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Thread: List of cheeses invented over 300 years ago

  1. #1
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Post List of cheeses invented over 300 years ago

    I recently finished reading Alberto Angela's I tre giorni di Pompei (The [last] three days of Pompeii), in which he mentions that mozzarella didn't exist at the time, but was invented in the 5th century, at the end of the Roman empire. Wikipedia disagrees and says that the earliest buffalo milk cheese in southern Italy dates from the 12th century and that the name Mozzarella doesn't appear until the 16th century. That made me wonder how old various types of European cheese actually were. So here is what I found.

    Cheese name Region, country When was it invented?
    Ricotta Italy Bronze Age (2nd millennium BCE)
    Salers Auvergne, France Possibly as early as 2000 years ago
    Pecorino Romano Lazio, Italy Possibly from the 1st century CE
    Sbrinz Switzerland 70 CE according to their website
    Banon Provence, France At least since 2nd century CE
    Mozzarella South Italy 5th or 12th century
    Chabichou Poitou, France 732
    Brie De Meaux Île-de-France 774
    Pecorino sardo Sardinia, Italy Late 8th century
    Gorgonzola Lombardy, Italy 879
    Munster Alsace & Lorraine, France 9th century
    Maroilles Picardy, France 962
    Feta Greece At least since the 11th century
    Gouda Holland, Netherlands First recorded in 1184
    Cheddar Somerset, England 12th century
    Pont-l'Évêque Normandy, France 12th century
    Parmigiano-Reggiano Emilia, Italy First recorded in 1254
    Emmental Switzerland First recorded in 1293
    Cantal Auvergne, France First recorded in 1298
    Appenzeller Switzerland 13th century
    Edam Holland, Netherlands 14th century
    Herve Liège, Belgium 15th century
    Rocamadour Occitanie, France 15th century
    Époisses Burgundy, France 16th century
    Reblochon Savoy, France 16th century
    Cancoillotte Franche-Comté, Lorraine 16th century
    Gruyère Switzerland First recorded in 1655
    Saint-nectaire Auvergne, France 17th century
    Tomme vaudoise Switzerland 17th century
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  2. #2
    Regular Member Archetype0ne's Avatar
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    Very interesting Maciamo.

    If I was to guess some kind of white cheese(akin to Feta but not limited to sheep/goat milk mixtures) has to be among the oldest, due to the nature and simplicity of production, no need for aging, and simple preservation in salt and water.

    Did a little googling, and not sure about the reliability of source but here is an interesting list:

    This video on cheese is also very informative, don't be fooled by the title, that cheese expert gives a lot of info on some of the most popular cheeses.

    My personal favorites are hard cheeses Grana/Parmigiano, Alpine. And my absolute favorite Gorgonzola.

    I suspect there have been much older cheeses than the ones on the list I provided in the link, but it was probably made by nomad herders in the steppes inside animal skins, hence no way to prove they even existed, the method of making/storing doesn't fare well the test of time.
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