AuthorTopic: 🧀 For Ancient Farmers, the Road to Europe Was Paved with Cheese  (Read 682 times)

Offline RE

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🧀 For Ancient Farmers, the Road to Europe Was Paved with Cheese
« on: September 06, 2018, 03:40:37 AM »
https://www.livescience.com/63500-ancient-cheese-mediterranean.html

For Ancient Farmers, the Road to Europe Was Paved with Cheese
By Mindy Weisberger, Senior Writer | September 5, 2018 03:08pm ET


For Ancient Farmers, the Road to Europe Was Paved with Cheese
Evidence of fermented dairy products in clay pots represents the earliest example of cheese making in the Mediterranean.
Credit: Sibenik City Museum

About 7,200 years ago, farmers living near the Adriatic Sea packed clay pots full of soft cheese. And thousands of years later, archaeologists found traces of this fermented, cheesy goodness, preserved in chemical signatures left behind in the vessels.

This new evidence, found at two sites in what is now Croatia, dates to 5200 B.C. and pushes back cheese production in the Mediterranean by more than 2,000 years, scientists reported in a new study.

Cheese making was likely a game changer for early farmers; it may have helped lactose-intolerant adults ease into eating dairy, as fermentation reduces dairy's lactose content, the researchers wrote. And as a portable, preserved food, cheese would have been a dependable source of nutrition as farmers moved from the Mediterranean into Europe, an expansion that began around 7000 B.C. and lasted about 3,000 years, according to the study. [The 7 Perfect Survival Foods]

The Balkan Peninsula is considered to be the gateway for the spread of farming to northern Europe, lead study author Sarah McClure, an associate professor of anthropology with Pennsylvania State University's Department of Anthropology, told Live Science. Finding evidence that cheese production was taking hold alongside changes in farmers' settlement patterns, suggested a connection between cheese and human migration, McClure explained

Scientists found signs of cheese making lipids that indicated fermented dairy on clay vessels collected from two Neolithic villages on Croatia's Dalmatian coast: Pokrovnik and Danilo Bitinj, the researchers reported.


Archaeologists found traces of cheese lipids in pottery excavated at the archaeological site of Pokrovnik in Croatia.
Credit: Andrew M.T. Moore

Archaeological artifacts are often washed during preparation, and this process can destroy or damage residues that hint at how ceramic pots may have been used, McClure said. Fortunately, excavators preparing the sites' pottery decided to keep 10 percent of the pieces unwashed a choice that preserved the precious lipids that pointed to cheese production thousands of years ago.

"Residue analysis is relatively new in archaeology. People have been doing it for, maybe, 10 years," McClure said.

"Now that the fieldwork methods are catching up with the lab-work methods, we're seeing that we should be preserving at least a subsample without washing now that we know we can get better data from residues," she said.

And what was this ancient cheese like?

"I'd imagine it [was] sort of a fresh, firm cheese," McClure said, "not as squishy as a ricotta, with a little more heft to it like a farmer's cheese or perhaps like a feta."
A ripe history

People in the Mediterranean have been drinking milk for at least 9,000 years, researchers have determined based on remnants of dairy found on 500 pieces of prehistoric pottery from across the Mediterranean. And the earliest cheese-making evidence dates to about 7,500 years ago, discovered in 24 pottery fragments collected in Poland.

In some cases, actual pieces of ancient cheeses have survived to the present. In 2014, researchers reported finding yellowed hunks of preserved cheese wrapped around the necks of 3,800-year-old mummies in China; the cheese was likely buried with the corpses as a snack for the afterlife.

Another piece of ancient cheese, described by researchers as a "solidified, whitish mass," was recently found in an Egyptian tomb dating back 3,000 years, Live Science previously reported. But you wouldn't want to taste this cheese; molecular evidence in the cheese hints that it may have been infected with Brucella bacteria, which transmit the nasty gastrointestinal illness brucellosis.

