10 Things You Didn't Know About Cheese

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10 Things You Didn't Know About Cheese
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10 Things You Didn't Know About Cheese

So, you think you know all there is to know about cheese? Don't get us wrong, we did too at first, but then we came across these interesting facts and had to share. From one cheese connoisseur to the next, enjoy!

Why Does Swiss Cheese Have Holes?

You mean, they're actually there for a reason? Turns out, they are! The holes are caused by the expansion of gas within the cheese curd during the ripening period. Cheesemakers can actually change the size of the holes by altering the acidity and temperature of the bacteria they use when making the cheese.

How Long Has Cheese Been Around?

It's been said that cheese dates all the way back to the ancient Egyptians, where remains of cheese have been found in tombs over 4,000 years old!

What's the Most Popular Cheese in the World?

If you guessed cheddar, you're right!

Who Eats the Most Cheese in the World?

According to dummies.com, Greece!

Where Did the Expression "Big Cheese" Come From?

It's been said that the expression originally came from those who were wealthy enough to purchase a whole wheel of cheese, hence, they were dubbed, "The Big Cheese."

Where Does Cheese Get Its Flavor?

Cheese gets its flavor from the kind of milk used (goat, sheep, cow), forming methods, type of bacteria and ripening and curing conditions.

Limburger, AKA, Stinky Cheese

Did you know that the Chalet Cheese Co-op in Monroe, Wisconsin, is the only cheese factory in the country that still produces Limburger cheese? Furthermore, did you know that the bacteria brevibacterium linens is the culprit for what makes the cheese smell so funky? This bacteria is also partially responsible for what causes body odor in humans.

Who Are the Top Cheese Producers in the US?

The top cheese producers in the U.S. are Wisconsin (more than 2.4 billion pounds annually), California (2.1 billion pounds), Idaho (770.6 million pounds), New York (666.8 million pounds), and Minnesota (629.3 million pounds). These states account for 72 percent of the country's cheese production!

Can Cheese Promote Sweet Dreams?

Turns out, according to a British study in 2005, cheese affects sleep in a positive way. Cheese contains tryptophan, an amino acid that's been reported to reduce stress and induce sleep. What's more? The specific types of cheese consumed prior to sleep may impact your dreams, making them more vivid and colorful.

Is There Such Thing As Healthy Cheese?

While we'd love to tell you that there is some miraculous, amazing, creamy cheese you can munch on without gaining a single pound, that may be a stretch. However, there are a few cheeses that aren't as prone to stack on the calories and fat. Try ricotta, gouda, feta and sharp cheddar (opposed to mild cheddar).

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It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the world is crazy about cheese. We absolutely love it! There are so many flavors, varieties and ways to eat it in all its creamy, tasty goodness. We practically dream about baked brie in a puff pastry, crackers smothered in slabs of velvety goat cheese, and how about thick cuts of traditional American cheese layered in a sandwich? If that doesn't get your heart racing, we presume a luscious, generous serving of cheesecake may do the trick. Is there anything cheese can't do?

For such a common food, it turns out, we really don't know that much about cheese. How far does it date back? Can cheese alter our dreams? What's up with stinky Limburger cheese? Where did the dreadful expression, "The Big Cheese" come from?

We wanted the answers to these questions, so we went on a cheese hunt! Check out our slideshow above to see what we revealed.

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