Inventions - Cheese
Once upon a time, in a far-off land, an ancient Arabian was traveling across the desert with no one for company but a camel with yellow teeth, bad breath, and a bad temper. The journey was long and hot, but luckily, the traveler had some food along for the ride. He had poured some milk into a pouch made from a sheep’s stomach.
As the Arabian traveler was walking through the hot desert, something amazing happened! He opened the pouch and discovered that the milk had separated into two parts: thick masses, which we call curd, and a watery fluid, which we call whey. It was a happy accident, and the Arabian traveler had accidentally invented cheese!
But how did this happen? Well, two elements transformed the milk into cheese. First, the sun warmed the bag of milk during the journey. Second, the sheep-stomach bag contained dried digestive juices, which included a special ingredient called “rennet” that’s necessary to make cheese even today.
The Arabian traveler was so excited about his discovery that he told all of his friends. And guess what? For four thousand years, people have continued making cheese! Cheese quickly became important all over the world because milk spoiled quickly. But by making cheese, people could preserve the milk’s nutrition for long periods of time.
If you're like the average American, you ate 24 pounds of cheese last year! Can you believe it? According to the Guinness Book of World Records, while the United States is the largest producer of cheese, the average French person eats the most cheese—43.6 pounds each year!
Did you know that over two thousand varieties of cheese are produced around the world? That’s a lot of cheese! If you tasted a different kind each week, it would take almost forty years to sample all the varieties. And by that time, someone would probably have developed some new ones to try, too.
So, there you have it, the story of how an ancient Arabian traveler accidentally invented cheese. Who knew that such delicious and important food could come from a hot desert and a grumpy camel?