How Is Cheese Made? Brie-lliant Facts All Kids Should Know | Kidadl


How Is Cheese Made? Brie-lliant Facts All Kids Should Know

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Cheese is a dairy product derived from the milk of cows, goats, sheep, or yak.

Different types of cheeses can be found that vary in flavor, texture, and even forms. These cheeses may vary from region to region.

There aren't many foods that spring to mind that have more mass appeal than cheese. The history and future of cheese are just as complex and fascinating as the many varieties of this by-product of milk. Cheese has been present in history for many thousands of years. Cheese making has been prevalent since about 8000 BCE, around the time sheeps started being domesticated. The earliest cheeses in history are believed to be similar to feta and cottage cheese in texture and taste and were found throughout the Roman Empire. Cheese making includes various processes like preparing the milk, acidifying the milk by introducing certain acid or starter cultures, coagulation, cutting the curds, aging, and preservation. Salt plays a major role in the preservation of cheeses.

Whether it's the popular mozzarella on pizza or delectable swiss cheese, learning how cheeses like these are produced in the 21st century is truly fascinating. Additionally, you might find it surprising to know that the health benefits that come with cheese are numerous. Cheese gets a bad reputation for being an ingredient in some of the more indulgent and unhealthy food choices, like hamburgers and pizza. This can give the impression that cheese is simply bad for your health, but that is not the whole truth. While it is true that processed cheese is a bit high in saturated fats, it is undeniable that cheese is a great source of calcium, protein, vitamin A, zinc, phosphorus, and riboflavin. In fact, if cheese is produced from grass-fed animals it may even have omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K2. Cheese can be a great source of proteins and fats, especially if you follow the ketogenic diet, as cheese has only a few carbohydrates.

If you enjoy reading this article about how cheese is made, feel free to check out how is coffee made and how bread is made from Kidadl to feed your curious mind.

How is cheese made step by step?

You do not need to know the craftsmanship behind cheese production or cheese making when you're enjoying a slice of pizza. Yet it may bring a deeper level of appreciation to know what it takes to make the perfect wheel or slice of cheese.

Cheese is a dairy product. Cheeses are made with not just cow's milk but also goat, buffalo, and yak milk. With different types of cheeses, the process may have variations from the basic foundational recipe. The first step that cheesemakers follow is to prepare the milk. This milk can be sourced from a cow, sheep, goat, or yak. The milk then needs to be pasteurized. This is done by heating the milk to the temperature of 90 F (32.2 C). Some cheese recipes call for raw milk, in which case this step is omitted.

The most crucial steps in making cheese are acidifying the milk and coagulation. There are several ways to acidify the milk. You can either add vinegar or citric acid to make soft cheese or add a bacterial enzyme or enzymes of rennet. Starter cultures may also be added to prevent the growth of bad bacteria and help preserve the cheese for longer. Rennet is a naturally occurring enzyme found in the stomach lining of young mammals who chew cud (these mammals are known as ruminants). More and more cheesemakers now use non-animal rennet to make cheese instead. These additions cause the milk proteins to coagulate. Curds and whey separate from each other after curdling. The solid curds then go through an extensive process. The whey (liquid) is drained and the remaining solid curds left after separating are spread into a mat which is cut, salted, and shaped. After this whole process, the real test begins where some cheeses are aged over many days, months, or even years for the flavor to fully develop.

As has been mentioned, the process varies for the different kinds of cheeses. Cheeses can have wildly different tastes. This is because of the fat and protein content of the milk chosen, the rennet or the acidification compounds used, and the age of the cheese.

Are you thinking of making cheese at home? Fortunately, you don't always need to buy cheese from the supermarket. You can make cheese very easily at home and enjoy fresh cheeses at all times. Homemade cheese can produce good-quality cheese with excellent texture and taste. Making cheese at home is an easy task and requires very minimal ingredients. Cottage cheese is one of the easiest types of cheese to make, and a no-fuss one at that. This cheese is made by adding acid to milk and eventually curdling the milk so that it separates into curds and whey (liquid). To make this, you just need whole milk and an acid, like lemon juice or vinegar. Once the whey separates from the curds, add the curds to a cheesecloth and let the excess water drain. Rinse the milk solids or curds thoroughly in water and your homemade cheese is ready to use. Be sure to add a pinch of salt to your cheese to enhance the flavor even further.

