CULTURE MAGAZINE’S “CHEESE FACTS” AND “CHEESE SCIENCE” – Marcella, the Cheesemonger ACS CCP
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CULTURE MAGAZINE’S “CHEESE FACTS” AND “CHEESE SCIENCE”

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Culture Magazine’s “Cheese Facts” and “Cheese Science”

Updated April 24, 2016 with 50+ new  facts and science from Culture Magazine.

In addition to being a Cheese Junkie; I’m also a Twitter Junkie… yes… I admit it… I love Twitter and one of my favorite feeds isCulture Magazine and their “Cheese Facts” and “Cheese Science” tweets… were it not for Culture Magazine I would have never known that cows have best friends and that sheep can remember up to two hundred sheep faces for as long as two years… information necessary to have a well-rounded Cheese IQ.

To further my never-ending pursuit to increase my Cheese IQ (and assist all of our candidates sitting for an upcoming ACS CCP™ exam), I asked Lassa Skinner, Cheese Friend and Co-Founder of Culture Magazine, to grant me permission to re-post some of their tweets…

They’re entertaining and educational… so let’s get this Cheese Party started: (All Cheese Facts and Cheese Science Tweets used in this article are owned by and copyrighted to Culture Magazine. Used by permission.)

#CheeseScience: Acidic cheeses (like feta) appear white b/c the low pH causes the casein matrix to contract and scatter light more readily.

#CheeseFact: American Alpine goats produce, on average, a gallon of milk per day.

#CheeseFact: Artisan Cheesemaker Profile: 34% have pursued graduate study, 82% are older than 40, 83% are married, and 77% have kids.

#CheeseScience: Ayrshire cow’s milk has smaller fat globules, resulting in a cheese that’s easier to digest than other cow’s milk cheeses.

#CheeseScience: Babies can eat harder cheeses b/c the enzymes break down proteins into more digestible free amino acids as the cheese ages.

#CheeseFact: The bacteria responsible for giving washed-rind cheeses their signature stink is Brevobacterium linens.

#CheeseFact: The term “barnyard” refers to aromas and flavors reminiscent of wet hay, earth, animal, and even—yes—manure.

#CheeseScience: The yellowness of butter comes from the beta-carotene in the grass cows eat.20160304_093217

#CheeseFact: A “bloomy” rind refers to the soft, velvety white mold that covers Brie, Camembert, and other cheeses.

#CheeseFact: The spidery veins throughout the interior of a blue cheese are molds, hard-working fungi that have found a place to grow.

#CheeseScience: Blue cheese has more salt than other cheese to keep quick-growing Penicillium from breaking down the interior too quickly.

#CheeseFact: To evenly distribute the mold that makes blue cheese blue, cheesemakers pierce the cheese with needles so oxygen can get in.

#CheeseFact: Because of their high salt content, blue cheeses pair very well with sweet accompaniments like fresh fruits or compotes.

#CheeseFact: Brillat-Savarin was created by cheesemaker Henri Androuet and named for 18th century gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.

#CheeseFact: Burrata is Italian for “buttered.”

#CheeseFact: Caerphilly cheese was originally a fresh, juicy farmstead curd that coal miners carried to work. Coal miners are also known as “Colliers”.

#CheeseScience: The calcium and phosphorous in cheese help prevent tooth decay.

#CheeseFact: The state of California squeezed out 42 billion lbs. of raw milk in 2012, 43% of which went into making cheese.

#CheeseScience: The cambium layer—the thin sheet between the bark and the heartwood—of spruce trees is used to wrap fresh Winnimere.

#CheeesFact: Caseins and whey proteins in cheese can inhibit tooth decay and strengthen teeth.

#CheeseFact: Casein protein-groups in milk have a negative exterior charge, meaning they repel each other (and the milk remains liquid).

#CheeseScience Cheddar is preferably made with milk produced late in a cow’s breeding season b/c it has more fat & protein and less water

Chelsea Faris ACS CCP

Chelsea Faris ACS CCP

#CheeseFact: A giant wheel of Cheddar cheese was given to Queen Victoria (1837-1901) for a wedding gift. It weighed over 1,000 pounds.

#CheeseFact: The size of a wheel of English cheddar was originally dictated by how much cheese a farmer could make in a single day.

#CheeseFact: Cheddar is not protected by origin; generally any cheese that is made by the process of “cheddaring” can be called a cheddar

#CheeseScience: Cheese is a great source of Vitamin B12, which helps red blood cell development.

#CheeseScience: Cheeses can contain dozens of different strains of bacteria, many of them incidentally introduced during the aging process.

