The Origins of Cheesemaking

  • Marco Gobbetti
  • Erasmo Neviani
  • Patrick Fox


Cheese is the generic name for a group of fermented milk-based food products, produced in a wide range of flavors and forms throughout the world. The primary objective of cheesemaking is to conserve the principal constituents of milk, but cheese has evolved to become a highly nutritious food with epicurean qualities. Sandine and Elliker (1970) suggested that there are more than 1000 varieties of cheese. Walter and Hargrove (1972) described more than 400 varieties and listed the names of a further 400, while Burkhalter (1981) classified 510 varieties (although some are listed more than once). Harbutt (2002, 2009) described 750 cheese varieties, with photographs, and several cheese-based recipes. Barthilemy and Sperat-Czar (2001) described, with photographs, 1200 varieties. A list of 450 Italian cheeses, some with photographs, is given by Rubino et al. (2005) in Wikipedia, but many of these are variants; there are probably 40 distinct varieties of Italian cheese. Thirty-one varieties of Italian cheese were described, with photographs, by Jerry Finzi in Grand Voyage Italy in Wikipedia.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Gobbetti
    • 1
  • Erasmo Neviani
    • 2
  • Patrick Fox
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Science and TechnologyFree University of BolzanoBolzanoItaly
  2. 2.Food and Drug DepartmentUniversity of ParmaParmaItaly
  3. 3.School of Food and Nutritional SciencesUniversity CollegeCorkIreland

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