The History and Art of Cheese Making

TLDR Cheese, one of the oldest foods in human history, was discovered accidentally and has been a vital innovation for humans. The process of making cheese involves curdling milk, separating solids from liquids, and treating the curds differently depending on the type of cheese.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Cheese, one of the oldest foods in human history, was likely discovered accidentally through the curdling of milk in a bladder made from the stomach of a ruminant animal or by adding fruit or fruit juice to milk.
01:53 Cheese was an important innovation for humans because it allowed them to store milk, extract more calories from animals, and consume calories for extended periods of time, and evidence of cheese making and consumption dates back thousands of years.
03:31 Cheesemaking has been around for thousands of years and was advanced in ancient Rome, but until the European age of exploration, it was mostly confined to Europe and the Middle East, with some small-scale cheesemaking in China and India. The process of making cheese involves heating the milk, encouraging the growth of bacteria, adding rennet to cause the protein in milk to precipitate, and forming a solid matrix with milk fat trapped inside.
05:05 The process of making cheese involves forming solids known as curds, separating the curds from the liquid, dehydrating the curds, adding salt, and treating the curds differently depending on the type of cheese.
06:44 Cheeses can be made from the milk of various animals, including cows, sheep, goats, and even humans, and there are specific rare and expensive cheeses such as Bito from Italy, moose milk cheese from Sweden, and Pule from Serbia.
08:28 Blue cheeses get their blue color from cultures of mold called penicillium, and some blue cheeses are also known for their strong smell, which comes from a bacteria called brevibacterium lenis, while Limburger cheese is particularly famous for its strong smell and was even used in old cartoons as a reference for something that smelled bad. One famous blue cheese called Rokefurt was supposedly discovered by accident when a young boy left his bread and cheese in a cave and found it months later covered in mold, and it became the favorite cheese of Emperor Charlemagne, earning it the nickname "Cheese of Kings and Popes."
10:07 The United States is the largest cheese producing country, with Wisconsin being the largest cheese producing state, and there is a community of cheese aficionados similar to the world of wine.
Categories: History Education

Browse more History