From swanky puffed dishes to dripping grilled sandwiches, the super delectable Cheese always tops our list, and why not? The juicy, melting texture that gives an additional appeal to the cuisines can surely not be found amongst many of its counterparts.
From the days of Roman empire, where special kitchens were made for producing cheese to the 16th century, when it began to be used as a currency in Denmark to this day, our hero has come a long way.
With more than 1000 varieties available across the globe, Cheese has now become an indispensable ingredient used all over the world!
The Historical Timeline!
Enjoying the royalty of its inception which is believed to be as old as 8000 BC, Cheese is a much loved food item cum ingredient that has its marks on mankind from long.
The earliest evidence of cheese making can be found from the domestication of milk producing animals. It is believed that cheese was found accidentally when people began using animal’s stomachs as containers to store milk.
An enzyme found in the stomach of ruminant animals helped in thickening the milk, resulting into curd or whey. These were then strained, and salt was added and cheese came into being.
However, their mass production occurred only during 1815 in Switzerland where the first cheese factory was made. These days, the handmade artisan cheese is in great demand and can be seen being utilized in several dishes across the globe.
Overall, although the origin of cheese or cheese making has a clouded history and may remain an enigma for us for yet another century or more, we do know that it is one of the best discoveries of the human race that has added a peculiar taste to our multifarious cuisines!
Types Of Cheese!
Referring to cheese and its glory! Ah! Putting those gummy pieces in various dishes simply adds up to the meal and brings in a majestic taste with every morsel.
But have you wondered why each of the dishes in which cheese is used tastes so differently? Well, this is because there is a wide variety of cheese available that are made use of, as per the need.
Well, here are a few popular ones:-
It is one of the most common types of cheese used and found in India. This extremely soft textured cheese is used in various sumptuous dishes such as Palak Paneer and Paneer Tikka among others.
Used extensively across the world, Mozzarella cheese is another common variant that is loved by all. Made from Italian buffalo's milk, they are extremely soft and chewy. Mostly, the various toppings we eat in pizzas and sandwiches are from this cheese.
Tangy and salty in taste, Feta cheese is made from sheep and goat’s milk. It is a soft white, brined cheese that has a Greek origin. It tastes great when grilled.
With its rich, creamy flavor. Gouda cheese tastes extremely exotic. Made from cow’s milk, they are generally used over sandwiches and crackers.
This natural cheese is relatively hard and a bit sharp-tasting in nature. Cheddar cheese is considered to be very nutritive and flaunts a smooth texture. It traces its origin from a village called cheddar in England.
Best used as an appetizer, Parmesan cheese is a much used form of cheese around the world. Made from unpasturized cow’s milk, they are used extensively in dishes like mashed potatoes and macaroni.
Emmental is a medium-hard, yellowy cheese that is produced in Switzerland. This cheese is rich in calcium and has a higher fat content. They are generally used along with wine and fruits.
A famous French cheese, Brie is a soft-textured variation that is extremely popular in the world. They are pale in color and are made from unpasturized cow’s milk.
And the lists will go on. Nonetheless, the very next time you get to your nearby shop to buy some cheese, just give a moment and think of all the variants you know of and immerse yourself in the rich and exquisite world of our royal, hero!
Cheese Making Process!
While different cheeses taste differently because of the origin of the milk and the diet of the animal, there are invariably certain important steps that need to be taken care of while making cheese across the world.
Well, the very first step includes acidification. This process includes changing the lactose into lactic acid. This affects the acidity level of the milk and thus, starts thickening it from a liquid to solid form.
Transforming the milk into solid includes yet another step, which is known as coagulation. At this stage, an enzyme called Rennet is added to further help in the mentioned process.
Curds and whey form as the milk thickens. And at this point, the curd is cut and this size of the cut determines how hard or soft the resulting cheese would be. The cutting is precisely done to remove the whey. For harder cheeses, further cooking is required. Once done, the whey is removed and curd is left to form cheese.
