Long ago and far
away, a nomad living in a vast Middle East desert decided
to go on a far journey. So he saddled up his camel and
poured a lot of milk in his saddlebag to drink along the
way. It was a very hot day, even by Gobi standards, and
the milk curdled after several hours of riding. When he
opened up the bag, instead of milk, he found white curds
with liquid! Yet another "Aha" moment in history.
But why did the milk curdle? His saddlebag had the enzyme
called "rennin" in it because the bag was made
from the stomach of a young cow. How this happened is a
whole 'nother story, but the point is rennin causes coagulation
or curdling. Hence the curds.
Another history spin speaks to vast geological change
and mass migrations. Nature set the stage for America's
Dairyland during the last Ice Age, when glaciers cut through
what is now Wisconsin. As they receded, the massive mountains
of ice left behind a countryside of rolling hills and lush
pastureland. Millions of years later, when European immigrants
migrated west, Wisconsin reminded many of their homelands,
but without the royalty and oppression to deal with. Perfect!
Soon they were producing an abundance of top-quality milk
and cheese. These men and women arrived with the tradition
of making favorite cheeses from the old country. And so
it was that the fame of their curds and other cheeses quickly
spread throughout the land.