The History Of Cheese

Modified: 2nd May 2017
Wordcount: 5216 words

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In the world today, the cheese has become a key ingredient in many dishes in the world. Cheese is an ingredient that has been cruising around the place and make improvements delicious food, especially Italian Cuisine such as Spaghetti Carbonara, Cheese Pizza and many more, which has attracted many people enjoy of eating the food. In addition, the cheese has made everyone not only chefs and ordinary people also want to enjoy the cheese to create a different dish with cheese in it.

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Do all people on this planet know what the content in the cheese while everyone including children enjoy cheese even eat like that only. Cheese is a product of milk-based groups in it. Cheese produced in the time now not only produces one type but different types of cheese were produced from it.Differentiation each cheese produced has their different flavors, shapes, textures and more. Moreover, the cheese has its own life so that it can retain the moisture.

We also need to know not only cheese produced from cow’s milk instead of the animals such as buffaloes, goats, sheep and more. Cheese not only be used but it is used as a secondary food such as Cheese Platter yet mixed with other cold cuts. Often guests will enjoy eating cheese after dessert. Chef who has a high talent, will always create something new by using cheese with other ingredients like black pepper, chives, garlic and more. This not only creates new foods and even enhance the flavor and aroma of the cheese.

In this report, we can add more knowledge about how the cheese is produced. Apart from that we can learn more deeper about the origins of this cheese. Moreover, we also learned how cheese found in Ancient Greece, Roman Europe even in the days that have now spread throughout the world which has made cheese as an ingredient of their cuisine.

Cheesemaker, the person who incharge or makes cheese according to the process of cheese production. Furthermore,we will attach the details of nutrition that has been in the cheese that makes people would obtain the cheese although in a small bite in a day. Lastly, we will see the impact that cheese has given towards the culture of the citizen in a country, which has become a trend even taking a picture. SAY CHEESE……

2.0 History of Cheese

The origin dates of cheese making range from 8000BC to 3000BC. However, no one really knows who made the first cheese but most authorities had considered that Middle East was the first area which is cheese being made. According to the ancient legend, it was made accidently by an Arabian merchant. The Arabian merchant has put his milk into a pouch which has been made by sheep stomach. The merchant carry the pouch along with him as he set out on a day’s journey across the desert. As he travelled, the heat from sun activated the enzyme rennin which found in the stomach lining. This action has caused the milk to separate into curd and whey. Thus, cheese was revealed.

Based on ancient Greek mythology, the evidence of cheese making has been found in Egyptians tomb murals around at 2000BC. During the Ancient Greek period, cheese are been eaten. In Greek, cheese is called fornos which related to the basket where the cheese was deposited and separated from the whey. Cheese in other languages was derived from this greek word, for example, at French they used to call cheese as fromage or seems goes to Italian people they called cheese as formaggio. In Greek tradition, there was consumption that it was the Gods who showed the mortals how to make cheese.

It is believe that cheese using has been use wider in Asia before it migrated to Europe. Then, during at Roman Empire, the process of cheese making has been expanded. Lots of different sources of milk began to be mixed and varieties of seasonings were added to produce cheese with rich in flavours. The Roman culture has developed the art of cheese making. The Roman cheese makers was a skilled artisans and they also has developed varieties of cheese. The Roman also credited with the first aging of cheese or cheese storage. The roman cheese makers were aware of the affects of various ripening technique which will be related to the taste and character of a particular cheese.

The Romans and the Greeks has considered cheese as a luxury food and accessible to the wealthy. Cheese also has became their staple food which been used in both sweet and salty dishes. During Roman Empire, over 13 varieties of cheeses were produced. The Roman has spread their expertise in cheese making to Europe. In making cheese, they has developed dairy farming which to use cow’s milk to become the standard raw material. During this time, they are in an effort to perfect the curd-draining process. The Romans also invented the cheese press which is a technique that they exported as far as Great Britain.