#CheeseFact: “Stinky” cheeses highlight aromas such as yeast, meat, wet sneakers, sulphur, or feet.

#CheeseFact: Out of 3,360 domestic and imported cheeses sampled in the US from 2004–2006, only 3 tested positive for E. coli.

#CheeseFact: Great pizza cheese balances moisture and fat content for a topping that gently blisters and browns as it melts.

#CheeseFact: Wrapping cheese in tree leaves protects it from air & light but also encourages flavors & tannins to seep into the curd.

#CheeseScience: Cheese tastes saltier when eaten from a knife.

#CheeseFact: Younger, fresher cheeses like ricotta or cream cheese have more lactose than older cheeses.

#CheeseFact: Without orange dye, cheeses made with winter milk (when cows are on dry feed) are paler than spring cheeses.

#CheeseScience: Generally, a cheese’s fat and protein content are equal, but triple-cream cheeses have at least 3x as much fat as protein.

#CheeseFact: Archeological remains of cheese have been found in Egyptian tombs dating back over 5,000 years.

#CheeseScience: When cheese is cold, the fat molecules contract and hold in molecules known as odorants, making the cheese less flavorful.

#CheeseScience: Cheeses can contain dozens of different strains of bacteria, many of them incidentally introduced during the aging process.

#CheeseFact: Soft cheese curds are normally cut into larger pieces & handled extremely gently to retain their

Sartori and Creminelli Plate

Sartori and Creminelli Plate

moisture & texture.

#CheeseScience: Store cut cheese by wrapping it in waxed or parchment paper. This allows the cheese to breathe but retains its moisture.

#CheeseScience: Take your cheese out of the fridge 30 minutes prior to serving to let the flavors properly open up.

#CheeseFact: Eating cheese late at night won’t give you nightmares, but the kind of cheese you eat may shape what you’ll dream

#CheeseFact: It’s more profitable to make cheese from cow’s milk than from goat’s or sheep’s milk.

#CheeseFact: The number of babies named “Cheese” increased 450% in 2013.

#CheeseScience: A matchbox-size chunk of hard cheese constitutes about a third of an adult’s recommended daily calcium requirement.

#CheeseScience: When storing softer cheese, it’s important to flip it upside down to keep the moisture content consistent throughout.

#CheeseFact:The emptier the aging room, the more air circulates and the more moisture is leeched from thecheese.

#CheeseFact: 16th-century Italian miller, Domenico Scandella, believed that cheese would natually grow worms.

#CheeseFact: A cheese described as “cellar” has a deep, musty, earthlike aroma or flavor, similar to how a used wine cork smells.

#CheeseFact: Cheesemakers wash some cheeses in brine, a saltwater solution, in order to slow bacterial growth and impart a salty flavor.

#CheeseFact: One of the biggest tricks of cheesemaking is teasing the nutrients from the milk and discarding most of the water.

#CheeseFact: November and December are the busiest months of the year for cheesemongers.

#CheeseFact: Colby was created by Joseph F. Steinwand in—where else?—Colby, Wisconsin.

#CheeseFact: It takes up to 168 gallons of milk to make one wheel of Comté. Once aged, the wheel will weigh 75–85 pounds.

#CheeseFact: In the Northeast, the average size of a herd of cows is 100; in California, the average size of a herd is 900.

#CheeseFact: As long as it’s not paired w/ a strong blue or stinky wheel, Riesling’s fruity sweetness goes with a LOT of different cheeses!

#CheeseScience: Studies show that cows can smell things up to 6 miles away.

#CheeseFact: Normandy cows are known for their high-protein and high-butterfat milk, docile demeanor, and flavorful meat.

#CheeseFact: Cow’s milk cheeses pair well with Chardonnay, whose natural heft complements the grassy sweetness of the milk.

#CheeseScience: Cow’s, goat’s, and sheep’s milk have less than 5% lactose, while human milk has around 9%.

#CheeseScience: Cow’s milk is over 87% water.

#CheeseFact: Swiss cows in Alpine mountain pastures eat up to 26-28 different species of grass, flowers, and plants.

Aging Facility in Northern Italy

Aging Facility in Northern Italy

#CheeseScience: The cultures that create the small holes and unique flavor of Swiss cheeses such as Emmental are Propionibacterium.

#CheeseScience: Cultured butter is made when a culture is added to cream during butter production, coagulating it into a crème fraîche.

#CheeseFact: Époisses was first made about 600 years ago by monks in the Cistercian Abbaye de Citeaux.

#CheeseFact: “Farmstead” cheese must be made with milk from the farmer’s own herd or flock, on the farm where the animals are raised.

#CheeseScience: Typically, feta sits in a brine of whey for 60 days in order to develop its firm texture and salty taste.

#CheeseFact: Fresh cheeses are usually sold within 1 to 14 days after their production and include ricotta, fromage blanc, and chèvre.

#CheeseFact: Most of the dairies in the eastern German Alps borrow their cows rather than own them.

#CheeseFact: Homer mentions goat cheese in the Iliad (he recommends crumbling some in a glass of wine along with some barley meal).

#CheeseScience: Goat’s milk is richer in calcium, vitamin B6, & niacin, while cow’s milk has higher levels of vitamin B12 & folic acid.

#CheeseScience: Goat cheeses are harder to pair with red wine because certain fatty acids impart a gamey flavor that fights with the wine.

#CheeseFact: Homer mentions goat cheese in the Iliad (he recommends crumbling some in a glass of wine along with some barley meal).

#CheeseScience: Goat’s milk is richer in calcium, vitamin B6, & niacin, while cow’s milk has higher levels of vitamin B12 & folic acid.

#CheeseFact: Only about 1 percent of Dutch Gouda is farmstead cheese.

#CheeseScience: Milk from Guernsey cows is high in A2 beta-casein, an easy-to-digest protein.

#CheeseFact: Guernsey cows are known for their rich milk and sunny disposition.

#CheeseFact: According to the US but not the EU, halloumi cheese can only be made in Cyprus with Cypriot sheep’s and goat’s milk.

#CheeseScience: Holstein cows produce milk with as little as 2.5% butterfat, while a Jersey cow’s milk can contain up to 4.9% butterfat.

#CheeseFact: Holstein cows comprise more than 90 percent of the U.S. dairy population.

#CheeseFact: Jersey cows were originally bred to make butter.

#CheeseFact: Knives for soft cheeses have holes in the blade to minimize surface area contact w/ the sticky paste for a clean slice.

#CheeseScience: After giving birth, sheep lactate for 6–7 months; goats for 10 months; and cows for up to 2 year.

Candy, Murrays Cheese Monger

Candy, Murrays Cheese Monger

#CheeseFact: Cow’s, goat’s, and sheep’s milk have less than 5% lactose, while human milk has around 9%.

#CheeseScience: There is more lactose in younger cheeses such as ricotta or quark than in aged cheeses such as Gruyère or sharp cheddar.

#CheeseFact: The term “lactic” refers to cheese with a milky, tangy quality—the result of lactobacilius bacteria & little to no rennet.

#CheeseScience: Over 60 days, lactic bacteria in raw-milk cheese increase acids to a level inhospitable to pathogens, making it safe to eat.

#CheeseScience: When milk is heated in the beginning of the cheesemaking process, bacteria feast on the lactose & turn it into lactic acid.

#CheeseFact: Leaf-wrapped cheeses are protected from air and light and allows the plant’s natural flavors to seep into the curd.

#CheeseFact: Every twelve weeks, approximately ⅓ of Americans will eat macaroni and cheese at least once.

#CheeseFact: Mexican cheese from the mountains is fattier b/c it doesn’t dry out. Valley cheese is saltier since it needs more preserving.

#CheeseFact: 80% of microbes found in raw milk come from udders and the external environment.

#CheeseFact: For every 10 parts of milk used, only 1 part becomes cheese. The rest is whey.

#CheeseScience: When milk is heated in the beginning of the cheesemaking process, bacteria feast on the lactose & turn it into lactic acid.

#CheeseFact: Milk proteins in cheese can neutralize plaque acids and enhance remineralization of tooth enamel.

#CheeseScience: It takes 10 lbs. of cow’s or goat’s milk to make 1 lb. of cheese, but only 6 lbs. of sheep’s milk.

#CheeseFact: Marie Antoinette played at being a milkmaid with a silver pail and ivory milking stool.

#CheeseFact: Summer milk has less casein than winter milk, so it takes longer to coagulate into curds.

Allin Tallmadge ACS CCP

Allin Tallmadge ACS CCP

#CheeseFact: Monterey Jack was named after David Jacks who came to Monterey, CA, for the Gold Rush but ended up selling cheese.

#CheeseFact: Franciscan friars originally made Monterey Jack in CA missions before entrepreneur David Jack popularized the cheese.

#CheeseFact: The gray line in Morbier traditionally hails from topping extra curds w/ ash at the end of the day to inhibit bacterial growth

#CheeseFact: A dried mozzarella, #Scamorza—Italian for “beheaded”—is tied 2/3 of the way toward the top, forming a neck to hang for aging.

