January 20th is National Cheese Lovers Day! Here at D’Errico’s Market, we not only carry some of the best premium steak and fresh chicken, but also some of the finest imported cheeses. As your favorite local Worcester deli, our team would like to kick off the celebration early with a post dedicated to the history of cheese, and how it got its own day. Enjoy!
Like many food items, there is no clear evidence of how cheese making came to be. However, there are a few legends on the matter. One of the most popular tales goes like this –
Thousands of years ago, when people transported milk, they stored it in a pouch made from sheep’s stomachs. Gross, we agree, but it is what it is.
As you can imagine, after a few days of sitting in this pouch, the proteins found in milk would begin to separate into curds and whey. After noticing that the milk was curdling, the need for preservation became apparent. Back then, salt was considered a high-end preservative, so this generation of folk, salt became the solution to curdling milk.
After its accidental creation, cheese slowly but surely made its way worldwide. Around 100 BC, cheese entered the Roman Empire and began to spread across Europe. By this point, there were nearly one hundred types of cheese in creation.
In 1615 BC, cheese was found in Asia. However, it wasn’t until the 17th Century that English Puritan dairy farmers brought their cheese-making knowledge from the old world to America. Since then, cheese has taken the hearts of Americans.
The basics behind making cheese are actually quite simple. After letting the milk sour and collecting casein protein, the curds and whey are separated and left to age with salt. Elements such as bacteria, fungi, and enzymes are sometimes added at varying stages to enhance the particular variation of cheese. Other variables for cheese types include the type of milk milk, temperature, time it sits, and herbs and spices.
Since the first mention of cheese in 5,500 BCE, there have been about 1,400 different types of cheese created. Some of the most popular variations include mozzarella, provolone, romano, American, cheddar, and so many more. All of which can be found at D’Errico’s Market!
Since 1947, D’Errico Market has been your local and trusted Worcester deli. Our team is dedicated to providing our community with the highest quality meats and cheeses on the market, at affordable prices. In fact, our passion is to create a memorable and mouth-watering experience for you each time you walk through the door!