Cheese is a food derived from milk that is produced in a wide range of flavours, textures, and forms by coagulation of the milk protein casein. It comprises proteins and fat from milk, usually the milk of cows, buffalo, goats, or sheep. During production, the milk is usually acidified, and adding the enzyme rennet causes coagulation. The solids are separated and pressed into final form. Some cheeses have moulds on the rind, the outer layer, or throughout. Most cheeses melt at cooking temperature.
Hundreds of types of cheese from various countries are produced. Their styles, textures and flavours depend on the origin of the milk (including the animal’s diet), whether they have been pasteurised, the butterfat content, the bacteria and mold, the processing, and aging. Herbs, spices, or wood smoke may be used as flavouring agents. The yellow to red colour of many cheeses, such as Red Leicester, is produced by adding annatto ( an orange-red condiment and food colouring derived from the seeds of the achiote tree . It is often used to impart a yellow or orange colour to foods, but sometimes also for its flavour and aroma). Other ingredients may be added to some cheeses, such as black pepper, garlic, chives or cranberries.
For a few cheeses, the milk is curdled by adding acids such as vinegar or lemon juice. Most cheeses are acidified to a lesser degree by bacteria, which turn milk sugars into lactic acid, then the addition of rennet completes the curdling. Vegetarian alternatives to rennet are available; most are produced by fermentation of the fungus Mucor miehei, but others have been extracted from various species of the Cynara thistle family. Cheesemakers near a dairy region may benefit from fresher, lower-priced milk, and lower shipping costs.
Cheese is valued for its portability, long life, and high content of fat, protein, calcium, and phosphorus. Cheese is more compact and has a longer shelf life than milk, although how long a cheese will keep depends on the type of cheese; labels on packets of cheese often claim that a cheese should be consumed within three to five days of opening. Generally speaking, hard cheeses, such as parmesan last longer than soft cheeses, such as Brie or goat’s milk cheese. The long storage life of some cheeses, especially when encased in a protective rind, allows selling when markets are favourable.
There is some debate as to the best way to store cheese, but some experts say that wrapping it in cheese paper provides optimal results. Cheese paper is coated in a porous plastic on the inside, and the outside has a layer of wax. This specific combination of plastic on the inside and wax on the outside protects the cheese by allowing condensation on the cheese to be wicked away while preventing moisture from within the cheese escaping.
A specialist seller of cheese is sometimes known as a cheesemonger. Becoming an expert in this field requires some formal education and years of tasting and hands-on experience, much like becoming an expert in wine or cuisine. The cheesemonger is responsible for all aspects of the cheese inventory: selecting the cheese menu, purchasing, receiving, storage, and ripening.
- Moisture content (soft to hard)
Categorising cheeses by firmness is a common but inexact practice. The lines between “soft”, “semi-soft”, “semi-hard”, and “hard” are arbitrary, and many types of cheese are made in softer or firmer variations. The main factor that controls cheese hardness is moisture content, which depends largely on the pressure with which it is packed into molds, and on aging time.
- Fresh, whey and stretched curd cheeses
The main factor in the categorisation of these cheeses is their age. Fresh cheeses without additional preservatives can spoil in a matter of days.
Some cheeses are categorised by the source of the milk used to produce them or by the added fat content of the milk from which they are produced. While most of the world’s commercially available cheese is made from cows’ milk, many parts of the world also produce cheese from goats and sheep. Double cream cheeses are soft cheeses of cows’ milk enriched with cream so that their fat content is 60% or, in the case of triple creams, 75%. The use of the terms “double” or “triple” is not meant to give a quantitative reference to the change in fat content, since the fat content of whole cows’ milk is 3%-4%.
- Soft-ripened and blue-vein
There are at least three main categories of cheese in which the presence of mold is a significant feature: soft ripened cheeses, washed rind cheeses and blue cheeses.
- Processed cheeses
Processed cheese is made from traditional cheese and emulsifying salts, often with the addition of milk, more salt, preservatives, and food coloring. It is inexpensive, consistent, and melts smoothly. It is sold packaged and either pre-sliced or unsliced, in a number of varieties. It is also available in aerosol cans in some countries.
Cooking and eating
At refrigerator temperatures, the fat in a piece of cheese is as hard as unsoftened butter, and its protein structure is stiff as well. Flavour and odor compounds are less easily liberated when cold. For improvements in flavour and texture, it is widely advised that cheeses be allowed to warm up to room temperature before eating. If the cheese is further warmed, to 26–32 °C (79–90 °F), the fats will begin to “sweat out” as they go beyond soft to fully liquid.
