The Only Thing Better Than Cheese is MORE Cheese!

Cheese Facts

Cheese Facts

Glossary of some words frequently used at the dairy that you may not know.

Butterfat - the particles of fat in milk.

Casein- the protein in milk which forms curds when coagulated with rennet.

Cheddaring - the process of stacking and pressing slabs of curd (coagulated milk) together over and over until most of the whey (watery liquid) is drained from the slab. The cheesemaker always does this by hand. 

Cheese - a food made from the milk that has been coagulated, drained and molded.  The word we use is derived from its Latin name, Caseus.

Coagulation - the curdling or bunching together of the casein in the milk after rennet is added.

Curds - the clumps of casein formed when milk is coagulated.

Hoops - forms used for pressing the curds into shape after salting and before aging.

Lactic acid - the bacteria that sours milk. It is naturally present in milk.

Lactose - the sugar found in milk.  During ageing the lactose turns into lactic acid (only about 1o/o in cheese).

Pasteurizing - the process of heating milk to destroy the harmful bacteria.

Rennet - the mixture containing the enzyme rennin used to start the coagulating process.  Rennin is found in the gastric juices of animals and is also produced in the laboratory.  

Whey - the water left over from the drained curds after the milk is coagulated.  The drained whey is often recycled for use as fertilizer or put back in the dairy cow diet.

A Little Bit of History

Looking back. . . .

Cheese has been around for over 4,000 years.  It is a romantic link to wine for humans across the world for over thousands of years.  Cheese has been made in countries including Sweden, Austria, Greece, Rome, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, France, England, Canada, and several states in the U.S.  Tests have been done on ancient pots dating back over 5,000 years showing positive traces of cheese.  It should not be a surprise that this process has been around for so long because of the positive curdling process of milk in hot temperatures. 

Making Cheese. . . .

Turning the curdling milk into cheese is done by an enzyme known as rennet that is found in the gastric juices of animals.  Old communities that raised sheep, goats or cows stumbled upon the cheesemaking secret because their natural containers for milk storage were the stomachs of the sheep, goats and cows that contained rennet. 

In the 14th century the Dutch took the first initiative to the development of the hard pressed cheeses with solid rinds.

Fun Facts

**There are over 2,000 types of cheese worldwide.

**When selecting a wine to enjoy with cheese, the harder the cheese the higher the degree of tannin a wine can have.

**Most adults need 1,000 mg of calcium per day.

**Natural aged or ripened cheeses such as Swiss or cheddar contain little or no lactose.


What is the difference between white and yellow cheese?

The natural color of cheeses range from off-white to yellow.  In some parts of the world, such as Wisconsin, U.S.A., the milk fat is low in beta-carotene, making the cheese a paler yellow than normal.  In this case, it is common to add annatto plant dye as a coloring agent.  Some cheeses are made with the addition of herbs and spices.

As legend has it, coloring was originally added to distinguish where a particular cheddar cheese was made.  Yellow cheeses derive their color from an additive. Cheddar cheese made traditionally have no color additives, thereby retaining the natural white color and no artificial coloring.

What all is in milk?

Milk contains high quality protein, minerals, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc.  Calcium is more available in milk.

What is better about milk from Jersey Cows used to make Ballard Cheese?

Milk from Jerseys contains a higher percentage of protein, calcium and other important nutrients than the other breeds of dairy cattle.

What milk has the highest amount of lactose?

Human milk has the highest known amount of lactose.
 It provides about 40% of the calories available to an infant.  Cattle milk is much lower in lactose.

How much milk is required to make cheese?

To make one pound of cheese requires approximately 10 pounds of milk. Nearly one-half of the total solids of whole milk remain in the milk curd as well as about four-fifths of the milk’s protein.  Butterfat makes up about 20 to 30 percent of the cheese’s total weight.  One and one-half ounces of Cheddar contains about the same calcium as one cup of whole, skim or buttermilk.  Three ounces of Cheddar have about the same protein as three large eggs or one three-ounce beef patty.  In a well-balanced diet, cheese is almost completely digestible.
When is a cow more than a cow?
Whenever we depend on its renewable resources to be part of the world that helps us. Beef by-products enable us to use 99% of every beef animal.
Beef by-products serve as source materials for other industries, including pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and textiles. We normally associate beef as being part of a satisfying meal. However, because 99% of the beef animal is utilized, items manufactured from beef by-products are all around us. Yogurt, car tires, drywall and a variety of medicines all contain a beef by-product.
The medical world relies on beef by-products for many life saving or life improving medications and treatments. Our bodies can easily accept a medication or treatment made with beef by-products. Although some medical products and treatments are made from synthetic ingredients, many are still made more economically from beef cattle, thus helping to keep the cost of our health care down.

Some frequently used medical products made from beef by-products include trypsin (for cleansing wounds and ulcers), corticotrophin (for treating allergies, arthritis and respiratory diseases), iron (for treating anemia), thrombin (for blood coagulation), and a huge range of other valuable pharmaceutical products.

Beef by-products are also used in all sorts of mechanical items. For example, chemical manufacturers use the fatty acids of inedible beef fats and proteins for the production of lubricants and fluids. From industrial cleaners and fertilizers to printing ink and high gloss for magazines, many useful products are created from beef cattle.

Automobile and bicycle tires contain stearic acid, which makes the rubber hold its shape under continuous surface friction. Even the asphalt on our roadways contains a binding agent derived from the fat of beef cattle.
The creation of beef by-products is an important way for the beef industry to reduce, reuse and recycle.

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