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The art of making cheese, known scientifically as caseiculture, has been around for thousands of years, and cheese farming is a very profitable and lucrative business today.
Records show that even the ancient Egyptians partook in this practice. Cheesemaking is hypothesized to have emerged from the practices of nomadic herdsman. When stored in containers made of sheep or goat stomachs, milk ferments from both wild bacteria and chemicals secreted from the stomach lining. Through this originally fortunate practice, milk forms a yogurt-like quality, which with a bit of further work, can form cheese.
Interesting isn't it? That cheese is formed from bacteria, but certain bacteria can be good for us, and help with digestion.
For starters, a cheesemaker naturally needs milk. This is obtained from cows, sheep, goats, and even buffalo, although cows are the most prominent sources of milk for cheese. With milk in hand, the process of making cheese can begin.
First, the milk is processed. Often times this starts with clarification, a process in which undesired particles are removed from the milk. Then, if desired, cream is removed from the milk, which lowers that fat content of the cheese. Pasteurization then heats the milk to further eliminate bad bacteria in the milk.
With the milk processed, the next step involves the actual cheese cultures. Cheese cultures are the bacteria that stimulate the cheesemaking process, they turn the milk into cheese by a chemical process. Various types of cheese cultures are associated with the differing tastes of different cheese, different bacteria will get the cheesemaker different-tasting cheeses.
Finally, the cheese is either ready for consumption or packaging for shipment. Hopefully this explanation of how cheese is made has not put you off from enjoying this delicious and tasty food.