Earlier this year, we looked at pizza and, lately, we’ve been talking sandwiches, bread, and butter. Cheese does not seem like a huge logical jump from these food topics. It goes on pizza, in sandwiches (between pieces of bread) and is a dairy product like butter, but what exactly is cheese?

As explained in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is “a food consisting of the coagulated, compressed, and usually ripened curd of milk separated from the whey.” Further, its use originates in “Middle English chese, from Old English cēse, from Latin caseus cheese” and the word was first known to have been used before the 12th century.

According to, it has been made from the milk of cows, sheep, goats, buffalo, reindeer, camels and yaks for the past 4,000 years. While there is currently no evidence as to who actually made the first cheese, the Intentional Dairy Food Association cites an ancient legend in which an Arabian merchant put his day’s supply of milk into a sheep’s stomach before setting off across the desert. Combined with the heat of the sun, rennet in the stomach lining caused the milk to separate into curds and whey. The merchant found he was able to quench his thirst with the way and sate his hunger with the curds of cheese.

We’re pretty big fans of cheese here in the FamilyTrivium household. Going by volume, and frequency, we would guess our favorite is mozzarella on pizza and as string cheese (we know – this isn’t real mozzarella). We also consume also a fair amount of Provolone on both pizza and sandwiches. Parmesan and Romano often go over pasta and pizza. For Mexican dishes, we often turn to Monterrey Jack, Cheddar, Asadero, and Queso Quesadilla. Mr. Family Trivium has a particular weakness for smoked Gouda. The junior cheese fanatic in the house likes Chevre.

What’s your favorite cheese?