"Eat Cheese, Drink Wine, Live Life Happy!" - Kent 

place you order
Cheese of the Month Club
Wine of the Month Club
Cheesy Links



Oh Cheese Where Art Thou?

9,000 Years Ago?
Ahhh . . . the elusive origin of cheese. One educated guess is shortly after man began to domesticate animals moving from being hunters to herders, around 7,000 BC. A well-told story in historical circles is of an unknown Arab nomad. He is said to have filled a saddlebag with milk to sustain him on a journey across the desert by horse. When he stopped to quench his thirst he found the milk had separated into a pale watery liquid and solid white lumps. Because the saddlebag, which was made from the stomach of a young animal, contained a coagulating enzyme known as rennin, the milk had been effectively separated into curds and whey by the combination of rennin, the hot sun, and the galloping motions of the horse.

8,000 Years Ago
Archeologists have discovered tall jars used to store cow’s and goat’s milk cheeses dating from 6,000 B.C. in Central Asia. Around the same time in Mesopotamia a temple to the Goddess Ninchursag was built portraying the crafting of cheese on one of her walls.

6,000 Years Ago
Records show the Sumarians were crafting cheese at this time. The ancient Greeks credited Aristaeus, a son of Apollo and Cyrene, with its discovery. Greek mythology demands a special position as food and sacrificial gifts for goat’s milk and it’s cheeses. The Roman’s at this time consumed goat and sheep milk cheeses as a daily staple.

4,000 Years Ago
Egyption tomb murals show butter and cheese being made, and other murals depict milk being stored in skin bags and suspended from poles demonstrating knowledge of dairy husbandry. There have been modern discoveries of cheese buried in the pyramids. Talk about hard grating cheese!!!

1184 BC
Homer refers to cheese being made in mountain caves of Greece from the milk of sheep and goats in his Illiad and The Odyssey. A variety similar to feta was sold by the Greeks to the Romans for 1p per pound.

384 BC
Aristotle commented on cheese made from the milk of mares and asses - the Russian ‘koumiss’ is in fact derived from mare’s milk and is fermented to provide an alcoholic content of up to 3%.

300 AD to Present Day (O.K., the short and sweet version!)
In 300 AD a highly popular cheese stamped and sold under the name ‘La Luna’ was the precursor to today’s Parmesan, which was first reported as an individual make of cheese in 1579. Cantal, a cow’s milk cheese from France has been made for over 2,000 years and is one of the oldest types of cheese still being made today. Other ancient cheeses still being enjoyed today include; Brie de Meaux; served regularly at the table of Karl the Great King of Germany in 768 until he tasted a Roquefort for the first time. Gorgonzola was said to have been registered in the year 879. And now . . . well there are just too many cheeses to count and more coming into existence everyday. Stay on the look out for some phenomenal artisian cheeses made in the good ol’ US of A. We may be about 9,000 years late to jump in the running but we are learning fast.

Purveyors of Fine Cheese, Wine, and Gourmet Foods Since 1973


Contact Us Right Here On The Web At:

Or If You Really Want To Talk Cheese You Can Call Our Retail Store Seven Days A Week!
Carmel 800-828-WINE (9463) M-Sat 10-6pm, Sun 11-5:30pm PST

All Major Credit Cards Accepted. Sorry No Cows, Goats Or Sheep In Trade!

Prices subject to change without notice.
© 2005 The Cheese Shop, Inc.  All rights reserved.