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Cheese is milk made into a solid form that you eat. There are many types of cheese. Many things affect the style, texture and flavor of a cheese. These include the milk (cow or goat), if the milk has been pasteurized, the amount of butterfat, bacteria and mold in the cheese, how the cheese is made and how old the cheese is.
For some cheeses, the milk is curdled by adding acids such as vinegar or lemon juice. Most cheeses are acidified by bacteria. This bacteria turns milk sugars into lactic acid. Rennet is then used to finish the curdling. Vegetarian alternatives to rennet can also be used. Most of these are made by fermentation of a fungus called Mucor miehei. Other alternatives use species of the Cynara thistle family.
The origin of cheese
How cheese is made
Cheese is made using milk. The milk of cows, goats, and sheep are most popular. Buffalo, camel and even mare's milk can also be used. Cheese makers usually cook the milk in large pots. They add salt and a substance from the stomach of young cows called rennet. This curdles the cheese and makes it solid. Some makers do not add rennet. They curdle the cheese in other ways. Cheese made in factories is often curdled by using bacteria. Other ingredients are added and the cheese is usually aged for a short time.
Types of cheese
There are many different ways to classify cheeses. Some ways include:
- How long the cheese was aged
- The texture of the cheese. These include Hard, Soft and Softer.
- How the cheese was made
- What type of milk was used to make the cheese. This is mainly what animal the milk comes from. The diet of the animal can also affect the type of cheese made from its milk.
- How much fat is in the cheese
- What color the cheese is
There are also man-made foods that some people use instead of cheese. These are called Cheese analogues.
Different types of cheese include:
- "The History Of Cheese: From An Ancient Nomad’s Horseback To Today’s Luxury Cheese Cart". The Nibble. Lifestyle Direct, Inc.. http://www.thenibble.com/REVIEWS/main/cheese/cheese2/history.asp. Retrieved 2012-02-09.