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About Cheese Edit
Cheese is a solid food made from the curdled milk of cows, goats, sheep, buffalo or other mammals. The milk is curdled using some combination of rennet (or rennet substitutes) and acidification. Bacteria acidify the milk and play a role in defining the texture and flavor of most cheeses. Some cheeses also feature molds, either on the outer rind or throughout.
There are hundreds of types of cheese produced all over the world. Different styles and flavors of cheese are the result of using different species of bacteria and molds, different levels of milk fat, variations in length of aging, differing processing treatments (cheddaring, pulling, brining, mold wash) and different breeds of cows, sheep, or other mammals. Other factors include animal diet and the addition of flavoring agents such as herbs, spices, or wood smoke. Whether or not the milk is pasteurized may also affect the flavor.
For a few cheeses, the milk is curdled by adding acids such as vinegar or lemon juice. Most cheeses, however, are acidified to a lesser degree by bacteria, which turn milk sugars into lactic acid, followed by the addition of rennet to complete the curdling. Rennet is an enzyme traditionally obtained from the stomach lining of young cattle, but now also laboratory produced. It acts by breaking down the major milk protein casein into small fragments, leading to coagulation. Substitute "vegetable rennets" have been extracted from various species of the Cynara thistle family.
Although the cheese is one of the most important ingredients.
- The golden rule for cutting cheese: each person should get his or her share of the center of the cheese and of the rind.
- Since it is the least cold, the vegetable drawer in your refrigerator is the best place to store cheese. Keep cheese in its original wrapping or cover it with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
- Despite all the extras out there, the only true cheese appliances you need to get by (such as at a party with cheese being served) is a cheese grater, a sharp knife, and a butter knife.
- The French eat more cheese than any other nation in the world - an amazing total of 20.4 kg (45 lbs.) per person per year. 400 different kinds of cheese are made in France.
- Some goats' milk cheeses are sprinkled with charcoal ash. This gives them an ash-grey color and is intended to absorb surface moisture, thus helping to preserve them.