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Cheese

Nutritional Information

1 cup diced, cheese

  • Calories 532
  • Calories from Fat 393.66
  • Amount%DV
  • Total Fat 43.74g67%
  • Saturated Fat 27.841g139%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 12.396g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 1.243g
  • Cholestreol 139mg46%
  • Sodium 820mg34%
  • Potassium 129mg4%
  • Total Carbohydrate 1.69g1%
  • Dietary Fiber 0g0%
  • Sugars 0.69g
  • Protein 32.87g66%
  • Calcium 95mg10%
  • Iron 5mg28%
  • Vitamin A 26%
  • Vitamin C 0%

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Cheese on Wikipedia:

For other uses, see Cheese (disambiguation). A platter with cheese and garnishes Wheels of Gouda at a cheese market

Cheese is a generic term for a diverse group of milk-based food products. Cheese is produced throughout the world in wide-ranging flavors, textures, and forms.

Cheese consists of proteins and fat from milk, usually the milk of cows, buffalo, goats, or

Etymology

Cheese on market stand in Basel, Switzerland

The word cheese ultimately comes from Latin caseus,[2] from which the modern word casein is closely derived. The earliest source is from the proto-Indo-European root *kwat-, which means ``to ferment, become sour``.

More recently, cheese comes from chese (in Middle English) and cīese or cēse (in Old English). Similar words are shared by other West Germanic languages — West Frisian tsiis, Dutch kaas, German Käse, Old High German chāsi — all from the reconstructed West-Germanic form *kasjus, which in turn is an early borrowing from Latin.

When the Romans began to make hard cheeses for their legionaries' supplies, a new word started to be used: formaticum, from caseus formatus, or ``molded cheese`` (as in ``formed``, not ``moldy``). It is from this word that we get the French fromage, Italian formaggio, Catalan formatge, Breton fourmaj and Provençal furmo. Cheese itself is occasionally employed in a sense that means ``molded`` or ``formed``. Head cheese uses the word in this sense.

History

Main article: History of cheese

Origins

A piece of soft curd cheese, oven baked to increase longevity

Cheese is an ancient food whose origins predate recorded history. There is no conclusive evidence indicating where cheesemaking originated, either in Europe, Central Asia or the Middle East, but the practice had spread within Europe prior to Roman times and, according to Pliny the Elder, had become a sophisticated enterprise by the time the Roman Empire came into being.[3]

Proposed dates for the origin of cheesemaking range from around 8000 BCE (when sheep were first domesticated) to around 3000 BCE. The first cheese may have been made by people in the Middle East or by nomadic Turkic tribes in Central Asia. Since animal skins and inflated internal organs have, since ancient times, provided storage vessels for a range of foodstuffs, it is probable that the process of cheese making was discovered accidentally by storing milk in a container made from the stomach of an animal, resulting in the milk being turned to curd and whey by the rennet from the stomach. There is a legend with variations about the discovery of cheese by an Arab trader who used this method of storing milk.[4][5]

Cheesemaking may have begun independently of this by the pressing and salting of curdled milk in order to preserve it. Observation that the effect of making milk in an animal stomach gave more solid and better-textured curds, may have led to the deliberate addition of rennet.

The earliest archeological evidence of cheesemaking has been found in Egyptian tomb murals, dating to about 2000 BCE.[6] The earliest cheeses were likely to have been quite sour and salty, similar in texture to rustic cottage cheese or feta, a crumbly, flavorful Greek cheese.

Cheese produced in Europe, where climates are cooler than the Middle East, required less salt for preservation. With less salt and acidity, the cheese became a suitable environment for useful microbes and molds, giving aged cheeses their pronounced and interesting flavors.

Ancient Greece and Rome

Cheese in a market in Italy

Ancient Greek mythology credited Aristaeus with the discovery of cheese. Homer's Odyssey (8th century BCE) describes the Cyclops making and storing sheep's and goats' milk cheese. From Samuel Butler's translation:

“ We soon reached his cave, but he was out shepherding, so we went inside and took stock of all that we could see. His cheese-racks were loaded with cheeses, and he had more lambs and kids than his pens could hold...

When he had so done he sat down and milked his ewes and goats, all in due course, and then let each of them have her own young. He curdled half the milk and set it aside in wicker strainers.

”

By Roman times, cheese was an everyday food and cheesemaking a mature art. Columella's De Re Rustica (circa 65 CE) details a cheesemaking process involving rennet coagulation, pressing of the curd, salting, and aging. Pliny's Natural History (77 CE) devotes a chapter (XI, 97) to describing the diversity of cheeses enjoyed by Romans of the early Empire. He stated that the best cheeses came from the villages near Nîmes, but did not keep long and had to be eaten fresh. Cheeses of the Alps and Apennines were as remarkable for their variety then as now. A Ligurian cheese was noted for being made mostly from sheep's milk, and some cheeses produced nearby were stated to weigh as much as a thousand pounds each. Goats' milk cheese was a recent taste in Rome, improved over the ``medicinal taste`` of Gaul's similar cheeses by smoking. Of cheeses from overseas, Pliny preferred those of Bithynia in Asia Minor.

Cheese, Tacuinum sanitatis Casanatensis (XIV century)

Post-classical Europe

Rome spread a uniform set of cheesemaking techniques throughout much of Europe, and introduced cheesemaking to areas without a previous history of it. As Rome declined and long-distance trade collapsed, cheese in Europe diversified further, with various locales developing their own distinctive cheesemaking traditions and products. The British Cheese Board claims that Britain has approximately 700 distinct local cheeses;[7] France and Italy have perhaps 400 each. (A French proverb holds there is a different French cheese for every day of the year, and Charles de Gaulle once asked ``how can you govern a country in which there are 246 kinds of cheese?``[8]) Still, the advancement of the cheese art in Europe was slow during the centuries after Rome's fall. Many cheeses today were first recorded in the late Middle Ages or after— cheeses like Cheddar around 1500 CE, Parmesan in 1597, Gouda in 1697, and Camembert in 1791.[9]

In 1546, The Proverbs of John Heywood claimed ``the moon is made of a greene cheese.`` (Greene may refer here not to the color, as many now think, but to being new or unaged.)[10] Variations on this sentiment were long repeated and NASA exploited this myth for an