#CheeseFact: Mozzarella needs to be pressed, pulled, and shaped until it floats like a soft pillow in a fresh milky pool.

#CheeseFact: The name “mozzarella” comes from the Neapolitan word “mozzare,” which means to cut off.

#CheeseFact: Mozzarella is a pasta filata (“spun paste”) cheese, named for the stretching process it undergoes to achieve a stringy quality

#CheeseFact: A dry rosé works best with fresh mozzarella.

#CheeseFact: Light, wheat beers pair well with mozzarella and fruit beers pair well with mascarpone.

#CheeseFact: Nigerian Dwarfs are not from Nigeria, nor are they true genetic dwarfs! But they are really cute.

#CheeseFact: Blue eyes in Nigerian Dwarf goats are a dominant genetic trait.

#CheeseFact: Normandy cows are known for their high-protein and high-butterfat milk, docile demeanor, and flavorful meat.

#CheeseScience: Odorants are the molecules responsible for the distinct aromas—and flavors—of drinks and foods (such as stinky cheese!)

#CheeseFact: Oaxaca cheese is a sweet, pulled-curd cheese traditionally used in quesadillas.

Grayson

Grayson

#CheeseScience: 1 tbsp of grated Parmesan has 1/3 the amount of sodium (~35 mg) of Pecorino Romano or grated process cheese.

#CheeseFact: The most coveted Parmigiano-Reggiano wheels are made in August and September, when the cow’s milk is richest.

#CheeseFact: True Parmigiano Reggiano is easy to identify by its stamped rind

#CheeseFact: One northern Italian bank maintains 300,000 wheels of Parmesan, worth $200 million, as collateral for loans.

#CheeseScience: Pigs in Parma feed on leftover Parmigiano Reggiano whey and produce meat that is deliciously dark, moist, and nutty.

#CheeseFact: Sardinia’s Pecora Sarda ewes produce 50 percent of all the milk used to create Italy’s pecorino cheeses.

#CheeseFact: Pecorino (from the Italian word for sheep) describes not just one but a family of sheep’s milk cheeses.

#CheeseScience: Penicillium glaucum is the spore (native to Italy) that is responsible for the blue/green/gray veining found in gorgonzola.

#CheeseFact: While both Penicillium roqueforti and Penicillium glaucum both make cheese blue, P. roqueforti is more commonly used

#CheeseFact: Plastic wrap doesn’t allow moisture to escape; it stays on the surface of cheese, which can lead to mold growth and spoilage.

#CheeseFact: Protected Designation of Origin, or PDO, refers to an officially regulated food w/ strict regional and production standards.

#CheeseFact: Proteolysis is the breakdown of proteins into smaller polypeptides or amino acids – a key factor in ripening.

#CheeseFact: Raclette—a Swiss cheese traditionally melted fireside & eaten w/ potatoes—comes from the French “racler,” meaning “to scrape”

#CheeseScience: 1/4 teaspoon of rennet is enough to transform a gallon of milk into curds.

#CheeseFact: Rennet is the powerful coagulating enzyme that is responsible for changing milk into curd when making cheese.

Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Plate

Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Plate

#CheeseFact: Rennet is an enzyme preparation derived from the stomach lining of suckling calves, kids, or lambs.

#CheeseFact: Rennet shears off the negative charge of casein protein-groups in milk, causing them to gel together and form solid curds.

#CheeseScience: Animal rennet is a coagulating agent made from enzymes naturally produced in the stomachs of ruminant (cud-chewing) mammals

#CheeseScience: Ricotta translates to “re-cooked” in English, since it’s made by reheating whey discarded from traditional cheesemaking.

#CheeseFact: In 2008, the Bush Administration imposed a 300 percent import duty on Roquefort cheese.

#CheeseFact: A single 2 lb. wheel of Roquefort requires 12 lb. of milk (but only from Lacaune, Manecsh, or Basco-Béaarnaise sheep breeds!)

#CheeseFact: During the hot months the Awassi sheep graze in groups, keeping their heads in the shade below the bellies of their flock mates

#CheeseScience: Sheep’s huge, rectangular pupils allow them to see practically 360º without turning their heads.

#CheeseScience: Sheep’s milk has smaller fat globules than cow’s milk, rendering the milk more homogenized.

#CheeseScience: Sheep’s milk is more highly concentrated in nutrients than both cow’s and goat’s milk.

#CheeseScience: After giving birth, sheep lactate for 6–7 months; goats for 10 months; and cows for up to 2 years.

#CheeseFact: Sheep can recognize up to 50 other sheep faces and remember them for 2 years.

