Ancient records indicate that making of cheese dates back over 4,000 years. Although no one knows how the first cheese was created. A concept that through the transportation of milk in bladders made of ruminants. The definition of a ruminant is an even-toed ungulate mammal which chews cud regurgitated from its rumen. Storing the milk in such a manner would make it coagulate separation into curds and whey. Although the original process may never be known by the time of the Roman Empire the artwork is now a highly valued procedure throughout Europe the Middle East. Countless varieties of cheese were produced and traded across the Roman Empire. Many kinds of cheese which are well known today were first produced and recorded in the late middle ages such as cheddar from the 1500’s Parmigiano-Reggiano in 1957, Gouda in 1697 and Camembert in 1791.
France has a long history of making over 400 varieties of cheese. In its early days of production, it remained a local product simply identified by the origin where it was made. British cheese making began about 2,000 years back in Pre-Roman times. Cheshire and Lancashire are just two that evolved into what we recognize today. As in France most of the cheese making was localized and done by farmers as well as in monasteries. Switzerland, of course, is known for its cheese, Emmental is a firm cheese with a pale yellow color and buttery, mildly sharp flavor.
English Puritans dairy farmers brought to America from the 17th Century their understanding of cheese making, Following the Revolutionary War, New York was called the terrific cheese state. The Southeastern part of Wisconsin was settled in the 1830’s. By 1850,s immigrants from Germany, Norway, and Switzerland arrived and coupling with American Pioneers stated farmstead cheese manufacturing. It took generations for Wisconsin to evolve and in 1868 Nicholas Gerber opened the first Wisconsin Cheese Factory. By 1910 Wisconsin surpassed Ohio and New York and became the number one in cheese manufacturing in the USA.
The invention of processed cheese in 1911, a combination of at least two unique forms and made popular by James L. Kraft who became famous as American Cheese.
Here’s a recipe made with delicious cheese.
2 cups shredded natural Swiss Cheese
3 tablespoons Kirsch, dry sherry, brandy or nonalcoholic white wine
1 loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch bits
1. Put bread and cheese in resealable plastic bag.
2. Rub garlic on bottom and side of fondue pot, heavy saucepan or skillet; discard garlic. Add wine. Heat over simmer setting or low heat just until bubbles rise to surface (do not boil).
3. Stir in Kirsch.
4. Keep warm over simmer setting. If prepared in saucepan or skillet, then pour into a fondue pot or heatproof serving bowl and keep warm over low heat. Fondue must be served over heat to maintain its smooth, creamy texture.
5. Spear bread with fondue forks; dip and swirl in fondue with stirring motion. If fondue becomes too thick, stir in 1/4 to 1/2 cup warmed wine.
Fondue is French for”melted” Be patient when making cheese fondue, and allow each addition of cheese to completely melt in the wine before adding more. Serve with tossed green salad and make a meal.