So cheesy: 5 trivia bits for National Cheese Day

·2 min read

There’s a good chance you’ve heard your meat-lovin’ friends swear by the fact that cheese makes everything taste better!

Burgers? Pizza? Scallops? Even samgyupsal! There’s something about cheese that opens up one’s appetite to a whole different level.

Every June 4, National Cheese Day is celebrated by culinary nerds and casual foodies alike. For today’s article, check out these five fun cheese trivia bits that you could use to add some flavor to your next conversation with friends!

History

Some experts believe that cheese was discovered around 8,000 BC when sheep were domesticated. Ruminants (hoofed herbivore grazing mammals) like sheep, naturally have stomachs that contain “rennet,” an enzyme integral to facilitate the proper formation of a firm curd. The stomachs of sheep then, since they were considered leak-proof, were used to store milk and other liquids. It is believed that the residual rennet in the stomach lining helped curdle the milk into cheese on a warm summer day.

Numbers

There are over 1,800 varieties of cheese from around the world. The most popular is cheddar cheese. One of the reasons that contributed to its popularity is that it is the first-ever cheese that was factory produced in 1851.

Etymology

The English word “cheese” is derived from the Latin word “Caseus” which means, “to ferment; become sour.” Going back to the basics, cheese is a fermented dairy product.

World

According to a February 2022 report published on Statista, the Philippines ranks 16th in terms of per capita cheese consumption. The top spot belongs to the European Union (EU). “People in the European Union ate on average 20.44 kilograms of cheese. The U.S. and Canada came in second and third in that year at about 17.9 and 15 kilograms of cheese per capita,” stated the report.

Myth

Do rats really like cheese? A 2006 study at the University of Manchester found that rats and mice find the strong smell of cheese off-putting and would rather nibble on other food items. So where did this idea come from? People believed it stemmed from the Middle Ages, when cheeses were not kept out of reach and simply left out. So every time there would be a rat discovered, it would be caught biting a bit of the light yellow treat.

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