Cheese has been enjoyed by people around the world for thousands of years. The history of cheese is filled with fascinating stories. Have scientists really created a cheese using human belly button bacteria? Is there really a cheese made with maggots? Here are some interesting cheese facts that will make you want to eat some, though some might just totally gross you out!
1) Orange is not the natural color of cheddar cheese. It’s naturally off-white with a food coloring such as annatto giving cheddar its orange color. This practice of dying cheese began in the 17th century to make people think it was higher quality.
2) Cheese is the most stolen food item in the whole world which is about 4% of all cheese on the market.
3) President Andrew Jackson had a nearly 1400-pound block of cheese delivered to the White House. He then invited 10,000 visitors to eat it. After about two hours the cheese was completely devoured.
4) During digestion, cheese breaks down into opioids. Other well-known opioids are morphine and heroin.
5) The holes in Swiss cheese were not originally intended but seen as imperfections to cheesemakers.
6) There’s a cheese from Sardinia made with maggots that’s only available on the black market since the European Union has outlawed it.
7) Scientists have created cheese using bacteria from human toes and belly buttons.
8) Gouda accounts for over half of all global cheese consumption.
9) The total number of unique French cheese is estimated to be around 1,000. France has even designated a cheese for each day of the year.
10) Each year, Wisconsin produces almost three billion pounds of cheese.
11) Edam cheese only hardens over time and never goes bad.
12) Cheese can be made from the milk of most any animal: Cow, buffalo, goat, camel, horse, sheep and even moose.
13) Cheese production began around 8000 BC when sheep were first domesticated.
14) The collecting of cheese labels is called “tyrosemiophilia.”
15) The most popular cheese dish in the United States is, of course, Mac and Cheese.
16) Between 1935 and 1937 Wisconsin required, by law, that all restaurants to serve cheese (and butter) with all meals.
17) According to a 2005 study, eating cheese 30 minutes before going to bed improves your sleep.
“You have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.”
— Anthony Bourdain