The Wonders of Cheese

Smiling mouse on a block of cheese

The Wonders of Cheese

Cheese
House Mouse

National Cheese Lover’s Day is January 20.

Delicious cheese, with all its wonderful variations and ways of using it; how does anyone cover all the wonders of cheese? I hale from Wisconsin, which is known as cheese country.

One of it’s main nutritional factors is calcium, as most of us are aware. But a factor many worry about is the fat content in cheese. But fat “is where its at” with cheese and reduced fat varieties abound.

The fat in gives it the smooth texture we prefer. Exceptions, like ricotta, Camembert and brie have higher water content and less fat. However; when too much fat is removed, it can give it an unpleasant, rubbery texture. Low fat cheeses do not have a long shelf life due to their increased water content. In truth, you are just paying for more water.

Did you know?

  • It takes eight pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese.
  • One ounce equals as much fat and protein as one cup of milk. It is a concentrated source of cholesterol and saturated fat. One ounce is one standard serving size.
  • In its natural state is the best for our health.
  • Chemicals are used to alter cheeses. These chemicals are also used for making cement, bleaching clothes, producing cosmetics and rust-proofing metals.

Tip: Prevent mold from forming on cheeses. Store cheeses in a sealed container with two lumps of sugar.

Nutty Fruit and Swiss Salad

Combine one-diced peach, 1-cup blueberries, one small diced apple, 2-ounces low fat Swiss cheese cubes and 1/2-ounce walnuts halves, chopped.

Quick Cheesy Breakfast Idea

Melt a slice of one of your favorite cheeses over a toasted bagel or English muffin for a quick, portable breakfast

Trimming Tip

Replacing mild Cheddar with sharp boosts the flavor enough so that you can cut the amount of full fat Cheddar called for in a recipe without losing flavor.

The Top Five

Blue (Bleu): Noted for its white and blue-streaked markings, blue cheese has a soft and often crumbly texture. Available in various shapes. One ounce equals 40 calories.

Brick: A softer, yellow cheese available in slightly, soft-medium firm texture. Commonly available in sliced, and brick forms.

Brie: Has an outer edible white coating and a mild-strong creamy inside. Originally from France, brie is available in wedge and round shapes.

Camembert: Reputed to be the favorite cheese of Napoleon, Camembert cheese has a soft, yellow inside. Its outer coating is also edible and is usually a grayish-white color. This cheese takes from four to eight weeks to ripen.

Cheddar: Normal color is white to medium-yellow. Mild to very sharp taste. Firm smooth texture. Comes in numerous shapes and originated in England. One ounce equals 105 calories. Artificial color is usually added to make it more yellow.

A Bite of History

Cheeses are mankind’s first and best fast food. Over time, they have been called a food of the gods.

Author: Jeni

Certified by the Professional School of Fitness and Nutrition in March, 1995; honored for exemplary grades. Practicing fitness and nutrition for over 20 years. Featured in the Feb. 1994 issue of "Shape" magazine. Featured in Collage in the spring issue of 1995 Low fat recipe's published in Taste of Home, Quick Cooking, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, among others. September, 2001: Featured in "Winning The War on Cholesterol" By Rodale Publishing