In France, especially in south and west, they have developed a wider range of cheeses because of rich in agricultural areas. They are more preferred in soft-cheese production and the hard-pressed cheese appeared to play a secondary role. This production was the reflection from the Rome-influenced culture of the nation. The production also mirroring the type of cheese that produced in the Mediterranean as opposed to the hard-pressed. It also more durable cheese that was developed in the northern regions of Europe which is can be stored and eaten during cold winter months. However, throughout the dark ages which is the Western European Early Middle Ages, circa 500 to 1000CE, there were little progress was made in developing new type of cheese.

During the Middle-Ages, the European monks has invented of ripening and ageing techniques for cheese. The monks have produced milder-tasting cheeses. The communities of Jura and Alps mountain farmer could get together in dairy associations. In this situation, they enable to produce first-rate quality of cheeses. In the 7th Century, many cheeses been known by the region in which they were produced. However, during Renaissance on 14th to 16th century, cheese was considered as unhealthy food and the popularity of cheeses has decline. Luckily, in 19th century cheese regained favour and in start from this period they have started to move from farm to factory production.


Cheese can be symbolized with a different perception by a different people. But generally cheese always related to something that can bring happiness. Here we had divided the symbolism to four which are economy, culture, religious, and social.

3.1 Economy

If we look into the revolution or the movement of cheese began before Christ, different region or countries had their own originated cheese. During the glorious of Romans Emperor, they had develop the cheese into a high level with the manufactured of many types of cheese. The rich emperor at that time was a little bit dissatisfied with the quality of the cheese and later they had imported cheese from the Alpine areas, England, France, and parts of Asia. There we can see a network of import and export that they build in terms of exchange into their economy. We owe the Romans once again when they taught the techniques and the process to produce the cheese to the peoples that they conquered such as the Helvetti tribe in an Alpine area which is called Switzerland now. Nowadays, the industry of the cheese making is an important industry for the Switzerland and during 1900 they started very aggressive by operating 700 to 800 of cheese factories and now they are one of the largest producer of cheese based on world demand right now. Pasteurization actually came from its creator name which is Louis Pasteur that develop the process and introduce the concept of fermentation. He contribute and introduce the bacteria that can form a cheese in a fastest way and controlled bad bacteria.

3.2 Culture

In France, cheese had their own specialty during the course of French meal. Not only at the fine dining restaurant they served course meal but at home they also practiced that. Every house at French will have stocks of cheese even they had special drawers for cheese in the refrigerator. The sequence of French meal start from appetizer and aperitif drink, which is light course and then followed by the main course, then the salad, and last but not least selection of cheese before the dessert and sometimes cheese can be a closing course which is replace the dessert. There is a maxim about cheese in France, “A French meal without the cheese course is not a French course”. Peoples’ mentality about cheese before this believe that eating cheese before sleep can cause a nightmare and gives you a restless night. However, in 2005 The British Cheese Board study made an experiment to the 200 participants which equilibrium to 100 of males and 100 of females to eat six different types of British cheese which were British Brie, Cheddar, Cheshire, Lancashire, Red Leicester, and Stilton before they sleep for a week. The results after a week show that no one had a nightmares and oppositely they had a good night’s sleep with the pleasant dreams. Flash back to the traditional believes for the Arabian, Persian, and European. The Arabian believe that if they dreams about fresh cheese its symbol as a happiness and health but if Cutted cheese its mean you will get an illness and need an operation. The Persian believe that if we eat fresh cheese in a dream its mean someone will have a good fortune according to how much the person ate. Dreams about Swiss cheese is something special to the European because it means the promises of prosperity, health and amenities of life. Dream working in the cheese factory show that you will have an improvement in the situation.

3.3 Religious

As we all know that Islam and Judaism strictly prohibit their follower from eat cheeses that made with rennet from animals that not slaughtered properly according to the Halal or Kosher laws. Both faiths recognize cheese as a dairy products, but the Judaism cannot eat dairy products in the same time meal with any meats except poultry and fish because it is against the Kosher rules. Actually the Hebrews scripture said “you should not eat meat in its mother’s milk”, some study believe that when the meat and dairy products consume at the same time, the protein of both sources cannot be digested properly by the body and can affect health.


In the process production of cheese we will divide it into two which are in the primitive era and the modern era.

