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Today is National Cheese Lover’s Day! Did you know that the average American consumes about 31 pounds of cheese each year? That may seem like a lot, but for the average French person it’s 50 pounds!
There are more than 900 known cheeses in the world, and they can all be classified by texture. Here are the primary classifications and some examples: fresh cheese (ricotta); soft cheese (feta); semi-soft cheese (Fontina); semi-hard cheese (Gouda); hard cheese (Cheddar); double or triple crème cheese (Brillat-Savarin); blue cheese (Gorgonzola); washed rind cheese (Limburger); and bloomy rind cheese (Brie).
People have been making cheese for at least 8,000 years, so the cheeses we enjoy today are all relatively young by comparison. Take Emmental (also known as Swiss cheese), for example. It’s only been around since the first century BC!
Visit your local cheesemonger and pick up your favorite kind of artisan cheese or cook a cheesy dish for dinner tonight in honor of National Cheese Lover’s Day!