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Cheese Facts

Milk-based food product

  • Cheese consists of proteins and fat from milk.
  • In general, milk of cows, buffalo, goats, or sheep is used in making cheese.
  • It is produced by coagulation of the milk protein casein.
  • Typically, the milk is acidified and addition of the enzyme rennet causes coagulation.
  • The solids are separated and pressed into final form.
  • Some cheeses have molds on the rind or throughout.
  • Most cheeses melt at cooking temperature.
  • The word cheese comes from Latin term caseus.
  • Evidence of cheese-making dating back to 5,500 BC is found at Kujawy, Poland, where strainers with milk fats molecules have been found.
  • In December 2012, scientists have reported to have discovered pottery fragments that are the oldest piece of evidence of cheese-making ever found along a river in Poland.
  • By Roman times, cheese was an everyday food and cheesemaking a mature art.
  • United States, Germany and France are the top three cheese producing nations.
  • France, Germany and Netherlands are the top three Cheese exporting nations.
  • Greece, France and Iceland are top three Cheese consuming nations.
  • Swiss cheese are easily recongized by their holes which punctuate the pale yellow exterior.
  • The holes on the Swiss cheese are called eyes. They are caused by the expansion of gas within the cheese curd during the ripening period.
  • "Big Wheel" and "Big Cheese" are used to refer to those who were wealthy enough to purchase a whole wheel of cheese.
  • Cheese takes up about 1/10 the volume of the milk it was made from.
  • America has 440 cheesemakers. Cheddar is the best-selling.
  • A farm in Sweden makes moose cheese.
  • Some acient Roman houses had a special kitchen, called a careale, just for making cheese.
  • Some cheeses are stored for one year or longer before they are ready to eat.
  • Pizza Hut uses about 140 million kilograms of cheese per year.
  • About 10 gallons of milk are required to make one pound of cheese.
  • Cheese and milk account for more than 51 percent of the calcium in adult diets.
  • Cheese and milk are top sources of zinc, phosphorus, riboflavin, potassium and magnesium.
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