If cheese making interests you, you can also give Colby-Jack cheese a try. It requires minimal ingredients and it is the perfect hard cheese to begin your cheese-making journey with. To make good-quality cheese, all you need is whole milk, mesophilic starter, rennet (non-animal or animal rennet), and cheese salt. The only thing to be careful with while making this is to ensure that the temperature is accurate at every stage. The incorrect temperature will lead to overheating and eventually burning the milk even before starting the process. Once the cheese is made, it needs to air-dry for a few days. Once the outside of the cheese becomes dry to touch, it should be waxed and aged at 55 F (12.7 C) for about two to three months.

A cheesemaker prepares a form of Parmesan cheese using fresh and bio  milk.

How is cheddar cheese made?

Cheddar is one of the most popular cheeses. But do you know how it is made? Here's how.

To make the finest quality cheddar cheese, the first step is to start with raw, unpasteurized milk. After this, the milk is gently warmed and starter cultures are gradually added to it. The next step is adding the animal-derived or vegetarian rennet in addition to the starter cultures, which helps with coagulation and turning the milk into a solid mass. This is then cut and the process of separating the solid curds from the liquid whey starts. Then comes the most crucial step of cutting and stacking blocks of the curds, allowing them to cool, and then draining them again. After following this elaborate process, the solid curd is turned into small chips and then salted. It is then moved to a cotton muslin cloth for pressing. From here, the cheese goes for 'maturing.' Using a cheesecloth helps with forming the rind.

How is vegan cheese made?

It may be hard to imagine cheese and cheese making without milk. Thanks to the creativity of many, there are a plethora of vegan cheeses that can give you cheesy goodness if you don't consume dairy because of dietary or ethical reasons.

Vegan cheese is an entire category of cheese in its own right. There are many types of plant-based cheese, like parmesan, cheddar, vegan swiss cheeses, and even many fresh kinds of cheese. The milk may be substituted from traditional recipes using plant-based milk like soya milk, oat milk, and almond milk. Vegan cheeses may include combinations of sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, nutritional yeast, soybeans, and many other non-animal-based ingredients.

How is parmesan cheese made?

Is the process of making parmesan cheese as delightful as it tastes? Let's find out!

Similar to cheddar, this delectable hard cheese is also made by gently heating unpasteurized milk. Starter culture and rennet are added and then the mixture is curdled. After letting the curd settle in the mixture for about an hour, the curds and whey mixture is drained onto a cheesecloth and then transferred into molds. The cheese is then put into a stainless steel round. After two days, a plastic belt imprints the cheese with the name, date, month, and year of production. The cheese wheel is then left in a brine bath for about 20-25 days. After this, they are aged for about a year.

Did You Know...

Are you aware of high-temperature cheese? High-temperature cheese is a type of cheese specifically made in such a way that it won't melt even when cooked in normal smokehouse temperatures. This cheese can maintain its consistency and shape when cooked at very high temperatures. It is usually made using highly acidic or high salt, which helps with denaturing the proteins.

The age of a cheese plays a role in its taste and quality. So naturally, there is an amazing world of cheese that is aged. Be it blue cheese or parmesan, aging the cheese gives it a different complexity of flavor. The age of cheese helps us determine the flavor as well. There are, broadly speaking, two categories of cheese on the basis of type of ripening. Firstly, interior-ripened cheese. This cheese is coated with some sort of wax-like material to protect its surface. This coating helps the aging to occur from the inside first and moves outside. A prominent example of such a cheese would be the cheddar, parmesan, or swiss cheese. Secondly, surface-ripened cheese. This cheese is perhaps more traditional in the sense that it is exposed and not coated to protect its surface. This helps build a rind. The rind causes aging from the outside in. Examples of surface-ripened cheese include Brie and Gruyère.

Another area of concern regarding cheese is its relation to animal welfare. A lot of us think deeply about the food we are consuming and how it affects other animals. Apart from the many well-trained cheesemakers of the world, we must be grateful to the animals that make most cheeses possible. While it is true that cheese production does not directly contribute to the slaughter or killing of a cow or any other animal, one must be aware of the processes behind dairy production. In some cases, dairy cows, sheep, and others are exploited and are kept in less-than-ideal circumstances and facilities.

Needless to say, cheese dishes are popular all over the world. Cheese features heavily in some of the world's most popular meals like pizza (with mozzarella), hamburgers (with American or cheddar), and pasta (with parmesan). There are other notable dishes that feature cheese that you should try too. Cottage cheese curry using paneer (similar to cottage cheese) is popular in Indian cuisine. Some of the cottage cheese dishes used in Indian food are simply amazing, with complex flavors and spices. Japanese cheesecake is another one to try. While the New York cheesecake gets most of the attention, Japanese cuisine has perfected the soft and fluffy cheesecake.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how is cheese made then why not take a look at are birds warm-blooded? or are black diamonds real?

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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