CHEESE . . .IT WOULDN’T BE PIZZA WITHOUT IT!
It IS possible to have pizza without sausage or mushrooms or peppers, but cheese is mandatory. Made from the milk of cows, buffalo, goats, yaks, and other mammals, its history is a varied and interesting one.
Fast and ready to eat or use, cheese is sliced, chunked, grated, strung and melted. For every recipe and taste, there is a cheese aging to perfection to fit the bill.
This favorite has been around since about 7000 B.C. When an un-named Arabian nomad on a long trek across the desert discovered that the motion of his horse (or camel) caused the milk in his saddlebag to separate into curd and whey. (Little Miss Muffet’s curds and whey were the front runner to our present-day cottage cheese!)
Cheddar, which made its debut early in the 17th century, was “discovered” and named after the town of its birth, Cheddar Gorge in Somersetshire, England.
Edam cheese was given its ball shape so that it would roll down the gang planks into the holds of the export ships without the deck hands having to lift and carry all that weight.
Wisconsin Brick? So named because in the 1880′s bricks were originally used to press the moisture from the cheese. Not fond of Limburger? Avoid the tiny cheese plant in Wisconsin — the only place on Earth that makes it!
In the Middle Ages the tradition of making Swiss cheese in 200-pound wheels began when the Swiss government taxed cheesemakers on the pieces of cheese, rather than the total weight. Though the cheesemakers weren’t happy about it, the feds were ecstatic about all those holes — they took up space in the wheels, but did not increase the weight!
Shortly after the Jamestown, VA settlers brought cows from the Old Country, America was introduced to cheese. The year was 1611. European immigrant farmers produced their own favorite, now known as Muenster, early in the 1800′s.
Mr. David Jacks of Monterey, CA shipped his queso del pais cheese in packages marked with his name and city of origin — thus, Monterey Jack.
The crowning glory of pizza remains Mozzarella. The consumption of this staple cheese continues to skyrocket, and most of the credit for the increase can be placed squarely on the tops of all those pizzas we eat every day, including the great selections below from your favorite Pizza of the Month Club! (One is made with goat cheese!)
#1 DELICIOUS MEATS GOURMET PIZZA
“All meat lovers, report to your stations!” That’s how to call them to the table when serving this heavy-duty pizza laden with spiced, sliced pepperoni, pork sausage, Italian beef and mozzarella. The sauce is everybody’s favorite, the tomato-based one from the Gourmet Pizza Club!
#2 SPINACH AND GOAT CHEESE GOURMET PIZZA
Fresh goat cheese gets top billing on the marquee when paired with cooked spinach. The pizza sauce is rich with the flavors of tomatoes, Romano, onions, garlic, corn and olive oils, spices and a sprinkling of Chablis wine for good measure.
#3 TERIYAKI CHICKEN GOURMET PIZZA
The sweet teriyaki pizza sauce is made with brown sugar, lemon and pineapple juice, soy sauce. But what’s snuggled beneath it? Spiced, tender chicken breast strips and creamy mozzarella. A dinner-time treat nobody deserves to miss!