experience.

I could go on & on about cheese. If you want to learn more about cheese or just want to look up a certain flavor, go to This site is great! You can search cheeses by milk, country, or name. It also has other processing information & they are starting to add a recipe section!

What's your favorite cheese or cheese story?!?

I got my information mainly from Wikipedia

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