National Cheese Day

National Cheese Day may not be as well known as Pizza Day or National Donut Day, but it’s an important holiday nonetheless. Click here to read more about this special day.

When is National Cheese Day?

National Cheese day is June 4th!

A Quick Overview of National Cheese Day

National Cheese day is a day for all Cheese Lovers to celebrate!  Cheese is one of the most popular dairy food of all the world, and if you are one of the millions of people who love this dairy product, today is a day to celebrate indeed!

There is so much to celebrate about cheese, whether you are a connoisseur or a cheese maker! 

Let’s learn more about cheese and how to celebrate this yummy day.

A Brief History of Cheese

Photo of a collage with for images of different kinds of cheese in the text overlay that says national cheese day

Who invented cheese? Now, that is a mystery for sure. It seems as if cheese has been around since humans first tiptoed through the tulips.

But there is a legend!

According to the IDFA, there once was an Arabian merchant travelling along his route in the heat of the day.  He had put some milk in a sheep’s stomach and didn’t think much about it as he was on his journey. He didn’t know that the rennet (an enzyme) in the stomach was going to do something magical to his milk!

At the end of the day, when he went to quench his thirst with his milk, he saw that it had separated into what we know as curds and whey.  He drank the whey and found the curds a delightful treat.

And thus, Cheese was born!

Or so “they” say! [1]

As the centuries progressed, so did the making of cheese.

With the domestication of animals that produced larger quantities of milk, such as goat, cows and sheep, cheese-making became an integral part of our lives.

Cheese making was going full swing during the time of the Roman Empire and Middle East, the Americas weren’t introduced to cheese making until the European settlers began arriving. 

During the 17th century, the puritans brought their knowledge of making cheese with them to North America and with it, they spread the love of cheese to a new world.

A century later in the 1800s, the cheese technology had advanced so much that the first farmstead cheese factory was born, started by a housewife named Anne Pickett in Koshkonong, Wisconsin. [2]

Photo of a charcuterie board filled with different kinds of cheeses, herbs, and olives

Then around 1845 some Swiss immigrants found their way to Green County, Wisconsin and set up a cheese factory dedicated to the manufacturing of “foreign” cheese. [3]

Modern Cheese Making Progresses Even Further

When scientists were able to make pure microbial cultures, the manufacturing process no longer needed to recycle whey, and thus cheese became more consistent and easier to make. The standardization of cheese enzymes along with dependable refrigeration systems, contributed to the ability to mass produce cheese, which lowered the cost and made it way more available and accessible to lower income families.

By World War II, mass production of cheese was in full swing and became the leading production method in the United States.

Some Ideas for Celebrating National Cheese Day

When life seems boring, maybe it’s time to go an some new adventures and some new cultural experiences.  Celebrating cheese is an easy, low cost way to achieve both!

  • Invite your cheese loving friends and throw a Cheesy Party!  Have everyone bring a block of their favorite cheese, their favorite cheese dishes, maybe even some cheese pizza!
  • Make a charcuterie board for your family using new and different cheeses. Pick out a variety of mild cheese, hard cheese and soft cheese! If you have a local  cheese shop, visit your cheesemonger and see what they might recommend. They will have some higher quality cheeses and a richer quality product. Then you can add delicious food pairings such as:  pita chips, bagel chips, cured meats, olives, grape tomatoes, and grapes.
  • Have a raclette party for your family. If you don’t have a raclette machine (it’s a table top oven/stove for melting cheese over meats and vegetables) you can do it in the oven! All you need is some good cheese that melts well (like Gouda), some vegetables like mushrooms, peppers and onions, and a base of boiled potatoes.  You smash the potatoes, pile on your veggies, top it with cheese and bake! It’s a fun time for the whole family.

Popular Dishes made with Cheese

There are so many delicious recipes you can make with cheese. Whether you go for a savory dish filled with spices like a European Risotto or simple American dish like Mac and Cheese, you’ll be sure to find a dish to make National Cheese Day a hit!

Here are a few of our flavor filled favorites here at National Day Ideas. Maybe you’ll find some new dishes for you and your family!

  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Cheese Pizza (Stuffed Crust is the best!)
  • Hashbrown Casserole
  • Risotto
  • Broccoli and Cheese Soup
  • Nachos
  • Italian Meatloaf (You just flatten out your ground beef, layer it with marinara and cheese. Then roll it up like a jelly roll before baking!)
  • Cheese Fondue
  • Everyone’s favorite? The Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Some Interesting Facts about Cheese

The Main Categories of Cheese

Some of these cheeses might cross over between categories. But regardless, this list below is filled with delicious cheese ideas!  Whether you like a soft, spreadable cheese like Brie or a stinky, rock hard cheese like Emmental, there is a cheese for everyone!

  • Soft cheese
    • Feta
    • Brie
    • Ricotta 
    • Cream Cheese
    • Camembert
  • Semi-soft cheese
    • Roquefort
    • Mozzarella 
    • Havarti 
    • Gorgonzola
    • Gouda
  • Semi-hard cheese
    • Cheddar
    • Emmental
    • Monterey jack
    • Aged Manchego
    • Gruyere
  • Hard cheese
    • Parmesan
    • Reggiano
    • Pecorino
    • Cheddar
    • Gouda

The Most Loved Types of Cheese

Photo of a charcuterie board filled with cheeses, blackberries, grapes, green olives, and herbs

In the United States, Mozzarella leads Cheddar by just a bit. [4]

The UK devours Cheddar Cheese. [5]

Italy loves Parmigiano Reggiano. [6]

Germany loves their cheese, but they produce more Gouda than anything. [7]

Greece? Most definitely Feta! [8]

In France, Brie and Camembert win out. [9]

The most popular Swiss Cheese is Emmental, but the Swiss people? They actually prefer Gruyere! [10]

What Country Consumes the Most Cheese?

This will probably come as no surprise, but along with being the top producer of cheese, the United States also consumes the most cheese across the globe, 6.1 million tonnes!

Now that’s a lot of fermented dairy, y’all!

Interesting Stats about Cheese

Vegan Cheese Alternatives

Let’s not forget those who love the flavor and texture of cheese, but make the conscious choice to only eat plant based products.

What kind of cheese do vegans eat?  Let’s see!

Popular vegan cheese brands

Thanks to the advent and progress of food experimentation, we now have non-dairy, plant based cheese alternatives! These have definitely put a new twist on the meaning of cheese!

Below are some popular vegan cheese sources that you might be able to find at the major grocery retailers.

However you choose to eat and celebrate cheese, we hope you’ve enjoyed this quick overveiw of National Cheese Day!

Hooray for Cheese!

For more fun days to celebrate, just visit our Calendar!

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