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Cheese, Part 1:

  • Cheese has been made since ancient times. Milk from cows, and possibly other animals, was made into cheese by approximately 1000 BC.
  • The ancient Greeks and Romans, as well as the early people of northern Europe, all valued cheese.
  • Methods for making cheese have often been kept secret.
  • Cheese is important as a preservation technique.
  • Cheese is made mostly of the curd that forms when milk curdles, or coagulates.
  • When milk coagulates, it releases whey, a waterly fluid, leaving the curd, or fresh cheese.
  • The curd is a semi-solid substance, formed by the main milk protein, casein, when enough lactic acid is produced by microorganisms (present in the milk) acting upon lactose (milk sugar).
  • An enzyme called rennin can be used to cause the curd to form.
  • When the curd forms, it contains most of the fat, casein, and other water-insoluble substances, plus a small amount of whey.
  • It takes about 10 volumes of milk to get 1 volume of cheese.

Source: http://www.britanica.com, Entry Cheese.