More than just dairy byproducts, discover the various cheeses that make up the American diet.
Due to its size and rich cultural history, the USA has attracted immigrants from various backgrounds such as France, Italy, Middle East and Mexico. In the 1600s, the first signs of cheese making arose from these immigrant communities that brought cheese and dairy cows with them in hopes of continuing the dairy farming legacy. Family recipes were passed between generations and a culture of cheese-making grew.
Whilst cheese-makers were initially limited by geographical factors such as soil fertility and fresh water to grow grass and grain as cattle feed, new technologies created room for increased production. This launched the United States into exporting cheese internationally and fueled the competitive artisanal cheese movement.
The rise in export markets and demand for cheese inspired makers to refine the taste of their product. American farmers and nutritionists cooperated to ensure a supply of sustainably produced milk. Innovations such as the Individually Quick Frozen process enabled manufactures to retain the freshness of cheese and halt the aging process. The texture and taste of cheese has also been improved using the application of pressure to either increase flavor development and the ripening of cheese or to inactivate enzymes to extend its shelf life. Rennets from camels are now also used to coagulate cow’s milk faster thus reducing off-flavours such as bitterness in the cheese.
American cheese won 265 out of 393 prizes in the 2020 World Championship of Cheese when it was pitted against well-reputed cheesemaking countries like France, Germany and Greece. These wins featured American originals such as Monterey Jacks (which is a white semi-hard cheese with mild flavour and slight sweetness) by producers Meister Cheese and Southwest Cheese LLC, as well as global classics like fresh Mozzarella from Caputo Cheese and Cheddar from Cabot Creamery Cooperative. Unique cheeses such as Oregon’s Rogue Valley’s River Blue soft aged cheese also clinched the World’s Best Cheese Award in 2019. The blue cheese is cave-aged for 9-11 months before being hand-wrapped in organic Shiraz grape leaves that have been soaked in pear spirits.
Cheese can also play a crucial role in the Singaporean diet, containing important nutrients such as high-quality protein, Vitamin A, phosphorus and calcium. Cheeses are ideal as a part of children daily food intake.
To promote the consumption and global appreciation of American cheese, the USA Cheese Guild which is managed by the U.S. Dairy Export Council and sanctions the USA Cheese Certification Program will soon launch a website www.USAcheeseGuild.org and is working on a new recipe app which will feature cheese based recipes and pairings from around the world.
For more information on the USA Cheese Guild, please visit the following: