The science of cheese


Interesting article on the mysteries of cheese.

Cheese is not just food, it’s a variety show. The multitude of aromas, flavors, and textures found in cheeses throughout the world is more than we encounter with any other food. It comes in hundreds of varieties; even within a variety, differences are noticeable. And it’s a food that provides nutrition in the form of vitamins, minerals, and a high-quality source of protein that can be kept for months.

The science behind the transformation from plants to milk to cheese is amazing. In fact, cheese has much in common with wine and beer: They result from fermentation by microorganisms; they are “value-added” products where processing greatly increases the value; and they reflect local climate and terrain. Cheese has fascinated humanity for a long time, inspiring people to refer to it as everything from “the wine of foods” (Vivenne Marquis and Patricia Haskell) to “milk’s leap toward immortality” (Clifton Fadiman)…

The article answers several questions such as why is cheese yellow, where do the holes in cheese come from, can lactose intolerant people eat cheese, why are certain varieties of cheese made in specific places, and why do fresh cheese curds squeak? However it fails to answer the age old question, “who cut the cheese?” Sorry…I just couldn’t resist.

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