The world’s oldest known cheese

Published on March 7th, 2014 | by Admin

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1393358710000-D05-Mummy-C-18

1393358710000-D05-Mummy-C-18

Odd lumps found on the bodies of Chinese mummies has been identified as fragments of cheese that dates back to 1615 B.C.

The Chinese cheese dates back as early as 1615 BC, making it by far the most ancient ever discovered. Thanks to the quick decay of most dairy products, there isn’t even a runner-up. The world’s best-aged cheese seems to be a lactose-free variety that was quick and convenient to make and may have played a role in the spread of herding and dairying across Asia.

“We not only identified the product as the earliest known cheese, but we also have direct … evidence of ancient technology,” says study author Andrej Shevchenko, an analytical chemist at Germany’s Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics. The method was “easy, cheap … It’s a technology for the common people.”

[Full story]

Story: Traci Watson, USA Today | Photo: Wang da Gang

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