Cheese continues to be one of the most complete and healthy foods we humans eat, and it tastes great too! Its popularity seems to continue to grow thanks to the efforts of the food industry to create products that are much more natural, and even innovative in terms of the use of ingredients that end up turning each bite into a unique taste experience.
We have reached out to Osteposten, a Danish store that sells Ostetapas and other cheese related products to help us create this article where we will take an in-depth look at all the aspects related to this natural product that is set to continue to evolve progressively.
Cheese, a bit of history about its origin
There are many legends about when the first cheese was made. The oldest archaeological remains date back to the 3rd century B.C., although, according to other researchers, the “accident” that led to its discovery may well have occurred in the Neolithic period. There are two main trends in determining how humans knew they could make cheese:
In the aforementioned period – after having managed to domesticate goats, sheep and cows – it was customary to milk these animals daily to store the milk. Depending on the temperature, season and other factors, it was discovered that the milk curdled and tasted pleasant.
In Asia Minor, the shepherd Kanama stored the milk of his goats in the wineskins he made from the stomachs of dying goats. It did not take him long to realize that the milk turned into cheese after a certain period of time.
This last character would have discovered, by accident, that rennet – a digestive enzyme present in the stomachs of lambs and kids – was fundamental to obtain cheese in less time.
Legends aside, the first graphic evidence of the existence of cheese is found in Mesopotamia, more specifically in a frieze called The Dairy found in the temple of Ninchursag, goddess of life. This work of art shows how cheese is made step by step.
Other sources indicate that it was Aristeo, son of Apollo, who invented this delicacy. In any case, both the story of the shepherd and the frieze seem to us to be the most accurate evidence for dating the origin of cheese, a food that has been around for thousands of years.
Types of cheese according to the dairy product of origin
It is the one that offers more possibilities because each breed provides a different flavor. It is also influenced by the type of feeding of the animal and the mastery of the cheese-making when producing the cheese. It usually results in a soft cheese with taste nuances that may surprise you. Comte and Gouda are the cheeses that use this raw material the most.
Its flavor is less sweet than that of the previous milk and provides very pleasant natural touches. The resulting cheese usually has an intermediate flavor. This milk is usually mixed with cow’s milk to create creamy cheeses suitable for lovers of this food. Roquefort and Manchego cheese may be the best examples.
While it can be pleasant tasting, it is the animal most sensitive to weather conditions, its diet and other similar factors. In fact, in drought years the milk is much more potent, resulting in extraordinary cheeses. If it rains a lot, they get to eat more grass which turns into an enormous variety of aromas and flavors in the mouth. This type of milk is, therefore, the most delicate and definitive raw material to produce a cheese worth remembering. Feta cheese is a work of art thanks to this type of milk.
It is used in Italy to make Mozzarella thanks to its sweet taste and its adaptability to any type of ingredients.
Other types of milk
In Scandinavia, reindeer milk is used to make a cheese as pleasant as it is surprising. On the African continent, camel milk is used to achieve results worth trying if you like more intense flavors.