Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Interesting Facts about Cheese

from filipe fortes

  • Cheese, Seattle, Washington

    Round One, before the wine

I took a wine and cheese pairing class last night, and learned a few things I’ll pass on to my millions of readers:

  • All Cheese Rind is Edible: Even the wax and foil (!) ones. Cheese makers spend time crafting the rinds to add to the flavor. Not all of the rinds taste great, but they’re edible.
  • Brie, and other soft cheeses, have less fat than hard cheeses: This is obvious in hindsight, but it’s because hard cheeses have less moisture, and therefore a higher percentage of fat.
  • The mold in blue cheeses is a penicillium: This was interesting for me because I’m allergic to the antibiotic version of Penicillin — but I have no symptoms when eating blue cheese (or my current favorite, soft Italian gorgonzola).
  • Non-pasteurized cheeses are legal in the US as long as they’re more than 60 days old: The libertarian in me tries not to imagine how much federal legislation exists around cheese.
  • Lactose intolerance is typically cow-milk intolerance: Most people are just fine with goat or sheep’s milk, as the intolerance stands from some cow-specific enzymes.
  • Traditional mozzarella (mozzarella di bufala) is made from water buffalo milk: I thought it was just a name, but it’s not. Apparently, there are some big water buffalo farms in California.
  • Goats have the highest proportional milk production of any farm animal

They also handed out the following chart, which shows the composition of various milks, by percent weight (the totals don’t add to 100 because I removed the Minerals column, do the math yourself if you’re curious):

Milk Type Fat Protein Lactose Water
Human 4.0 1.1 6.8 88
Cow 3.7 3.4 4.8 87
Cow: Holstein/Friesian 3.6 3.4 4.9 87
Cow: Brown Swiss 4.0 3.6 4.7 87
Cow: Jersey 5.2 3.9 4.9 85
Cow: Zebu 4.7 3.3 4.9 86
Water Buffalo 6.9 3.8 5.1 83
Yak 6.5 5.8 4.6 82
Goat 4.0 3.4 4.5 88
Sheep 7.5 6.0 4.8 80
Camel 2.9 3.9 5.4 87
Reindeer 17 11 2.8 68
Horse 1.2 2.0 6.3 90
Fin Whale 42 12 1.3 43

I’ve had Cow, Water Buffalo, Yak, Goat, and Sheep’s milk. I’m definitely curious about Reindeer and Fin Whale (how do they milk it?).

No comments: