This dairy product has a unique significance in almost every human’s life on its own. People all around the world savor cheese in some form or the other. Can you believe it that there are over 1833 varieties of cheese all over the world? How many of them have you tasted? Well, lets have a look at few of the most readily available ones in the market and see how much you already know about them.
Our first pick is Parmesan cheese, very well known to be used in powdered form in pizzas and other Italian dishes but let’s dig a little bit deeper into its roots and the making process. The first Parmesan cheese dates back to 1254 from its place of origin "Parma-Reggio." The name ‘Parmesan’ is derived from the Italian name “Parmigiano-Reggiano” which is named after its place of origin. This is a hard and granular textured cheese produced from cow’s milk. It's mostly stored in form of big wheels and matured for at least 12 months. Ageing process can go over till 90 months or roughly equivalent to 7.5 years but its very rare to find this long-matured cheese now a days. A very long process to taste a small bite of cheese, huh!
Our second pick is Mozzarella cheese which gets its name from the term "mozza" which means "cut" and mostly relates to process of producing it. It was first made in Italy from water buffaloes and the first mention of this type of cheese dates back to somewhere in 1570 by a chef named Bartolomeo Scappi, but there are older references which might date back to 12th century. This type of cheese is well known for its soft chewy texture and mostly enjoyed fresh. It has small shelf life and can be relished in dishes like pizza and pasta or goes great directly with cherry tomatoes and basil.
Our third and final pick for this article is Paneer also referred to as just "cottage cheese" in some places which dates back to its introduction by Persian and Afghan rulers in the 16th century. The term is derived from the word "peynir" which means "cheese" in Turkish and Persian languages. Its well known to be used in North Indian dishes like "Palak Paneer," "Kadhai Paneer," etc. and can be produced easily by adding lemon juice or vinegar to warm milk. The best part about paneer is that the texture can be modified as per the requirement of the curry, it can either be turned chewy and meaty or can be soft and crumbly.
Few other readily available types of cheese in market include Feta, Tofu, Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Provolone, Ricotta etc. Which one is your favorite?