National Cheese Day is an unofficial holiday which falls on June 4th and celebrates one of mankind’s favorite all-time foods: cheese. On this day, people all over the world are encouraged to enjoy cheese in any of its many forms. Perhaps you can celebrate it with cheese fondue, a grilled cheese sandwich or by trying out a cheese you haven’t tried before. Just be sure that you don’t mix this holiday up with other cheese-related holidays such as National Grilled Cheese Day, National Cheese Pizza Day or National Cheese Lover’s Day. After all, that wouldn’t be proper cheese etiquette.
The History of Cheese & National Cheese Day
Since cheese-making is a process that predates the written word, nobody really knows exactly when cheese was invented. While historians believe that humans began domesticating milk producing about 10,000 years ago, all that’s really known about early cheese-making is that cheese was made in Egypt and Greece for thousands of years. Some historians believe that cheese-making may have been discovered accidentally when sheepherders stored milk in the stomach of an animal. This would have caused the enzyme found in the stomach of ruminant animals to coagulate the milk. The milk would have then separated into curds and whey. However, this is currently only a theory.
Fortunately, the entire history of cheese-making isn’t obscured, only its roots. Historians do know that by the time of the Roman Empire, cheese-making had become a widespread practice throughout most of Europe and the Middle East. There were hundreds of different types of cheese available to Ancient Romans and these cheeses were traded all over the Empire.
Today, many of the types of cheese that were made back then aren’t consumed by humans on a widespread basis anymore. In fact, most of the cheese we enjoy today only go back about 500 years or so. Fortunately, what we do have is a large variety of different cheeses to choose from – approximately 1,400 cheeses exist in the world today.
Some Cheesy Facts
- Roquefort, Brie de Meaux and Casu Marzu are cheeses that are illegal in the U.S
- The European Union is the top producer of cheese in the world
- The U.S is the second top producer of cheese in the world
- Wisconsin produces the most cheese in the U.S
- On average, the French consume about 60 pounds per person
- Germany comes in second with 53 pounds of cheese consumed per person
- Americans only consume about 34 pounds of cheese per person
- Parmigiano-Reggiano, Camembert and Bavarian Swiss are the top cheeses in the world
Celebrating National Cheese Day
If you want to celebrate National Cheese Day, then all you have to do is to enjoy cheese in one of its many forms. You can have cheese soup, a cheese sandwich or maybe just some cheese ravioli. Maybe your idea of a good time is having some cheese on crackers or eating a cheese pizza. How you celebrate this holiday all depends on your personal preferences, just be sure to use the hashtag #NationalCheeseDay when you post your cheesy pictures on social media.