Cheese ..a family favourite throughout the world predates recorded history. There is no conclusive evidence available as to where cheese originated, but in all probability it began life in the east. Its uses spread to Europe prior to Roman times and were in sophisticated use during the Roman Empire. Proposed dates for the origin of cheese making range from around 8000 BCE (when sheep were first domesticated) to around 3000 BCE. Since animal skins and stomachs have been used in the storage of food stuffs it is possible that cheese was discovered by accident when trying to store milk, resulting in curds and whey by the rennet of the stomach
The oldest texts on cheese making in evidence today is to be found in the Egyptian tombs dating at around 2000 BC. These Cheeses may have been salty and sour, and similar in appearance to cream cheese and feta.
Cheese produced in many parts of Europe, where climates are cooler than the Middle East, required less aggressive salting for preservation. In conditions of less salt and acidity, the cheese became a suitable environment for a variety of beneficial microbes and molds, which are what give aged cheeses their pronounced and interesting flavors. Cheese has become the most popular milk invention!
Ancient Greek mythology credited Aristaeus with the discovery of cheese. Homer (8th century BCE) describes Cyclops making and storing sheep’s and goats’ milk cheese. By the time of the Roman dynasty, cheese was an everyday food and cheese making a mature art, not very different from what it is today Rome spread a uniform set of cheese making techniques throughout much of Europe, and introduced cheese making to areas without a previous history of it. As Rome declined and long-distance trade collapsed, cheese in Europe diversified further, with various locales developing their own distinctive cheese making traditions and products.
In 1546, John Heywood wrote in Proverbs that “the moon is made of a greene cheese”, but it is more likely that Heywood was indulgent in nonsense
Modern era. Until its modern spread along with European culture, cheese was nearly unheard of in oriental cultures, invented in the pre-Columbian Americas, and of only limited use in sub-Mediterranean Africa, mainly being widespread and popular only in Europe and areas influenced strongly by its cultures. With the spread, first of European imperialism, and later of Euro-American culture and food, cheese has gradually become known and increasingly popular worldwide, though still rarely considered a part of local ethnic cuisines outside Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas.
The first factory for the industrial production of cheese opened in Switzerland in 1815. Factory-made cheese overtook traditional cheese making in the World War II era, and factories have been the source of most cheese in America and Europe ever since. Today, Americans buy more processed cheese than “real”.
Cheese supplies a great deal of calcium, protein, and phosphorus. A 30-gram serving of cheddar cheese contains about seven grams of protein and 200 milligrams of calcium. Nutritionally, cheese is essentially concentrated milk: it takes about 200 grams (seven ounces) of milk to provide that much protein, and 150 grams to equal the calcium. Cheese as America’s number one source of saturated fat actually leads to an increased risk of heart disease is called into question when considering the French and Greek issue on this score, which lead the world in cheese eating (more than 14 oz/400 g a week per person, or over 45 lb/20 kg a year) yet they have relatively low rates of heart disease. This seeming discrepancy is called the French issue; the higher rates of consumption of red wine in these countries is often invoked as at least a partial explanation.
A study by the British Cheese Board in 2005 to determine the effect of cheese upon sleep and dreaming discovered that, contrary to the idea that cheese commonly causes nightmares, the effect of cheese upon sleep was positive. The majority of the two hundred people tested over a fortnight, claimed beneficial results from consuming cheese before going to bed; the cheese promoted good sleep. Six cheeses were tested and the findings were that the dreams produced were specific to the type of cheese. None was found to induce nightmares. However, the six cheeses were all British. The results might be entirely different if a wider range of cheeses was tested. Cheese contains tryptophan, an amino acid that has been found to relieve stress and induce sleep.