Varieties Of Cheese
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
Cheese is obtained exclusively from the milk of animals, and its quality varies with the class, breed, and food of the animal, and the process of manufacture. The most ordinary source of cheese is the milk of the cow, and there are certain varieties of cows which pro-duce much cheese and little butter, as there are others which produce much butter and little cheese. The kind of food given to the cows is very important, for just in proportion to the richness of the milk in casein and cream is the richness of the cheese. The value of cheese as an article of diet has not been entirely established. If we consider its chemical composition, it is one of the richest of foods in nutritive elements ; but Dr. Smith has found that the popular belief that it is not easily digested is true. This objection, however, applies only to the new and poor cheese ; those that are old and rich not only digest easily, but promote the digestion of other food. That which is old and dry (but not decayed) may be given to children to relieve constipation.
VARIETIES IN MARKET.
Strong, in this list, means of a high flavor and odor, but not necessarily sharp. Most new cheeses are relatively mild, and develop their characteristics, especially sharpness, with age.
American and Canadian Cheeses.—Pineapple, English Dairy (imitations of), Factory, and the homemade Cottage cheese, like the Schmeer Rase of the Germans. None of these are classed among strong cheeses. They are good all the year around, but the Cottage is best in summer.
English Cheeses (Of variable strength, sometimes sharp).— Stilton comes first in fame and price. It is so named from the place where it was first sold. The cheeses are mostly manufactured in Leicestershire. It takes two years to properly mature the cheese for use ; then it becomes decayed, blue, and moist. It is a common trick to hasten its maturity by putting each separate cheese in a bucket and covering it with horse dung. This rapidly gives the required appearance of maturity. In a district of Ross-shire they ripen their cheeses to make them like Stilton, by burying them below high water mark.
Cottenham.— A strong kind of Stilton.
Cheddar (Mild).—Made from new milk, retaining its natural cream.
English Dairy (Medium).
Dutch Cheese.— Dutchman's Head or Edam (Medium). — Not equal to the best cheeses of England, being hard.
French Cheeses are generally for winter consumption, and come to us only from October to May.
Brie Cheeses (Mild).—Are made from cream. Camembert (Strong).—A little like the Swiss. Mont d'Or (Mild).— From Central France. Made from goats' milk.
Pont de Solo (Very strong).
Pont d'Eveque (Mild).-A very pleasant cheese. More flavor than Brie.
Roquefort (Medium and sharp).— Made from the milk of goats and sheep, and ripened with great care in caverns.
German Cheeses.—Limburger (very strong). Not considered ready for consumption until partly putrefied. Schabzieger or Sap Sago.—Which gets its green color from melilot leaves.
Italian Cheeses.—Livarno (Strong), Parmesan (Medium —slightly sharp). From the most fertile Milanese territory ; they are so full of oil that it has been erroneously supposed that oil was added to the curd. It was formerly supposed to be made from goat's milk, but it is made merely of skimmed cow's milk manipulated in a peculiar way. The best Parmesan is kept three or four years, and none is sent to market until it is at least six months old.
Scotch Cheese.— (Dunlop.)— Which gets its flavor from lovage leaves, is the only one known here.
Swiss Cheeses.—Gruyere is the best of the Swiss cheeses, many of which are celebrated. It is made in the canton of Fribourg. Its peculiar flavor is said to be owing to the herbage of the mountain pastures on which the cows feed.
Neufchatel (Variable).—Is sold in small rolls, covered with tin foil ; it is simply a cream cheese such as is described above.