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Saturday, 22 March 2014

Cheese Factbox

The last two thousand years has seen a number of different cheeses being introduced, including:

879 Gorgonzola, an Italian cows' milk (and sometimes goats' milk) cheese, was named after the village of Gorgonzola which is north east of Milan. The soft cheese developed from the migration of cattle from the Alps to the south of the plains of Po. Tired from their journey the cattle rested in Gorgonzola.

900 In Gruyères, a small town in the Swiss Alps cheese was made in pots that cooked over small piles of burning wood from the forest. When cheese makers needed to buy more firewood, they would use their cheese as payment. Recognizing the connection between the cheese and the forest, the cheese makers named their product Gruyère which was not only the name of their village but also the swiss word for “forest”.

1050 Parmesan cheese was developed in Parma in north Italy.

1411 Charles VI of France gave sole rights to the ageing of Roquefort cheese to the village of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon.

1722 The blue veined cheese, Stilton took its name from the village of Stilton, Huntingdonshire on the Great North Road, though it wasn't made there. The coaches travelling from London to Scotland and the northern cities often stayed at the Bell Inn, a coaching-house inn in the village of Stilton, where Stilton was sold. The village became the centre market place for the cheese with thousands being sold every week.

1791 A Marie Harel, from the Auge region of Normandy developed a new cow’s milk cheese by combining the method used in Normandy with that used in Brie. His daughter set up herself up in the local village of Camembert to sell the cheeses.

1860 While passing through the Vallee d’Auge region of Normandy, Napoleon tasted the local Camembert cheese and found it delicious. He named it after the village in Normandy in which the creator of the cow's milk cheese, Marie Harel, lived.

1880 The Empire Cheese Company of New York began producing Philadelphia Cream Cheese in its protective wrapper for a New York distributor called Reynolds.

1880 A chipboard cheese-box for housing Camembert cheese was patented. It meant  these cheeses could be dispatched long distances and sales started taking off.

1912 James Kraft, who started a wholesale cheese business in Chicago nine years previously, developed a method to pasteurise cream cheese and this led to the development of pasteurized Philadelphia cream cheese.

Source Food For Thought by Ed Pearce

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