A bit of history
Cheese dates back thousands of years. Milk used to be transported by donkey in bags made out of sheep's stomachs. The milk would be in there for a few days and the curds would then seperate from the whey. People realised that if you added salt to those curd solids you would get something that was edible and lasted longer - cheese!
The earliest records of cheese making date back to 5,500 BC in the area that is now Poland.
There are now approximately 1500 types of cheeses and France boasts an awful lot of them.
France is the biggest cheese producing country in the world with approximately 500 different types of cheeses being produced all over the country in areas and farms devoted to cheese making and nothing else.
Most countries produce some sort of cheese. From Italy with it's stringy mozzarella in pizza and parmesan in pasta to Middle Easterm Labneh, Indian Paneer, Swiss cheese, Dutch Edam and many, many more.
Where there is milk there is cheese. It can be made from goat's milk, ewe's milk and of course cow's milk. Buffalo milk is used for the best mozzarella cheese.
Let's make cheese!
This is a simple Labneh or yogurt cheese from the Middle East.
32oz Plain yogurt
3/4 tsp salt
It's so easy!
- Stir the salt into the yogurt and pour it into a bowl that has been lined with several layers of cheesecloth/muslin
- Pull up the corners of the cloth and wrap an elastic band securely around this and then hang up so it drips into the bowl
- Leave for 24 - 48 hours
- The liquid in the bowl is called the whey and can be used for baking scones or for putting in your bath water to make your skin soft!
- The cheese is what is left inside the cloth bag
- You can sprinkle on some dried herbs if you like when you are making this recipe to give the cheese a flavour as it is really bland rather like cream cheese. Spread on toast, crackers or oatcakes.
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Check out our Pinterest Board for more about cheese and recipes too.