New England Home Cooking
Cheese is a
food consisting of proteins and fat from milk, usually the milk of
cows, buffalo, goats, or sheep. It is produced by coagulation of
the milk protein casein. Typically, the milk is acidified and
addition of the enzyme rennet causes coagulation. The solids are
separated and pressed into final form. Some cheeses have molds on
the rind or throughout.
Hundreds of types of cheese are produced.
Their styles, textures and flavors depend on the origin of the
milk (including the animal's diet), whether they have been
pasteurized, the butterfat content, the bacteria and mold, the
processing, and aging. Herbs, spices, or wood smoke may be used as
flavoring agents. The yellow to red color of many cheeses is from
adding annatto. Most cheeses melt when heated.
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