4.1 Primitive Era

The African, Asian, and Latin-American very addicted to yogurt and cheese no matter where they live even in the isolated area or in the urban areas. Usually the one that often making cheese is the woman at that time at their home. An example of cheese making in South America which is Cocoa Blanco cheese. The cheese started made with sour whey, and then coated with rancid butter, boric acid, coffee grounds, and ground chocolate cocoa -bean shells. After that, it is left under the scorching sun to dry and until it is sold. Another survey that had been made in other parts of West Africa found a small village where the farmers make cheese. The technique unusually impressive show good principles of manufacture, below are the steps of making the cheese by the farmers.

First the fresh milk that they milking from the cow is heated in a pot to about the boiling point.

After that, they added the extract called Quantum satis of leaves of a plant called Calatropia procera to the hot milk and the heating process is continued until it is coagulate.

The coagulated substance then put in any cloth and dripped off for about 24 hours.

The cheese mass that surfaces are next dried in the sun will formed a discus-like shape.

To extract a strong red colour, the head of the threshed sorghum will boiled in the water.

To make it look nice and as a protective layer, the dried cheese will dipped in the dye and becomes red like Edam cheese.

The cheese can be keeps for more than one year, but if in the rainy season it is necessary to store it near to the fireplace.

Cheese at that time majority were produced just for individual needs not in terms to gain profit or try to commercial it. However, the revolution of the cheese start in the modern era where the producing of cheeses were unlimited.

4.2 Modern Era

In the modern era, they already build the technology that used to make cheese faster with good quality. There are few steps to make the quality cheese.

First step

To make a large of cheese, we need to use a lot of milk to produce it which is inquired the quality and purity of the milk.

Second step

Once the milk been tested and weighed, the milk has to pasteurized. It is to ensure that the cheese is made perfectly. In addition, it is to make sure the cheese that has been made is standardized.

Third step

Once everything is in order, we need to use a good bacteria and add in it to start the cheesemaking process. Now days, scientist has create a good bacteria, so that they able to produce a good and quality cheese. Besides that, the bacteria is to help enhance the falvor and texture of the cheese. Then, rennet which is called as the milk clotting enzyme are added in it, to coagulate the milk and form like a mass custard.

Fourth step

Next, they will cut into small pieces, where they begin to process of seperating the liquid and the solid of the milk. The solid of the milk (curds) will be cooked with a lower temperature to form a softer cheeses such as Ricotta, Mascarpone cheese and many more. Meanwhile the liquid of the milk (whey), are cooked with a higher temperature to form a harder cheese such as Romano, Gruyere cheese and many more.

Fifth step

To make the cheese, there will be a cheesemaker to cook it. The cheesemaker will cook and stir the liquid and solid of the milk with the proper temperature. They will achieve the firmess of the solid of the milk (curd). Meanwhile for the liquid (whey), they will drained it off properly and leaving it as a tightly curd.

Sixth steps

Once the liquid and solid changes into perfect curd according to the deisred temperature, the curd will be added with cheese salt in it which is to preserve the moisture and enhance the flavor of the cheese.

Seventh steps

The cheesemaker will pressing the determines the characteristic and shape of the cheese. Cover the cheese that has been pressed with a cloth or tissue. Most cheeses are pressed within three to twelve hours to complete the curd formation which is depending the size of the cheese. Cheese that will be pressing will be poured into a mould according to the sized that required.

Eight step

This is the last step process of making cheese which is curing. Curing for cheese is used for expand the ages of the cheese by developing the flavor and texture of the cheese within the time. Usually the cheese will be kept in a room that is carefully monitorized and controlled for the humidity of the cheese by using proper temperature on the cheese.

4.2.1 Equipment that has been used during modern era

Pilot scale batch cooker

It is used to cook the liquid and solid of the milk within the period of time with a proper temperature to cook it in a batch.

Grinding machine

It is used to grind the cheese into paste that is suitable with accurate moisture and fat for the next stage of cheesemaking process.

Load cell conveyors

It is used to control and record the weigh of the cheese through the process.

Auger dump hopper

Method that used to transferring the product from the blender into the batch cooker, where all the milk product has been added in the earlier stage.

4.2.2 Factor The spread of cheese through out the world


It is happens because the cheese contains the nutrition such as the vitamin, mineral and also fats that a body need most. In addition, it has become part of the daily meal of a person.

Label/ Brand

When a brand of product famous throughout the world, it enhances many people from other country to try the products and create a new product by using the cheese as the main ingredients.


In the new era, many people has invented a technology which able to cook, seal, packaging the product which contain cheese in it within period of time, which has make demand of obtain the cheese has increase from a level to another level.


Different type of cheese, has different type of texture and flavor. That is why, many people would like to obtain the different type of cheese from the normal cheese, which has make to create a new creation of product by using the cheese that obtain.


There are many types of cheese and can be classified to a few types. According to the International Dairy Federation, there are a round 500 types or varieties of cheese. The varieties of cheese can be classified into a few groups according to their characteristics. There are a few criteria that being looked to classified the types of cheese. Such as, ageing, milk content, fat content, country, moisture, method of making, moisture and more. Commonly cheese are categorizing by content, firmness, moisture and texture. The cheese are being categorizing from soft to hard. These are a few categorized of cheese; Fresh cheese, Natural rind cheese, Soft white-rind cheese, semi-soft cheeses and hard cheese.

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5.1 Fresh cheese

Fresh cheeses are eaten a few days after the cheese being cooked and only have a little time to develop a flavour. Those fresh cheeses are used in cooking to add texture and help in enhance flavour of food. It also helps to absorb oil and enhance other ingredient flavour to the foods. As we known, according to the history, fresh cheeses are originally discovered by nomadic tribes where accidently milk that being filled up inside the animal skin drained away. The milk leaving a firm and crumbly white lumps of fat that can be dried, store and kept for days. Fresh cheeses have a mild, lemony and acidic flavour. The fresh cheese flavour depend the type of animal milk use. Fresh cheeses have a high moisture content compared to the hard cheeses. It has wet and mousse-like texture.

Example of cheese: Feta cheese

The name of feta cheese from the Greek word “fetta” means slices. Feta cheese was originated from Greece. During 17th century, cheese was being served by cutting the cheese into slices. That why the name of cheese was given as feta cheese. Feta cheese is one of the age crumbly cheeses and commonly produces in block. The story of this cheese making is not known certainly, but there is a myth about the making of feta cheese. According to Ulysses narrates in Book 9 of the Homer’s Odyssey, Cylope Polyphemus was the first who create cheese (specific to feta cheese). If refer to the traditional method, the mixture of goat and cow milk are being left for around 30 hours than rennet being added inside the milk. It will help the coagulated process of milk, causing the separated of liquid and curdle. After that, the curds are being drain and resembles into a block shape. Muslin cloth, are use to raped and hanged the cheese to dry. Some people still use traditional method hanged the cheese by putting inside the animal stomach. Other examples of cheese are Ricotta cheese, Mozarella cheese and more.

5.2 Natural rind cheese

Some fresh cheese, especially cheese that being produces using goat milk, will turn into natural rind or aged cheese. This process is due because of the cheese left to dry and drain for a long period time. The wet and rich protein surface of cheese attracts the production of moulds. These moulds are edible and it contributes to the ripening process. Nowadays, cheese makers will spray a solution that contains edible moulds (such as penicillium candidum) that helps ripening process. Mostly peoples are suspicious of moulds and sometimes the rinds flavour or texture doesn’t suit with the taste of the customer. These types of cheese have different shapes and can be covered with paprika powder, herb or peppers. There are traditionally three stages in the production of natural rind cheese;

Stage one: The fresh cheese are still moisture and has no rinds. The flavour is still mild and lemony. (Up to 10 days)

Stage two: The cheese that being stored in a room or cellar. The cheese will start lose moisture and thin rind will start to develop. The surface will attract a variety of micro such as pinicillium candidum. The moulds will star appears around ten days.