Above room temperatures, most hard cheeses melt. Rennet-curdled cheeses have a gel-like protein matrix that is broken down by heat. When enough protein bonds are broken, the cheese itself turns from a solid to a viscous liquid. Soft, high-moisture cheeses will melt at around 55 °C (131 °F), while hard, low-moisture cheeses such as Parmesan remain solid until they reach about 82 °C (180 °F). Acid-set cheeses, including halloumi, paneer, some whey cheeses and many varieties of fresh , have a protein structure that remains intact at high temperatures. When cooked, these cheeses just get firmer as water evaporates.
Some cheeses, like raclette, melt smoothly; many tend to become stringy or suffer from a separation of their fats. Many of these can be coaxed into melting smoothly in the presence of acids or starch. Fondue, with wine providing the acidity, is a good example of a smoothly melted cheese dish. Elastic stringiness is a quality that is sometimes enjoyed, in dishes including pizza and Welsh rarebit. Even a melted cheese eventually turns solid again, after enough moisture is cooked off. The saying “you can’t melt cheese twice” (meaning “some things can only be done once”) refers to the fact that oils leach out during the first melting and are gone, leaving the non-meltable solids behind.
As its temperature continues to rise, cheese will brown and eventually burn. Browned, partially burned cheese has a particular distinct flavour of its own and is frequently used in cooking (e.g., sprinkling atop items before baking them).
A cheeseboard (or cheese course) may be served at the end of a meal, either replacing or following dessert. A cheeseboard typically comprises portions of contrasting cheese with accompaniments such as crackers, grapes, nuts, celery and chutney. Port or other dessert wines may be served with a cheeseboard.
The nutritional value of cheese varies widely. Cottage cheese may consist of 4% fat and 11% protein while some whey cheeses are 15% fat and 11% protein, and triple-crème cheeses are 36% fat and 7% protein. In general, cheese is a rich source (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of calcium, protein, phosphorus, sodium and saturated fat. A 28-gram (0.99 oz) (one ounce) serving of cheddar cheese contains about 7 grams (0.25 oz) of protein and 202 milligrams of calcium. Nutritionally, cheese is essentially concentrated milk: it takes about 200 grams (7.1 oz) of milk to provide that much protein, and 150 grams (5.3 oz) to equal the calcium.
Ch. = Choline; Ca = Calcium; Fe = Iron; Mg = Magnesium; P = Phosphorus; K = Potassium; Na = Sodium; Zn = Zinc; Cu = Copper; Mn = Manganese; Se = Selenium;
Note : All nutrient values including protein are in %DV per 100 grams of the food item except for Macronutrients. Source : Nutritiondata.self.com
Chilli Cheese Paratha Recipe
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 1 people
Serve: Immediately after made
Cheese (processed or morzerella) – grated- 250gms
Onions- nicely chopped- 50 gms
Cucumber- Chopped in cubes- 75 gms
Tomato- Chopped in cubes- 75 gms
Yoghurt- smooth texture- 250 ml
Green Chilies- fine chopped- 25 gms
Wheat Flour (Atta) – 500 gms
Oil- 2 Table Spoon
Cumin Powder- 1 Tea Spoon
Chaat Masala- 1Tea Spoon
Fresh Coriander- Chopped- 5 gms
Chilli Powder ( Mirchi powder ) – 5 gms
Water to knead the dough
Salt to taste
Knead the Dough (To make paratha atta)
- in a bowl take whole wheat flour. add salt, oil and water.
- mix and then knead into a smooth soft dough. add more water if required while kneading. cover and keep the dough aside for 30 minutes.
- Mix the grated cheese with onion, chilli, salt, cumin powder, chaat masala, coriander & salt according to the taste.
- Beat the yoghurt with a hand beater or spoon to make it smooth in texture.
- Mix cucumber, tomatoes, salt, chilli powder and yoghurt together.
- Keep it in the fridge to let it cool down, to enjoy with hot parathas.
- Roll dough with the rolling pin.
- Stuff the cheese stuff in the flat dough right in the centre and cover it up with the sides that are left.
- Start rolling the dough again to the medium size.
- Keep the pan on medium heat and pour half a teaspoon of oil
- Place the flat dough on the pan, and apply oil on both the sides.
- Let it cook and the colour become creamish-brown.( As shown in the picture)
- Once ready take it off the pan and cut it into four pieces.
- Serve it hot with Cucumber- Tomato yoghurt.
You can add more to the stuff by adding, mashed potatoes, green peas, cabbage, corn, and any other vegetable you like. It can me made into heavy stuffing paratha.
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