April 30, 2023 2 min read
Did you know that cheesemaking has been an important part of North American culture for centuries? From the earliest settlers to today’s artisanal cheese makers, cheesemaking is a craft that has been passed down through generations and continues to evolve. Let’s take a look at the history of cheesemaking in North America.
Cheesemaking Before Colonization
Before Europeans arrived in North America, Native people were already making cheese. Cheesemaking was first recorded among the Iroquois tribes, who made a type of cheese from deer or elk milk. The Iroquois used animal stomachs as containers to store their cheese and wrapped it in leaves or bark to keep it fresh.
When Europeans began colonizing North America, they brought their own cheesemaking techniques with them. Cheese was made by both farmers and artisans using cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, goat’s milk, and occasionally even buffalo’s milk. By the late 1700s, there were more than 200 commercial cheesemakers operating in the United States alone.
Modern Day Cheesemaking
Today's cheeses have come a long way since colonial times! Artisanal cheese makers are now experimenting with unique ingredients like herbs and spices to create flavorful new varieties of cheese that can be enjoyed by everyone. In addition to traditional cow’s milk cheeses, goat's milk and sheep's milk varieties are becoming increasingly popular for their rich flavor profiles and health benefits.
In recent years, many small-scale producers have begun producing vegan cheeses made from plant-based ingredients such as cashews, almonds, coconut oil and nutritional yeast—and they're surprisingly delicious! Not only are vegan cheeses healthier than traditional dairy-based varieties but they also offer an alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or who follow plant-based diets. There are even easy kits you can use to make cheese at home! As you can see on our website.
Cheesemaking is an ancient craft that has been around since before Europeans settled in North America hundreds of years ago! Today, artisanal cheese makers continue to experiment with unique ingredients and flavors to create delicious new varieties of cheese that appeal to all sorts of palates – from classic cow's milk cheeses to vegan options made from plant-based ingredients. Whether you're looking for a traditional cheddar or something completely different like truffle brie or blueberry gouda – there's something out there for everyone! So why not give some new kinds of cheese a try? Or even better make it yourself! Your taste buds will thank you!
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