#CheeseFact: Sheep’s milk coagulates into curds the fastest, followed by goat’s milk and then cow’s milk.

Adam Moskowitz with the 10 Finalists at 2015 Cheesemonger Invitational, NYC (he's the one in the cow suit...like I needed to add that...)

Adam Moskowitz with the 10 Finalists at 2015 Cheesemonger Invitational, NYC (he’s the one in the cow suit…like I needed to add that…)

#CheeseFact: Sheep’s milk contains twice the amount of casein proteins than cow’s milk.

#CheeseScience: Sheep’s & goat’s milk cheeses have smaller fatty acid molecules, so they’re easier to digest than cow’s milk cheeses.

#CheeseFact: The piney earthiness of the juniper berries in #gin pairs well with milder sheep’s milk

#CheeseScience: B/c of its high protein & fat content, it takes half as much sheep’s milk as cow’s milk to make the same amount of cheese.

#CheeseFact: The majority of Shropshire Blue cheese is made not in Shropshire but in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire

#CheeseScience: Soft cheese curds are normally cut into larger pieces & handled extremely gently to retain their moisture & texture.

#CheeseFact: Spanish and goat cheeses go particularly well with red wines, partially because of the cheese’s veg. acidity.

#CheeseFact: Sparkling wine makes strong cheese taste stronger, while the acidity and bubbles can make super rich cheeses less overwhelming

#CheeseFact: Stiltons are traditionally eaten around Christmastime b/c they’re best made in the cooler weather of early fall.

#CheeseFact: Historically, Stilton cheese was first sold at the Bell Inn in Stilton, England, a waypoint for travelers.

#CheeseFact: “Terroir” is a French word for characteristics given to a food by the area in which it was grown.

Cheesemakers, after hours

Cheesemakers, after hours

#CheeseFact: Turophobia is the fear of cheese (and should not exist)

#CheeseScience: Triple cream cheeses must have a butterfat content of 75% or higher.

#CheeseFact: Vacherin Mont d’Or must be aged on the eponymous golden mountain for three weeks in the winter at no warmer than 59°F

#CheeseFact: Vella Cheese Company’s Dry Jack is hand coated with chocolate, vegetable oil, and black pepper.

#CheeseFact: The Swiss term “vollmundia” describes the flavor of a cheese involving the whole mouth, firing off every one of your taste buds

#CheeseScience: Cheesemakers wash some cheeses in brine, a saltwater solution, in order to slow bacterial growth and impart a salty flavor.

#CheeseFact: Washed-rind cheeses are washed repeatedly w/ brine, beer, or wine while aging to inhibit mold & grow flavor-enhancing bacteria

#CheeseFact: The wax used on cheese is a special (inedible) wax that remains flexible over time and allows the cheese to breathe.

#CheeseFact: Historically, most pigs around the world were fed a variety of food waste, including whey

#CheeseFact: Jasper Hill’s Winnimere is made only from October-April, when the cows are on dry feed and their milk is 20% higher in fat.

#CheeseFact: Wisconsin has earned the name “America’s Dairyland.” It’s home to more than 1,200 licensed cheesemakers & 124 cheese plants.

#CheeseFact: Wisconsin has over 20 creameries that together make over a billion pounds of cheese a year.

#CheeseFact: Wisconsin makes a third of all US cheese, totaling over a billion pounds of cheese a year.

#CheeseScience: Wrapping cheese with leaves soaked in wine or spirits imparts a delicate and subtle taste.

#CheeseScience: The milk of yak and reindeer is among the highest in butterfat content.

#CheeseScience: Yak’s milk cheese is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linolecic acid (CLA), both healthful types of fat.

#CheeseScience: The probiotics in yogurt are widely recognized as a way to help repopulate and balance the good bacteria in our stomachs.

Lassa kissing one of her favorite Cheesemakers

Lassa kissing one of her favorite Cheesemakers

My thanks to Lassa Skinner and the staff at Culture Magazine for assembling this information and allowing me to share it with you.

Interviews with Cheese Professionals continue through 2016… sometimes, as “stand-alone” interviews and sometimes as round-table discussions with several Pros answering the same question. Those participating include CheesemakersACS CCPs™,Cheesemongers and Cheese Experts who contribute to this Wonderful World we call “Cheese”.

List of all Interviews from 2013:Cheesemakers,Cheesemongers.

List of 2015-16 Cheese Professionals.

List of all Cheese Professionals Bios.

Please “Like” MarcellaTheCheesemonger Page on FaceBook.

Studying for one of the 2016 ACS CCP™ exams? Simply want to know more about cheese? Please join our Cheese Study Group at Facebook!!!

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