Loved and celebrated around the world, there is more to the humble cheese than meets the eye. With over 2000 varieties produced across the globe (700 made right here in Britain) we have put together a list of 10 interesting facts about cheese that may just change the way you look at the stuff!
10 Interesting Facts About Cheese
1. Cheese isn’t just made with cows milk, but also with sheep milk, goat milk and less commonly buffalo milk, horse milk and even camel milk! Cheese made from Moose milk is successfully made on a farm in Sweden, despite the short lactation period of the Moose.
2. The Romans loved cheese! Some of the large Roman houses had their own separate special kitchen called a Careale specifically to create cheese in. Not only did they smoke cheese but they also added different flavourings to cheese too. As their empire became so large, each location was able to produce its own unique cheese, depending on the local ingredients available and the varying techniques used.
3. Some people actually eat cheese that contains living maggots! Cazu Marzu is a sheep’s milk cheese where they add a bug called the “cheese fly”. These hatch and become maggots, which get to work on the cheese, leaving it partially decomposed. Even though it is considered a delicacy in Sardinia, it is actually illegal to eat due to the potential for the bugs to breed in your gut and cause serious illness! Most people eat this cheese wearing protective eye-wear as the maggots can jump and land in your eye – something you definitely want to avoid!
4. A Turophile is the word used to describe a true connoisseur & lover of good cheese.
5. Vieux Boulogne (a French cheese made with cows milk and washed in Beer) is widely considered to be the smelliest cheese in the world. Washed rind cheeses have a strong scent by nature. Stinking Bishop is an English cheese washed in fermented pear juice that also has quite a pong! Bear in mind that just because a cheese smells really whiffy, doesn’t necessarily mean that it tastes bad!
6. It wasn’t until 1954 that cheese came off rationing after the second world war, a whopping 9 years after it actually ended. During the war itself, cheese was rationed to just 2oz per person, per week. The only cheese that was allowed to be produced was a hard cheddar style cheese.
7. In America, the last week in June is celebrated as national cheese week. Last year, British cheese week was celebrated from the 26th May to the 1st June.
8. Contrary to popular belief, mice actually prefer chocolate over cheese every time! Mice love sweet smelling food so they would be more tempted by a piece of chocolate than a chunk of cheddar.
9. Cheese is most flavoursome when eaten at room temperature, so if you are serving cheese at a dinner party, be sure to get it out of the fridge about an hour before serving.
10. Surprisingly, the three countries that consume the most cheese (average per person, per year) are:
Why Not Try Our Different Types of Cheese!