15 surprising facts about cheese

“Give me a good sharp knife and a good sharp cheese and I’m a happy man”

1. No one has any idea exactly when glorious cheese first came into the world – believe it or not, it predates recorded history.  Yep. Cheese is older than the written word. Experts think it’s been around since about 3000BC, but the earliest evidence was found in Eyptian tomb murals from approximately 2000BC.

2. Commonly, cheese is produced from cows, sheep or goat’s milk but did you know cheese has been made from buffalo, donkey, horse, camel and moose?

3. There are more than 2,000 varieties of cheese

4. Cheese is most flavoursome at room temperature so remove it from the fridge at least an hour before serving

5. Cheese is produced in wheels so that they can be rolled and not carried

6. The most popular cheese recipe is macaroni and cheese

7. The world’s most expensive sandwich is a $214 cheese toastie from Serendipity in New York. How do you make a sandwich that expensive, I hear you ask. Well let’s start with the bread… it’s baked using Dom Perignon Champagne and coated with truffle oil that contains flecks of edible gold. It is then filled with grass-fed white truffle butter and rare Caciocavallo Podiolico cheese. The cheese Is made from the milk of a Podolica cow which is fed exclusively on fennel, liquorice and wild strawberries. Oh and the cheese is aged in a cave because fancy.

8. Are you eating cheese that smells like human feet? Chances are you’re consuming Limburger cheese.

9. Soft wheel cheeses actually ripen like fruits. You can test to see whether they’re ready by giving them a gentle squeeze. If they’re hard then they’re not quite ready yet.

10. Mozzarella is the world’s favourite cheese! Or at least the one we consume the most!

11. Mice don’t actually like cheese! A 2006 study found they prefer sweet and sugary foods like chocolate instead.

12. Cheese lovers are called Turophiles

13. If you’re having a Greek friend over for dinner, hide the feta! Greek people love their cheese, so much so that they eat more than 25 kilos of it every single year.

14. If you ignore the saturated fat, cheese is actually very gouda for you. It’s a great source of protein, caclcium and phosphorus. And some cheese (cheddar and Swiss) can prevent tooth decay.  A 2005 stud found that eating cheese before bed can help you sleep better. Pass us the brie please.

15. The holes in Swiss Cheese come from a byproduct of the bacteria used to make the cheese – they’re carbon dioxide bubbles