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Cheese – Interesting Stuff

I love cheese. There are now over 700 varieties of British cheese, almost twice as many as the French. However the French still eat twice as much cheese per head.

  • The British cheese market is worth £1.8 billion of which 55% can be attributed to just cheddar. That’s nothing compared to the global cheese market, where it’s worth $55 billion.
  • The UK actually produces more mozzarella each year than Italy.
  • Cheese can be made from the milk of Cows, Sheep, Goats, Horses, Reindeer, Llamas, Yaks, Water Buffalo, Camels, Moose and Zebras.

Stilton, Roquefort, Danish Blue, Gorgonzola, Camembert and Brie all contain Penicillium fungus which puts the blue in blue cheese. The fungus P. camembertimakes Camembert and Brie white. A single gram of blue cheese rind contains 10 billion microbial cells, a mixture of bacteria and fungi. It’s this mixture that provides the delicious taste. Yet very little is known about what this bacteria and fungi actually is or how it interacts.

Benjamin Wolfe and Rachel Dutton, two scientists, recently took 137 cheeses from 10 countries into Harvard University to study.

They found the presence of bacteria more used tomarine environments in cheese made nowhere near an ocean. But how?
One of the ingredients in blue cheese is sea salt which is used in the cheese making process. Apparently, the sea dwelling bacteria, which is more used to living off the Chitin rich shells of crabs and other marine invertebrates, has found an alternative source of Chitin: The fungi. When a cheesemaker creates a similar environment to the cold, wet sea, such as a cave, the bacteria thrives and creates the unique taste most of us fond of.

I think I love cheese even more now.

Quora, QI, Wired