So how does one make cheese? We know cheese is made from the milk of cows and goats, for example, but then what happens? We know a bit thanks to these videos and from the book, How Did That Get In My Lunchbox:
A farmer milked the cows, and a tanker from the dairy came to collect the milk.
1. In the dairy, cheese makers warmed up the milk…
2. …and added bacteria to make it turn sour and thick.
3. Then they added a substance that animals use to digest milk called rennet…
4. …and it changed again into bits called curds, floating in whey.
5. They drained off the whey, chopped up the rubbery curds, added some salt, and pressed them into blocks.
6. They stored the blocks for months until the cheese was ripe.
These cheese flipping robots (specifically Gruyere-flipping robots) in Switzerland are helpful in the process of ripening.
Many cheeses also use rennet alternatives, like vegetable rennet, microbial rennet or citric acid. Fresh cheeses like cream cheese, chevre, paneer, ricotta and mozzarella, can be eaten right away. Other cheeses are aged (like in these videos). Aging the cheese can take anywhere from a month for Monterey Jack, to 6 weeks for Camemberts and Bries, 3-6 months for Blue Cheese, and 12 months for some parmesans. Some cheeses take even longer.