Are you the kind of person who can merrily devour a block of cheese at any time of the day? You’re not alone.
Click start to play today’s Word Search, where you can find different varieties of cheese.
Cheese is loved and consumed around the world, and has a long, rich history of over 7,500 years. Today, the French, alone, have up to 400 different types of cheeses. It’s a staple in several diets, and it’s estimated that there are over 2,000 kinds of cheeses around the globe.
But who was the first to make it, and how did it become so beloved? Here are a few moments through history that will decode the mystery for you:
1. Prehistoric cheese
While it’s difficult to pin down the exact date for the birth of cheese, historians think it was first made around 8,000BC. This was just about the time when humans began taming livestock, and shifted from hunter-gatherers to agricultural societies. Archaeologists also discovered evidence of cheese making in Poland, dating as far back as 7,000 years ago. So, cheese is as old as civilisation itself! This is good news for people who follow the paleo diet – they can eat cheese just as prehistoric humans did.
2. Mesopotamian cheese
Ancient Sumer, in the southern region of Mesopotamia, was one of the first known civilisations in the world, and incredibly futuristic for its age. Ancient Sumerians had developed soaps, oils, cuneiform writing, and yes, cheese. In fact, they successfully produced up to 20 different types of cheeses, which are depicted in cuneiform tablets.
3. Ancient Egyptian cheese
Cheese was so essential for ancient Egyptians, it was even found in the excavation of ancient tombs. According to an August 2018 report in UK-based news website BBC, archaeologists found a solidified white mass in one of the jars in the tomb of Ptahmes – a study confirmed it as cheese from 3,200 years ago. This extremely aged cheese, and others like it in ancient Egypt, would have been very different from the cheese we eat today, since the milk used to make it would have been unpasteurised, and likely contained dangerous bacterium. Still, numerous wall murals and inscriptions found in Egypt show that it didn’t deter ancient Egyptians from making and enjoying the addictive snack.
4. Ancient Greek cheese
Greece was the location that witnessed a virtual Renaissance in cheese-making. In Greek lore, Aistaios, the son of the Greek deity Apollo, brought humans the knowledge of how to make cheese – it’s why he was known as the deity of cheese-making! Feta cheese, in particular, dates back thousands of years, and Greek poet Homer, who wrote the epics Illiad and the Odyssey, was known to be a famous feta cheese lover. The Greeks are also responsible for another cheesy invention – the cheesecake. First invented in the island of Samos, it was used to feed athletes in the first Olympic Games in 776BC.