Cheese is an ancient food, being mentioned
in The Bible as well as Greek and Arab legends. Modern cheese as we
know it was developed in Europe, introduced there by Arab
|Types of Cheese
Cheese can be classified into 6
- Very Hard - Parmesan and Romano
- Hard - Cheddar, Edam, Gouda and
- Semisoft - Bel Paese, Limburger and Port du
- Blue Cheese - Blue Vein, Gorgonzola and
- Soft - Brie and Camembert
- Unripened - Cottage and Ricotta
According to legend, cheese was
discovered by an Arab Nomad, who filled a saddle bag with milk to
sustain him on a journey across the desert. After several hours of
riding, he stopped to quench his thirst, finding that the milk had
separated into a pale, watery liquid, and solid white lumps.
Because the saddle bag was made from the stomach of a
young animal, it contained the coagulating enzyme renin. Thus, the
milk had effectively separated into curds and whey. The whey was
drinkable, and the curds edible.
Cheese was known to the ancient Samarians by 4000 BC.
In the Roman era, cheese making was done with skill and knowledge,
and reached a high standard. The Romans developed the ripening
process, and created different types of cheese by varying the
treatment and storage conditions on the materials. Large Roman
houses had a separate cheese kitchen, and special areas where
cheese could be matured. In large towns, home made cheese could be
taken to a special centre for smoking.
We owe the many classic varieties of cheese sold
today to the innovative monks of the Middle Ages.
Cheese has long been called the
perfect food. A high energy food, it contains about 25% protein and
30% fat. It is an excellent source of Calcium and Phosphorous - the
minerals which are important for strong teeth and bones. Cheese is
also a good source of vitamin A, some B vitamins and vitamin
It was once thought that cheese was difficult to
digest, but it is now known to be one of the most completely
digestible of foods.
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