The Sources of Cheese Diversity

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
So these are the ingredients that have generated the great diversity of our traditional cheeses: hundreds of plants, from scrubland herbs to alpine flowers; dozens of animal breeds that fed on those plants and transformed them into milk; protein-cutting enzymes from young animals and thistles; microbes recruited from meadow and cave, from the oceans, from animal insides and skins; and the careful observation, ingenuity, and good taste of generations of cheesemakers and cheese lovers. This remarkable heritage underlies even today’s simplified industrial cheeses.