There are thousands of varieties of cheese manufactured in the world today, but all cheese starts with milk.
Fresh milk is allowed to stand until it sours and lumpy curds develop. Then rennet, or digestive juices, is taken from the stomachs of young animals and is added to the lumpy curds. This separates the curds from the liquid, the whey. The curds are then pressed into molds to cure, or harden. The hardness or softness of cheese depends upon the amount of whey left in the solid curd.
Even though cow’s milk is the most common milk used for manufacturing cheese today, the milk of other animals is used in different parts of the world. In the Arctic, reindeer milk is used; in Arabia, camel milk; in Tibet, yak milk; in Spain, sheep milk; in Peru, llama milk; in Switzerland, goat’s milk; and in Egypt, water buffalo milk
The largest piece of cheese ever made was a 34,591-pound chuck of cheddar cheese made in 1964 for exhibition at the New York World’s Fair. It was brought to the fair from Wisconsin in a specially designed 45-foot-long tractor trailer, nicknamed the “Cheese-Mobile”!