Cheese is made out of the proteins and fat that is naturally in milk. The majority of these are made from goat or cow milk, but there are also kinds made from the milk of sheep and buffalo. Casein is a protein found in milk. This protein coagulates and can be formed into solids. The process is started by adding an enzyme called rennet to the milk. Once solid curds have formed, they are strained and pressed into a form.
There are easily more than a thousand different kinds of cheese made today. They all differ in flavor, style, and texture. The end results will be different depending on whether it has been pasteurized or not, what bacteria and molds have been introduced, how long it ages for, what processing it has, and how much butterfat is in it. Other flavorings like herbs, spices, and wood smoke are sometimes used to add more flavor.
It is a way that the nutrients from milk can be stored long term. It is easy to carry around and lasts a long time without spoiling. It is thought that cheese making began sometime between 8000 BC and 3000 BC and that it may have been accidental. In the Middle East and central Asia at that time, liquids were stored in bags made of animal skins. If milk began to curdle, it could be the way that it was discovered. Once curdled, milk can be salted and pressed to preserve it longer.
While most people today do not make their own from scratch, it used to be part of everyday life. Over time, different varieties became specialized in different regions. It is said that Britain alone has around 700 distinct local verities. Italy and France each lay claim to at least 400 varieties a piece.
It is separated into categories by how it is made, texture, aging time, fat content, the type of milk used, and where it was created. They have not come up with a single categorization that will fit all types. Some of the categories that are used for cheese now include blue vein, fresh, double and triple cream, hard, sharp, strong smelling and processed.
Semi-firm verities include favorites like cheddar, Swiss and Provolone. These are sold all over the world. Hard verities like Asiago and Parmesan can be bought in wheels, wedges or grated so it can be used right away. Hard verities take several months or even years to get the proper aging.
One way that cheese is enjoyed is on top of French onion soup. French onion soup cheese should be creamy in texture and have a high meltability. Common choices to use on French onion soup include Mozzarella, Provolone, Emmentaler, Havarti, Gouda, and Gruyere. All of them melt nicely and complement the flavor of the soup.
With all these different kinds to try, you could easily eat a new one every day for several years. It is easier to try a few and select your favorites. Always try a few new ones occasionally to discover new tastes.
Every onion soup recipe is delicious. The rich flavors of beef broth and caramelized onions offer a comforting dish with a lot of depth. Serve your onion soup with a green salad and a glass of red wine for a perfect meal when the weather gets cool.