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Cheese selection on market stand in Basel, Switzerland

Cheese is a foodstuff made from the curdled milk of various animals, most frequently cows, but often goats, sheep, and water buffalo. Rennet is often used to induce milk to curdle, although some cheeses are curdled with acids like vinegar or lemon juice, or with extracts of various species of Cynara (sometimes called vegetable rennet). Rennet is an enzyme obtained traditionally from the stomach lining of bovine calves, but more frequently nowadays, a microbiological (laboratory produced) substitute is used. Bacteria are added to cheese to reduce the pH, alter texture, and develop flavor, and some cheeses also have molds, either on the outer skin or throughout. The natural color of cheeses range from off-white to yellow. In some parts of the world, such as Wisconsin USA, the milk fat is low in beta-carotene, making the cheese a paler yellow than normal. In this case it is common to add annatto plant dye as a coloring agent.

Some cheeses are made with the addition of herbs and spices. In some locations as a response to the loss of diversity in mass-produced cheeses, a cottage industry has grown up around home cheesemaking.

Different styles and flavors of cheese are the result of using different species of bacteria and molds, different levels of milk fat, variations in length of aging and differing processing treatments (cheddaringing, pulling, brining, mold wash). Other factors include milk animal diet and the addition of herbs and spices to some cheeses.

Some controversy exists over the safety of cheese made by traditional methods using unpasteurized milk and over how pasteurization affects flavor.

Table of contents
1 Styles of cheese
2 Cheese Trivia
3 Cheese expressions and quotes
4 Cheese Humor
5 Further reading
6 External link

Styles of cheese

Major classes of cheese include: In addition, there is a class of foodstuff known as process cheese or cheese food. The most common form is the individual slices commonly used on cheeseburgers although it is also sold in blocks or as a thick liquid. These are based on natural cheese, but also containing emulsifying salts that help stabilize the product. The heat treatment that it receives during manufacture gives process cheese a mild flavor. Some versions of this are known as American cheese.

See also List of cheeses.

Cheese Trivia

In 1546 John Heywood wrote in his Proverbes that "The moon is made of a greene cheese". Variations on this sentiment were long repeated. Some people have assumed that this was a serious belief in the era before space exploration, but Heywood was probably being sarcastic and others enjoyed repeating this as silly nonsense.

Because of the way saying the word makes one's mouth form a smile, in the USA and other English-speaking countries, the word cheese is said just before someone takes a picture.

Toasted cheese is called Welsh rabbit (or, incorrectly, rarebit), but has nothing to do with rabbits and probably not with Wales either.

The word "cheese" comes from Latin caseus and, later, West Germanic kasjus. Note that cheese in Modern German is Käse.

The first factory for the industrial production of cheese opened in Switzerland on February 3, 1815. France and Italy are the nations with the most diversity in locally made cheeses - with approximately 400 each. According to a French proverb, there is a different French cheese for every day of the year.

The love of cheese is called turophilia.

Cheese expressions and quotes

Like chalk and cheese — (An expression meaning completely different.)

A dessert without cheese is like a beautiful woman who has lost an eye.Brillat-Savarin.

A slice of pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze. — Anonymous

How can you govern a country where there are 246 different types of cheese? — (attributed to Charles de Gaulle)

There's always free cheese in a mousetrap.

To cut the cheese — a euphemism for flatulence.

Cheese Humor

Cheese is also a slang which refers to body odor (e.g. toes, hear, armpits, navels, buttocks)

Further reading

External link