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Earth Science

Humans Have Been Eating Cheese For At Least 7,500 Years 214

An anonymous reader writes "Researchers have found conclusive evidence for the first time that humans have been making cheese since the 6th millennium BC."
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Humans Have Been Eating Cheese For At Least 7,500 Years

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  • by goodmanj ( 234846 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @05:33PM (#42280015)

    Making and eating cheese, beer, and bread define what it is to be fully human. Any dirty ape can go club a mammoth and bring it back to its den, but to domesticate two different kinds of creatures (a mammal and a bacterium, or a grass and a yeast) and use one to rot the other and come out with something even tastier than the original? That requires massive intelligence, communication, tool use, planning, and social structure.

    (PS: if any modern cultures exist that don't eat cheese, beer, or bread, I don't mean to imply that they're not fully human. Their current environment might not have the resources to do these things, but you can bet their ancestors knew how.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13, 2012 @05:42PM (#42280153)
    Wikipedia knows not all. According to this history [], a flat bread baked with cheese on top goes back as far as the 6th century BC and the "modern" pizza goes back as far as the early 1500s.
  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @05:46PM (#42280245) Homepage
    I worked at a cheese shop when I was in University and we sold cheese from all over the world. I always thought it odd that there was no cheese from China. There's Cheese from India, the middle east, europe, south america. Just about everywhere. I can't recall any cheese coming from the far east, and I've never seen cheese a chinese restaurant (except the big buffet ones that server everything from french fries to kraft dinner to General Tao's chicken to tripe) I don't recall any cheese from Africa either. I wonder why some cultures developed cheese while others didn't. Why, even if they hadn't invented it on their own, why they didn't start making it once the cultures mixed.
  • by WebManWalking ( 1225366 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @06:09PM (#42280605)
    It was prophesied somewhere in the first 6 books of the Aeneid that Aeneas and his men would someday be so hungry, they would eat their plates.

    Somewhere in the second 6 books, there came a time, after a battle or something, when they had broken all their dinnerware. Someone had the idea to flatten out some dough, put the food on top of it and cook them all together, baking the bread and cooking the food at the same time. While they were eating, Aeneas' son Iulus said hey look everybody, we're eating our plates! Most thought it was just a joke and laughed, but the elders didn't laugh. They were amazed and recognized it as the fulfillment of prophesy made before Iulus was born.

    So when you're in Italy and you hear of some restaurant claiming to have invented pizza in medieval times, be sure to ask them, really? How was it that Virgil was able to discuss something that your restaurant hadn't invented yet? Or something similarly snarky.
  • Re:Ob... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @06:58PM (#42281399)
    You just reminded me of a relevant anecdote about cave paintings []:

    The work of other artists didn't often reduce Pablo Picasso to a state of utter humility, but that's exactly what happened just after World War II, when he was mucking about in a cave in southwestern France. This wasn't just any cave, however -- its walls were festooned with striking pictures of horses and bulls that date from the Ice Age, all rendered with exquisite sophistication and symbolic force. Upon exiting the cave, an awed Picasso declared, "We have learned nothing in twelve thousand years."

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead