Ahhhhh, Cheese!! We pile it high on our favorite sandwiches. Mound it on our beloved pizzas. Stack it in and among egg dishes. But where did it come from? Here’s a brief history…Part 1
There are many Egyptian documents that swear to the presence of cheese. Specifically in Thebes, where the tomb of Ipy is located, paintings appear illustrating the manufacture of cheese. Also in Abydos in the tomb of the Emperor of Aha (about 3000 BC approximately) cylindrical vases were located containing within them a substance which was analyzed chemically and confirmed as cheese or butter.
An ancient legend attributes the discovery of cheese to an Egyptian Arab shepherd. The interesting fact is that its discovery was accidental. The man realized that the milk transported in lambskin fermented and coagulated during his travels. This was due to the sun and the heat of the desert as well as the recipient that contained the milk. Whether it happened exactly so or not, the discovery of cheese was one of the greatest findings in the history of food.
Do you LOVE cheese? You’re not alone! In a bizarre discovery, researchers in China found clumps of yellow matter on the bodies of mummies from as early as 1615 BC which are actually cheese. Now that’s true love!! What were they thinking?? I guess it didn’t matter, they buried themselves with it as an after-life reminder!
Shocked by the revelation, researchers said that the dry and salty conditions in the Taklamakan Desert where the mummies were located helped to preserve the cheese for so many years. Open the tomb and pass the crackers!
The ancient cheese-makers were a Bronze Age people who buried their dead under boat-like wooden structures packed in cowhide, creating conditions that “vacuum-packed” the bodies and the cheese.
Lactose intolerant? NO Problem! Well-aged cheese was made with a ‘starter’ bacteria and yeast instead of rennet from the guts of a young animal, creating a low-lactose cheese that Asia’s lactose-intolerant people could have eaten.
Maybe Robert Plant circa Led Zeppelin was onto something? More to come…
One Comment Add yours
Reblogged this on Once Upon a Spice.