The new findings were published online today (Sept. 5) in the journal PLOS ONE.
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline Eddie

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Re: 🧀 For Ancient Farmers, the Road to Europe Was Paved with Cheese
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2018, 05:49:07 AM »
Blessed are the cheese makers...

I always wanted to try my hand. You need a dedicated cooler that you can set the right temps....other than that, not too much gear.The local beer brewing DIY store is full of cool cheese-making stuff. I always want to buy everything I see in that place, but it ain't cheap.

Queso blanco is super simple, but the hard cheeses are an art form.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

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Re: 🧀 For Ancient Farmers, the Road to Europe Was Paved with Cheese
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2018, 07:18:03 AM »
Blessed are the cheese makers...

I always wanted to try my hand. You need a dedicated cooler that you can set the right temps....other than that, not too much gear.The local beer brewing DIY store is full of cool cheese-making stuff. I always want to buy everything I see in that place, but it ain't cheap.

Queso blanco is super simple, but the hard cheeses are an art form.

You gotta have access to lots of milk.  Are you going to start raising cows nex?  Goats?

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Offline Eddie

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Re: 🧀 For Ancient Farmers, the Road to Europe Was Paved with Cheese
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2018, 08:54:20 AM »
I will become the world's most notable and famous purveyor of pig's milk cheese. Pigs give lots of milk, since they have litters of 12 or more.

Sound appetizing? Whaddya think?
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

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Re: 🧀 For Ancient Farmers, the Road to Europe Was Paved with Cheese
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2018, 04:16:15 PM »
I will become the world's most notable and famous purveyor of pig's milk cheese. Pigs give lots of milk, since they have litters of 12 or more.

Sound appetizing? Whaddya think?

Have you ever tried to milk a pig?

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Offline Eddie

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Re: 🧀 For Ancient Farmers, the Road to Europe Was Paved with Cheese
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2018, 04:39:58 PM »
No, but based on what I do know, I expect it'd take some kind of technological breakthrough to achieve success in the now wide-open pig milk market.

I did read that pig milk has more than twice the fat content of cows milk.

I can't even milk a cow, which is supposed to be easy, but which I remember clearly as being one of the most frustrating experiences of my young life. I hated it when I was 12. I doubt I'd like it much better now.

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

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Re: 🧀 For Ancient Farmers, the Road to Europe Was Paved with Cheese
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2018, 05:01:51 PM »
No, but based on what I do know, I expect it'd take some kind of technological breakthrough to achieve success in the now wide-open pig milk market.

I did read that pig milk has more than twice the fat content of cows milk.

I can't even milk a cow, which is supposed to be easy, but which I remember clearly as being one of the most frustrating experiences of my young life. I hated it when I was 12. I doubt I'd like it much better now.

With all that FAT, it probably would begood for making butter.

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Offline roamer

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Re: 🧀 For Ancient Farmers, the Road to Europe Was Paved with Cheese
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2018, 05:26:19 PM »
Not ancient europe but as far as i can tell all my norwegian ancestors based their lives around an economy of cheese and trade.  Best way to harvest and store high summer mountain pasture energy.

I've dabbled in making a few raw milk cheeses on the farm.  I'm scared of selling anything though.  What I want to do but won't is sell raw milk butter and feed the skim to woodland pastured hogs.  Feel like I'll get caught disobeying the wisconsin milk mafias rules.  But that is the best whey to go to give hogs enough lysine to help them gain on pasture and woodland foraging.  I'll be feeding purchased bulk sweet whey into a small grain ration for next years woodland pastured hogs.

Offline roamer

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Re: 🧀 For Ancient Farmers, the Road to Europe Was Paved with Cheese
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2018, 05:29:29 PM »
If you like on youtube you'll pretty much find someone doing anything you can dream up.  Here is a pig milking kid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iv57W6k2uc  Maybe with the right meme you could swindle a hipster foodie out of some serious coin for high fat hog milk?

 

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