Stage three: At around 10 to 12 days, a blue mould will appear and over a few weeks it will appear on the surface of the rind. Cheese will started to shrink and causing the wrinkles. The surface of the cheese will be encrusted with mould, has brittle texture and become firmer. Sometimes, it has a nutty, pungent aroma and taste.

Examples of cheese: Crottin de Chavignol

This cheese is the famous cheese, among the varieties of cheese base goat milk. This cheese was originated claim from the village of Chavignol, France. Since 16 century, the productions of small size of cheese were started. The word crottin is derived from the word “Crot” meaning small oil lamp made from burned clay. The mould clay is being use as cheese moulds. The shaped of this cheese is solid but soft and has nutty taste. Other examples of Natural rind cheese are Banon cheese, Bouton de Culotte nad more.

5.3 Soft, white-rind cheese

Is a type of cheese where it has buttery-yellow colour inside and has white rind. There are at least 80 types of soft, white-rind cheese are being made from cow’s milk. There are two popular soft, white-rind cheeses, known as Camembert and Brie. Mostly these cheeses are almost liquid texture and not contain high fat this is due to the high content. Traditionally the making of these cheese are simple, milk are being reheat until warm, then rennet being add to help coagulated process. After the liquid and curd separate, the curd being scoop and put inside a moulds and left in a humid rooms. After the desire of moisture reached, the cheeses are removed to other room and place on the straw mat. This will help the ripening process. Nowadays, the cheese maker will spray the mould (Penicilium candidum) to help to develop faster rinds. The faster development of rind will help or protect the inside of cheese drying out. This is why the soft, whit rind cheese has soft texture inside and has whit rinds.

Examples of cheese: Camembert de Normandie

At year’s 1791 camembert cheese were firstly made by Normandy farmers known as Marie Harel. According to the history during French revolution, she gave a shelter to a priest know as Abbey Bonvoust since 1790. With the help from the priest, she improved the making or recipe of Camembert cheese. After a few year, the improvement of transport facilities help in the spread of this cheese and opening of camembert cheese outlet around Europe. In 1890 French engineering also contribute to the spread of this cheese. Where he creates a wooden box for easier to carried, those ideas have being used by all cheese camembert cheese producers. Camembert cheese is moulded flat round cheese that covers with white rind. This cheese has different taste according to their age. When it young it has milky and sweet taste around 20 days, when it reached 30 to 45 day it will have fruity and strong taste. Other examples of soft, white-rind cheese are Brie de Meux, Bomdard cheese, bougon cheese and more.

5.4 Semi-soft cheese

Semi soft cheese can be classified into types washed-rinsed and washed-curd cheeses. The flavour of semi soft cheese ranges from mild to buttery to pungent flavour. Depend on their types these types of cheese can be slices, shredded and cube.

5.4.1 Washed-rinsed cheese

According to the history washed rinsed cheese was being made During the Dark Ages Trappist. The Trappist monks need to go through 100 days fast without meat each year. They decide to produce stronger and meaty cheese. The moisture consistency of washed rinsed cheese similar to soft cheese but, the cheese used more rennet in the making process. More rennet is being added to produce firmer cheese. Besides that, the cheese are being put in more humid rooms, then being washed and rubbed with a mix of brine and bacteria. This act will encourage rapid growth of orange bacteria to brown-red bacteria on the rind. The bacteria growths on the surface of the rind and help create a texture similar to crème caramel.

Examples of cheese: Epoisses de Bourgogne

This cheese is a pungent unpasteurized cheese cow milk cheese. This cheese is made in a Village called Espoisees. Brillat- Savarin popular gastronome classed this cheese as “King of The cheese”. On the end of second war the production of this cheese stopped due to the decreasing of men population due to the war. On 1956, a farmer partner known as Robert and Simon Berthaut re-launch the production of Epoisses Cheese. This cheese has strong flavour and sweet cheese. Other examples of washed rind cheese are Baguette Laonaisse, Bishop Kennedy, Brick cheese and more.

5.4.2 Washed-curd cheese

Is a cheese where during production process mix of the curd and whey being washed in water, to prevent the bacteria converts any remaining milk sugar into lactic acid. This act contributes to produce sweet cheeses that have smooth and rubbery texture.

Examples of cheese: Leiden or Leidsekaas cheese

On 17 the century, the Dutch East Indies one of company that lead to the beginning of spice trade between Indonesia and Europe. During that time cheese are already well known, the Dutch decide to do some experiment by adding spices to their cheese such as cumin, peppercorns and cloves. To create leiden cheese, the liquid is drained and the curd are sprinkles with a cumin and salt. Then the cheese is put inside a mould and lined with muslin cloth and pressed. After a few days the chesses are soaked in brine.

5.5 Hard Cheeses

Many hard cheeses are factory made. These types of cheese content low moisture then soft cheese. These cheeses are being put inside a mould than be give forced with high pressure. The age of hard cheese are longer then soft cheeses and can be stored for a long time.

Examples of cheeses: Cheddar cheese

According to the history cheddar cheese were originated from English village of Cheddar at Sommerset, England. There is one myth about the making of cheddar. The story started where one girl decide to put a bucket of milk in the cave. Then she went home without brought the milk. After a long time she start to remember that she had put a bucket of milk in the cave, she went back to cave. While she came to the cave, she realized that the bacteria have turned the milk to hard curdle cheese. They also another myth, that believed King Henry have buy 10000 pounds of cheddar cheese and it shows that cheddar cheese were originated in England. As age of the cheese become longer, the taste of cheese become sharper and flavour. Young cheddar is age around 3 to 6 years, while other cheddar may be age and stored for several years. Other examples of hard cheese are Parmigiano cheese, Emmenttal cheese, Pecorino Romano cheese, Asiago cheese and more.


Cheese has many contributions in culinary world in the past and in current. Cheese has been in the culinary world for such long time. With this kind of history, cheese is no doubt has many contributions in nutrition ways. People in the past accidentally produce cheese when they left the milk in the warmth or heated it in the earthenware pot. In the past, people often use cheese as one of ingredient. Nowadays, people have study the cheese and discover that cheese has much nutrition that is good for human body.

In the past, cheese has been a kind of currency by the traders and merchant. In the culinary world, cheese has been one of the flavor enhancements. This can be seen when the Italian put cheese in their cooking. Cheese provides saltiness and buttery taste to the dish. Cheese also has been contributed in pasteurization method for milk product. Pasteurization method been created by Louis Pasture, the French chemist and microbiologist in April 1862.

Current contribution is in health benefit. Scientist has study the art of cheese and discovers that there are several amount of nutrient in cheese. The major nutrients in cheese are protein, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin B2, and vitamin B12. Protein is important to human growth and helping in build and repairing the tissue. Calcium is important muscle development, normal nerve and maintains the health of bones and teeth. Zinc is important in helping the immune system of our body and contributes in skin structure. Phosphorus is kind the same of calcium because it help in maintaining the bones and teeth.

Vitamin A is important for our vision. Vitamin B2 is important because it is use as converter of food into energy in our body. Vitamin B12 is important for helping in producing cells in our body.


In conclusion, there are many varieties of cheese in the world and it is one of food or ingredient that has long history. Even though it has been producing many centuries ago, it is one of well known ingredient in the culinary world. Cheese are very famous right now even if we go to the famous luxury restaurant or even the Mamak stall that used to sell Roti Naan with cheese. The use of cheese in culinary world was started centuries ago until today. The spread of cheese from the origin place has contribute to the world of culinary. Other than that, a question, why in the cartoon the mice always been trapped and crazy with the cheese?, look at the mice teeth, they were strong and it show how nutritious the cheese was. Nowaday cheesen are being made with full of nutritious because of proper procedure and process are use to ensure the high quality of cheese produce. Other than that, the revolution about dairy products nowadays are very agressive. Because of new invention and technology the making or manufactured of cheese are rapidly growth. New recipe and vareties of chees are be created. Maybe in our country it is not global used yet but we are hoping someday Malaysia can produce their own cheese with our own style. Lastly, we will see the impact that cheese has given towards the culture of the citizen in a country, which has become a trend even taking a picture. SAY CHEESE……


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