Like many of humanity’s greatest inventions, cheese was likely a mistake. Legend has it that an ancient merchant left milk in his pouch for the afternoon. His pouch, which was crafted using a sheep’s stomach, had rennet in the lining, which when combined with the day’s heat, created a rudimentary cheese. In the time since that first batch, things have changed dramatically: there are now thousands of varieties of cheese, and it’s turned into an international, multibillion dollar industry. For those of us who’d happily take cheese with any meal, here’s to our favorite June 4th holiday, National Cheese Day!
Why We Love Cheese (and National Cheese Day)
A. It’s Always Looking For A Friend
Cheese is the great connector. Sure, it’s often plenty good on its own, but the best cheeses are made even better with the right best friend. “Mr. D’Anjou, have you met my gouda friend?” No, really — D’Anjou pears and Gouda cheese are one of many perfect pairings. Try it!
B. It’s Universal
Regardless of age, culture, or social standing, cheese is accessible to people all over the world. While local varieties can vary drastically from foreign imports, it’s truly difficult to find a group of people without finding some cheese, too.
C. It’s Scientific
The cheese making process is dependent on a variety of factors, like time, temperature, acidity, and more. Learning about cheese, and how to make it, is like an Intro to Science class — except it’s actually fun!
How to Celebrate National Cheese Day
1. Try Something Scary!
As much as we all love cheese, there are some varieties that, for many of us, are a bit outside out comfort zones. It’s time to mix things up! Find a cheese that scares you a little bit and give it a go — you’ll likely be surprised how much you like it. Looking for a suggestion? Give Epoisses de Bourgogne a try, if you can find it. It’s got such a pungent aroma that it’s been banned from public transportation systems in France!
2. Make Your Own!
Making cheese can be a pretty simple process — it just requires a bit of patience! It’s always interesting to go “behind the scenes” of our favorite food items, but with cheese in particular, it’s pretty incredible seeing all the hidden steps that go into making one of our favorite food-delights.
3. Perhaps a new pairing?
Something you’ve probably noticed through your cheese-eating: cheese goes with everything! Well, almost. But things get truly magical when you find perfect pairings that bring out different flavors. Have you ever tried figs with brie? They’re delicious separate, but they’re simply irresistible when brought together. We’ve included a recipe below!