Cheesemaking Goes Back 7.5K Years

Earliest pots used in process are found in modern Poland

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 13, 2012 12:32 PM CST

(Newser) – Residents of what is now Poland figured out how to make cheese about 7,500 years ago, reports the BBC. Archeologists have determined that clay vessels unearthed near a river were used to separate curds from whey, a key step in the process. The finding is the earliest such proof of cheese-making, and it would have been a huge innovation in the late Neolothic period, explains the LA Times.

For one thing, most adults were lactose-intolerant at the time, and turning milk into cheese would make it easier to digest and thus be an important source of food. (It probably had the consistency of modern cottage cheese.) The discovery also may have helped dairy farming take hold. Ars Technica has more on how the University of Bristol researchers concluded that the pots were used to process milk.

The earliest cheese-making tools discovered to date have been found in what is now Poland.
The earliest cheese-making tools discovered to date have been found in what is now Poland.   (Shutterstock)
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