The Extent of our Great Love Affair With Cheese

Ely Marie


According to the National Historic Cheesemaking Center, no one can really take credit for the creation of cheese nor cheese by-products, which sparked the billion-dollar industry it is today.


Furthermore, the practice of using varied animal milk as an edible source of sustainability is likely to have begun over 8,000 years ago, as a result of milk-producing animal domestication. Important to note, the Roman Empire  marked the beginning of the cheese empire as well, as its wide stream presence is well recorded in parts of Europe during that time period. It soon became a popular trade item in Europe, Asia and beyond. Cheese is even mentioned in ancient Greek mythology, and cheese making evidence has been found on ancient Egyptian tomb murals. The first types of cheeses were likely made from sheep milk and stored in containers made from animal’s stomach linings. Renin, an enzyme found in the stomach lining, causes the milk to separate into curds producing a cottage cheese-like texture. Because stomach linings were used as containers in ancient cultures, it is possible that cheese was simply a glorious accident.


Regardless of how cheese came about, it is evident that cheese production has significantly increased and found its way to nearly every continent on the face of earth. Cheese has evolved culturally, with new variations birthed from creativity and a passion for all things cheese. Fairly new cheeses to the market, which arrived only about 500 years ago, include Gouda, Parmesan, and Cheddar. It is surprising to learn that these more popular cheeses are relative babies when compared to its ancient counterparts, such as the curd varieties. Some of the most commonly eaten cheeses today include Asiago, Cheddar, Blue cheese, Cream cheese, Provolone, Parmesan, Feta and Goat Cheese. Rarer types trending and on the rise include Harvati, Gruyere, and Brie cheeses.


While the first origins of cheese were largely homogeneous, newer kinds have surfaced in recent centuries and decades, fully embraced by consumer society. Cheese makers have famously wedded their cheese products to a copious list of ingredients such as fruit, nuts, pumpkin, chocolate chips and spices. Since its birth, and spread across the globe, cheese-based ingredients have infiltrated every type of cousin imaginable. It goes without saying, modern dishes from the basic pasta to the working man’s sandwich often call for cheesy ingredients. In recent centuries, even intricate delicacies such as Foie Gras and Veal Marsala can be frequently seen served with some element of cheese.


While the world’s love affair with cheese can be traced back countless millennia, this continued obsession has spawned a diverse number of bizarre, delicious, and edgy, cheese-inspired products. Some of the first widely distributed processed cheese products to hit the market include cheese-flavored spray in a bottle and cheese powder used in some famous commercial mac and cheeses.


In the April 2014 International Dairy Food Association Report, U.S. sales of processed cheese products reached 811.8 million pounds in 2012, with a value of $3 billion dollars.


Following the pattern of recent trends, and the growing demand for increasingly unique experiences, an expansion of cheese-flavored and scented products can be expected to increase in the common marketplace. These bizarre, surprising and intriguing cheesy products available via the Internet, and those presently in the works, are getting attention in the U.S. as well as around the world.


Parmesan-Infused Olive Oil


The parmesan-flavored olive oil created by Olio, blends strong accents of sundried tomato and garlic spice, adding an aged and nutty cheese taste to any dish.  Arguably, Olio’s parmesan olive oil is one of the first cheese-infused oils to flood e-commerce.


Blue Cheese Perfume

That’s right, the Stilton Cheese makers have proudly commissioned the Eau De Stilton perfume. A formula that blends the strong aroma of blue cheese with a hint of

sweetness, this favorite blue cheese creator from the U.K. has taken to creating the fragrance to increase consumer awareness and customer base line.


Cheesecake Gum

Available through Yum Yum Gum, Cheesecake gum delivers a potent blast of sweet cheese flavor. Inspired by the luscious and creamy cheesecakes made in the Big Apple. Their indulgent New York City experience led them to the lab which resulted in this popular flavor.


Goat Cheese Ice Cream

At Jenis, the idea that cheese is just a savory treat is history, as they have made this goat cheese ice cream a staple. Available for purchase through their website, this tart dessert is formed of goat cheese with cherries.



Nacho Cheese Dorito Soda

If the sound of liquid cheese sounds intriguing, Doritos Cheese-flavored soda has been in the oven. Developed by Pepsico, exactly when this product will hit the mainstream market is still uncertain. Confirmation affirmed through, the Mountain Dew tasting program is being run on college campuses across the U.S.


Alcohol-Soaked Cheese

While there is yet to be a cheese-flavored alcohol line, there is an abundance of alcohol-infused cheeses available. Wine marbled cheese for instance, is a pale cream cheddar cheese usually soaked in a mix of brandy and port. Cahill’s Farm, located in Limerick, Ireland, is just one popular distributor well known for its wine, whiskey and beer cheeses.  


Author Bio:

Ely Marie is a contributing writer at Highbrow Magazine.


For Highbrow Magazine


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djedj (Pixabay--Creative Commons); gravatitotfe (Pixabay); Pxhere (Creative Commons)
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