Saturday, January 14, 2012

Who Was The First Person to Eat Cheese?

We all eat cheese. We love it. We feel deprived if we can't eat it. I absolutely crave macaroni and cheese. The cook who invented it should be sainted.
But have you ever thought about the first person to eat cheese?
The process of milking animals and regularly using the milk - what we now call 'dairying' - is documented back to around 3000 BCE in the Middle East.  The discovery of cheese was probably an accident. 
Since animal skins and inflated internal organs were used to store food, it is likely that the process of cheese making was discovered by storing milk in a stomach of a ruminant, resulting in the milk being turned to curd and whey by the rennet remaining in the stomach.
This is what happened.   Abdullah's wife Fatima had packed a nice lunch for her husband's camel trip. She had sent him off with dates and almonds and some milk in a dead goat stomach. After several hot hours in the saddle, Abdullah stopped for his meal, only to find that the milk in the dead goat stomach was a solid, curdled mess. It also smelled pretty nasty.
This is the part to contemplate: Abdullah looked at the squishy, smelly blob in the dead goat stomach and said, "YUM! I think I'll eat this."
Go figure.
I guess if you carry your lunch around in a dead goat stomach, you can eat anything.

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