In order to prevent the cheese from getting spoiled, a small amount of salt is added to the curd. The salt can be added directly or the outer part of the cheese can be rubbed with the salt, or the item can be soaked in brine.
Shaping is the next step, in which cheese is given a specific shape and simultaneously pressed with machines to drain out the remaining liquid there maybe.
The last step includes the ripening of the cheese or Affinage, where the cheese is left either for some months or quite a few years. Once they are ready, they are packed and sent to the desired locations.
Honestly I didn't know that such mechanisms and methods are behind the luscious cheese that we easily have every now and then in our day-today lives!
Cheese And Amazing Dishes!
Cheese tastes well in several different dishes but if you are a bit confused over which of the food items you can prepare without having to give long hours in the kitchen, then you’ve come to the right place.
Yes, we are here to help you out in your cheesy quest, and so here it goes:-
If you are thinking of munching something that is super yummy while being easy and quick to make, then Cheese balls is what you need. This ideal dish works best as a starter during any occasion.
Cheese sandwiches taste heavenly and is a loved item amongst us all. Placed between buttered slices of grilled bread, the cheese adds up to its glory and can be made easily without any hassles.
A piping hot pizza, garlanded with cheese!
Yummy , isn’t it? Surely, it is.
A succulent dish, the classic margherita pizza needs no introduction. Loved by kids and elders alike, you can surely try your hands on this amazing item in the comfort of your home.
Cheese Garlic Toast
Made with garlic butter spread and cheese, this is a sumptuous cheese dish that you can definitely try at your place. Trust me, its gonna be a hit.
Mac And Cheese
Mac and Cheese pasta, although an American specialty, is loved by people across the globe. This extremely delicious and rich dish can be made anytime and without giving much ado. No doubt kids and you are gonna love it.
Indeed, the taste buds have their treats when you have these amazing, exotic dishes adorning your tables and it would not be surprising if you turn a turophile (one who fancies cheese) super soon!
The Health Benefits!
While enjoying those yummy cheesy pastas or sandwiches, did you have a fleeting moment where you thought that whether what you’re consuming actually has some health benefits for you?
Well, I did and that has made all the difference because no sooner than this thought crossed my mind, I began rummaging through things that helped me to understand the health benefits of cheese.
Here are a few:-
Developing osteoporosis in the later stage of life is common when the intake of calcium and protein is less. However, studies indicate that including cheese every now and then to the diet can largely remove this possibility, as cheese has an adequate amount of all the nutritions required by us that helps in maintaining the correct balance of essentials in our body.
Calcium that helps in strengthening the bones, vascular function, muscle function, nerve transmission and hormone secretion is found in good amounts in cheese which ultimately leads to a sound and healthy body.
As bizarre as it may sound, cheese allows you to have a healthy weight. Since, they are a good source of natural fats, they invariably help in maintaining weight. Also, some of the cheese variants are low fat in nature which again helps in having the desired body mass.
Studies have shown that cheese contains certain elements that have good antioxidant properties which works well in cancer prevention. Not only this, the calcium and phosphorus, helps in maintaining healthy teeth. Having a small amount of cheese on a regular basis can help in solving the problems of tooth decay as well.
With pollution at its zenith, and dust everywhere, our skin undergoes several damages. But here comes the good news. It has been found that Vitamin E present in the cheese can actually help in maintaining a soft and healthy skin. Also, Vitamin K found in it helps in lightening the area around the eyes and help cure the dark circles. Cheese overall assists in dealing with several skin diseases.
To be honest, there are far more benefits that cheese possess that needs to be duly considered to meet the health goals!
Undoubtedly, cheese has its dominance on various dishes that we put our hearts and fingers on. Apart from being a taste enhancer, it also provides amazing health benefits that serves like an icing on the cake.
So, from the moment on, when you grab hold of a cheese slice, don’t forget to remember the unique and curious repertoire of our cheesy buddy!