Calling all cheese heads! January 20 is National Cheese Lover’s Day, so mark your calendars! In honor of everyone’s favorite dairy delight, take a look at these fun facts about cheese while you’re chowing down on The Popcorn Factory’s cheddar and white cheddar treats. (After all, no snack captures the deliciously creamy flavor of cheese better than popcorn!)
- No one really knows when cheese was first made. Some say that cheese-making first started in 8,000 B.C., when the tribes in Central Asia stored milk in animal skins during their travels. Popular belief has it that the bacteria in the animal skins caused the milk to form the first cheese curds.
- Scientists have found what they believe to be the remains of cheese buried in 4,000-year-old Egyptian tombs. Archaeologists have also discovered ancient Egyptian murals depicting the cheese-making process, which date back to 2,000 B.C.
- Many ancient Roman homes featured a separate kitchen that was solely used to make cheese.
- In the 17th century, people thought that eating cheese would make you, er, less intelligent.
- The nickname “big cheese” was first used to refer to people who could afford to buy a wheel of cheese.
- More than 900 types of cheese exist in the world today.
- Americans eat about 31 pounds of cheese a year each, but they’re not even close to holding the world record. The Greeks consume the most cheese on a yearly basis: almost 60 pounds per person!
- The U.S. does produce the most cheese in the world, though, and most of it comes from Wisconsin and California.
- Wisconsinproduces about 2 billion pounds of cheese per year, and it’s the home of 126 cheese plants.
- Ten pounds of milk are needed to make 1 pound of cheese.
- The world’s largest piece of cheese was made in Quebec, Canada, in 1995. It weighed in at more than 57,000 pounds, and more than 540,000 pounds of milk were used to make it.
- Eating certain types of cheese—such as cheddar, Swiss, bleu and others—right after a meal is said to help prevent tooth decay and help you sleep.
What kind of velvety cheese will you be munching on to celebrate National Cheese Lover’s Day?