No one really knows the true origins of the BEST FOOD EVER..but it’s thought that the origins of cheese making started around 8000 BCE when we first thought it was a good idea to domesticate sheep. The first cheeses were not cheese as we know it, but bitter with a texture most similar to cottage cheese or feta. It wasn’t until togas became on trend that cheese became more like the stuff we consume 700,000 tonnes a year of in Britain. Yes… that is correct. 700,000 tonnes.
By Greek and Roman times cheese was becoming an everyday food with the process of cheese making involving rennet coagulation (ick), pressing of the curd, salting, and aging. Moving forward to the modern era cheese had become well established in Europe with each country having their own variety of cheeses. The spread of European culture meant that cheese made it’s way to to East Asian cultures and the Americas.
In 1815 the first cheese production factory opened in Switzerland, but large scale production first found real success in the United States (Obviously). Factory made cheese overtook traditional cheese making in the World War 2 era, and factories have been the source of most cheese in America and Europe ever since.
In 2014, world production of cheese from whole cow milk was at a whopping 18.7 million tonnes with 9 million tonnes being produced in Europe and 5.4 tonnes in the USA.
France, Iceland, Finland, Denmark, and Germany were the highest consumers of cheese in 2014, averaging 25kg per person. That’s a whole lotta cheese.