How did cheese come to be? There are no answers to the question of the origin of cheese, and no one really knows when it came to be. The story goes, however, that once upon a time, an Arab merchant set off on a long journey through the desert. He had brought along milk in a pouch made of sheep’s stomach to quench his thirst along the way. When he went to take his first sip a while later, he got nothing but a small trickle – milk had become a solid and whitish mass. Microbes in milk, bioactive substances in the sheep’s stomach, the warming effect of sunlight, the constant swaying back and forth and the pressure of the leather pouch had turned the milk into a curd. It is believed that it was by this accident that the secret to cheesemaking was discovered.
Which country does cheese come from? The art of cheesemaking was first discovered in Asia and the Arabic, later making its way to Europe. The earliest cheeses were probably made 6,000–7,000 years ago. Alongside Asia and the Arabic, making and eating cheese was held in high regard in ancient Rome, too. The households of wealthy noblemen even had special cheese kitchens. In Rome, cheese was the food of the wealthy, as even wine was cheaper than cheese at the time.
The Romans made two major contributions to cheesemaking: they adopted aging of cheese and started to smoke cheese to prolong its preservation. Cheese derived its name in English (cheese), German (käse), Italian (cacio), Spanish (queso) and Dutch (kaas) from the Latin word caseus, which means cheese and meaningfully refers to the milk protein casein.
How long have Estonians been enjoying cheese? In Estonia, cheese has been known for centuries. The first written records of cheese as a food product date back to the fourteenth century. But like in Rome, this precious foodstuff was originally enjoyed as a dessert by wealthy townsmen and landlords. In the Middle Ages, locals were sceptical about eating cheese as for them it was food that had gone off: cheese was aged for a long time and it smelled funny. Cheesemaking started more widely in Estonia only in the nineteenth century in manor dairies and gained momentum with the establishment of dairy cooperatives. Today, there are about 4,000 different varieties of cheese in the world. Many of them are renowned worldwide, such as some Swiss, Italian and French style cheeses. See the cheese selection of Saaremaa Dairy Factory here
Today, 4,000 different types of cheese are known around the world. There are many types of cheese that are world-famous and well-known, such as some Swiss, Italian and French cheeses.
Vaata Saaremaa Piimatööstuse juustuvalikut siit