First, let’s go back in time, way, way back.
Recent archeological research has reported that the earliest evidence of cheese making was found in perforated clay pots along the Vistula River in Poland. When they dated the evidence, it went back over 7,000 years ago. These Neolithic tribes merged together agriculture with animal husbandry. They made small holes in clay pots to separate the liquid from the solid material to make this milk based product. Without cheese, they would have not be able to experience the benefits of the particular nutrients in animal’s milk. It was a lot easier using the product of milk for protein rather than butchering the animal. Most of these tribes were lactose intolerant. So cheese was our ancestor’s way, of using bacterial contamination that resulted in producing lactose. A contamination producing an enzyme (lactose) that broke down the milk sugar helping to ferment the product to yield cheese. Previous evidence shows that similar situations occurred in what is now Libya, which started in the production of yogurt in the same time period. Amazing!
Everyone loves cheese. There are over 500 types of cheese recognized by International Dairy Federation. Found in comfort foods like grilled cheese and macaroni and cheese, its popularity over the years has exploded with pizza and quiche.
Cheese is chock-full of calcium, protein, phosphorus and also zinc, vitamin A and B12. The problem for many, is that cheese is loaded with fat, especially saturated fat. Saturated fat pushes the ON button in your cells to up the production of cholesterol. So yes, cheese does have cholesterol, but that cholesterol is broken down by your bodies digestive processes. It’s the saturated fats in cheese and other foods that causes your cells to respond by accelerating cholesterol production.
So what is a cheese loving individual to do? Get cheese to give you the most bang for your buck! Sprinkle it on top of foods rather than in foods. Embedded inside a recipe, your taste buds don’t have a chance to have a head-on sensory collision with the salty, smooth sometimes tangy flavor. On a pizza, ask for light on the cheese because you will still get that delicious mouth feel and taste. If you are making bagels, breads, croissant, etc. shred and sprinkle the tops just like you would with Parmigiano Reggiano on pasta. Just those couple of hundred small shaving of cheesy loveliness brings a dish to a whole new level.
A few years ago in Ireland, they started distributing care packages of cheese to the poor. It was supposed to contribute to the well-being of society. As the Irish government was making a complete mess of the Irish economy, it felt the cheese handouts would soften the blow of the economic crisis they made possible in their country. When you watch this video, please think the U.S. instead of Ireland with regards to the sub-prime mortgage fiasco, the bailing out of many financial companies, the recession and this so-called “fiscal cliff” drama. How cheesy everything has become in politics.