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Jewish Recipes --> Jewish and Israeli Foods --> List of Kosher Cheese

Kinds of Kosher Cheese
Cheese needs a hechsher from a reliable source to be kosher

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Kosher Pizza

Cheese Recipes

Cheese is a solid food made from the curdled milk of cows, goats, sheep, or other mammals. The milk is curdled using some combination of rennet (or rennet substitutes) and acidification.


Cheese is an ancient food whose origins may predate recorded history. Probably discovered in Central Asia or the Middle East, cheese making spread to Europe and had become a sophisticated enterprise by Roman times. As Rome's influence receded, distinct local cheese making techniques emerged. This diversity reached its peak in the early industrial age and has declined somewhat since then due to mechanization and economic factors.

Cheese has served as a hedge against famine and a good travel food. It is valuable for its portability, long life, and high content of fat, protein, calcium, and phosphorus. Cheese is lighter-weight, more compact, and has a longer shelf life than the milk from which it is made. Cheese makers can place themselves near the center of a dairy region and benefit from fresher milk, lower milk prices, and lower shipping costs. Cheese's substantial storage life lets a cheese maker sell when prices are high or money is needed.


The exact origins of cheese making are unknown, and estimates range from around 8000 BCE (when sheep were domesticated) to around 3000 BCE. Credit for the discovery most likely goes to nomadic Turkic tribes in Central Asia, around the same time that they developed yogurt, or to people in the Middle East. A common tale about the discovery of cheese tells of an Arab nomad carrying milk across the desert in a container made from an animal's stomach, only to discover the milk had been separated into curd and whey by the rennet from the stomach.

Folktales aside, cheese likely began as a way of preserving soured and curdled milk through pressing and salting, with rennet introduced later— perhaps when someone noticed that cheese made in an animal stomach produced more solid and better-textured curds. The earliest archaeological evidence of cheese making has been found in Egyptian tomb murals, dating to about 2300 BCE. The earliest cheeses would likely have been quite sour and salty, similar in texture to rustic cottage cheese or feta.

From the Middle East, basic cheese making found its way into Europe, where cooler climates meant less aggressive salting was needed for preservation. With moderate salt and acidity, the cheese became a suitable environment for a variety of beneficial microbes and molds, which are what give aged cheeses their pronounced and interesting flavors.

Sept 2005 - 2013 - Kosher Recipes - Kosher Cooking - Jewish Cooking - Jewish Recipes - Jewish Foods- Jewish Foods
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Cheese.