Most of us have a love-hate relationship with cheese. Its mouth-watering flavor tempts us every time and pushes us to have some more. You just can’t get enough of it. But later comes the guilty pangs and self-loathing for not able to so NO to those extra calories. If you are on the path of weight loss and trying hard to stick to your diet plan, cheese is definitely bad news. I feel for you. On the other hand, lean and thin guys get to eat as much as they want without any seeming effect on their weight! We have shared few cheese recipes as well for you.
So let’s get into it and know our cheese properly. We shall hopefully find answers to all our questions today.
Did you know?
- There are more than 2000 varieties of cheese, some of which even smell as disgusting as your sweaty feet!
- Mice don’t really like cheese, as you were led to believe in Tom and Jerry! So, it is useless as bait for a mousetrap.
- The first cheese was prepared accidently when milk was stored in a cow’s stomach (back then, it was used as a carrying bag), and the enzymes turned it into cheese!
- So, technically, the first cheese ever made dates back to 6000 BC and is non-veg! Today we use enzymes that are plant derived for the coagulation.
- You are a ‘Turophile’ – if you are a lover of cheese!
- There are certain cheeses that are illegal in the US and guess what, all cheese made from non-vegetarian sources are banned in India unless explicitly mentioned on the label. The popular ‘Amul cheese’ is made using microbial rennet.
- Most cheese can be taken even if you are Lactose Intolerant. Macaroni and Cheese are voted the most popular cheese recipe in the USA.
- The holes in a Swiss cheese is because of the release of Carbon dioxide gas bubbles that form during fermentation.
- Pizza Hut uses the largest quantity of cheese worldwide. (13 crore Kg per year)
- If the USA is the highest manufacturer of cheese, the Greeks have the highest consumption rate in the world.
How is it made – The Origin
Cheese is made from milk. In fact, it is an attempt to preserve milk for longer durations. It takes up to 1/10 of the volume of milk it is made from.
Now, when protein is coagulated from cow’s/goat’s/sheep’s/buffalo’s milk, cheese is formed. A lot of enzymes are added and the coagulant is hard pressed to remove the excess water called ‘Whey’. This resultant ‘curd’ is mixed with a variety of bacteria cultures to produce an equal variety of cheese.
Cheese is found in numerous colors, smells, textures and is classified based on the length of aging. Some of the major types of Cheese include soft, semi-soft, medium-hard and hard (based on moisture content). While there are hundreds of Cheese recipes to choose from, Australian cuisine dictates that there should be at least 3 varieties of cheese in a serving.
Nutritional Facts – Cheese, Cheddar
|General Information per 100 g||Amount (in grams)|
Benefits of Cheese:
- Cheese is an excellent source of proteins and is known for its abundant supply of Vitamins and Minerals namely Vitamin B12, Calcium, Sodium, Phosphorus, Selenium etc.
- Bone health and Osteoporosis: Due to the deficiency of calcium, the bones become weak and brittle leading to a condition called osteoporosis. Regular consumption of cheese especially by the older people, in rightful quantities, can prevent this.
- A healthy heart: Eating cheese has shown that the hypertension levels have been reduced, thereby keeping the heart healthy.
- For those looking to gain weight, (muscle weight, fat or bone density) cheese contains enough nutrients that make up a balanced diet.
- Cavity Prevention: The high presence of Calcium in Cheese ensures your teeth do not face tooth decay. Cheddar, Swiss, Brie, Blue and American cheese are good sources of calcium.
- Major Risk of Obesity: Lot of cheese types have high-fat content in addition to the number of calories. One slice of Domino pizza provides approximately 3/4th of your day’s fat requirement! The cholesterol levels are also high (105 mg per 100 gm).
- Lactose Intolerance: More that 60% of the world’s pollution suffer from lactose intolerance, meaning they are unable to break down the lactose present in the milk. Aged cheese can be consumed without any side effects while you might want to look out for Fresh Cheese (cream cheese and paneer).
- Salt Content: Make sure to opt for cheese with less salt content. Most cheese have high sodium and salt content that could interfere with your blood pressure.
- Lastly, we should keep in mind that cheese is not a natural product. It is a by-product of many artificial processes. Therefore the risk of contamination and exposure to diseases is still there.
Ways to Store Cheese at Home:
There are a lot of cheese recipes that you might want to try out at home, but before that, make sure you follow these simple tips.
- Calories do matter. Try and grate the cheese instead of stuffing a whole slice of cheese with your dishes. A top grating layer would enhance your taste and at the same time make sure you don’t overeat.
- Always store the cheese in temperatures between 8 and 14 C. The cheese matures at this temperature.
- Before serving, the cheese that is taken out of the refrigerator has to stay for at least 1 hour 30 minutes.
- Cheese is made and exists because of the micro-organisms that exist on it. So the cheese should neither be totally cut off from the air nor left out completely in the open.
- Do not store cheese with other strong smelling foods.
Few Simple Cheese Recipes:
Though there are more than one ways of making cheese balls, those made with mashed potatoes and gram flour/besan are good choices, for they don’t break in the oil.
Ingredients: 100 g Potatoes, 60 g Cheese (3 cubes of Amul Cheese), ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder, 4 tablespoon besan and 3 tablespoon maida, 2 to 3 pinches of salt as required.
Process: Boil the potatoes and mash them completely and grate the cheese separately. Add black pepper to the mashed potatoes and mix the gram flour/besan too. Mix it well with 2 tablespoons of maida. Next, add the grated cheese to the above mixture and make small balls. Heat oil and gently fry the balls till they turn golden in color.
Another delicious flat bread recipe with spicy and cheesy stuffing.
Ingredients: 120 g atta flour, ½ teaspoon salt and ghee, Water as required. ½ Cup grated Amul Cheese, Finely chopped chilies and pepper powder.
Process: Combine the atta and water to make a nice soft dough and set it aside after adding a pinch of salt. Mix the cheese, chilies, pepper power and another pinch of salt. The resultant mixture should be made into a ball and stuffed with the dough. The spreading out should be done carefully so that the cheese doesn’t come out. Spread some oil on a pan and start cooking the cheese parathas! Should only be served when hot as otherwise the cheese will turn dense.
A great dish with Oreos and cheese coming together as a No bake cheesecake!
Ingredients: Around 15 Oreo cookies, 2 tablespoons butter, 250 ml whipping cream, 100 g cheese little sugar and vanilla extract.
Process: Completely crumble around 8 Oreo cookies (including the cream in between) and mix 2 tablespoons of melted butter and set the whole mixture neatly as the base in a baking pan. Take about 250 ml of cold whipping cream and beat it till it becomes thick and doubles in volume. Take 100 g cheese and add 3 tablespoons of sugar and ¼ spoon vanilla extract. Now, mix both the cheese and whipped cream and beat it thoroughly. Break few more cookies and add it into the beat cream. Then, set this as the next layer in the baking pan. Place the pan finally in the fridge till it set. Voila and we are done!
Chilli Cheese Toast
Here is a quick to prepare, tasty and easy recipe for Chilli Cheese Toast.
Ingredients: Wheat Bread, Mozzarella Cheese, Processed Cheese, finely chopped capsicum green chilies and garlic, black pepper, salt, Olive oil and an oven preheated to 150 degree Celsius.
Process: Take a bowl and add ½ a cup of processed cheese and ¼ cup of mozzarella cheese. All the other ingredients (capsicum chilies, black pepper and salt) should be mixed with the cheeses. Some olive oil follows. Make a nice mixture and spread it over the bread slices with the help of butter. In a tray, put all the slices into the preheated oven and let it cook for 5 min. Tastes good with ketchup.
If you still wanna know more about the types of cheese and their properties, check Here.
Stay Healthy-Stay FITSO