Celebrate national cheese lovers day, an annual observance that takes place every year on January 20th. This day celebrates all things cheese, from its history and different recipes to fascinating facts about it.
Whether you are a lifelong cheese lover or have only recently started appreciating this dairy delight, there are plenty of ways to celebrate National Cheese Lovers' Day in 2023!
First, let’s look at the history of cheese. Its earliest record of pasteurizing cheese dates back to 5500 B.C. in Poland; it first discovered how to make cheese curds when milk would accidentally sour and separate into curds (the solidified part) and whey (the liquid).
Over time, people began adding herbs and spices for flavor as well as experimenting with different ingredients and techniques until they created some of today’s most popular cheeses like cheddar, feta, brie, gouda, and fontina.
What Is National Cheese Lovers Day?
Nowadays, on January 20 National Cheese Lover's Day is celebrated all over the world by celebrating with friends or family members who also love cheese just as much as you do! There are plenty of ways to celebrate this cheesy holiday. Here are just a few ideas you can use to make your celebration unique and special:
- Have a cheese tasting party where each guest brings a type of cheese for everyone to try
- Take a day trip to visit local dairy farms
- Make your own homemade cheeses from different recipes
- Research interesting facts about different kinds of cheeses and share them with friends.
- Try out different recipes at home using artisanal cheeses or even making mac and cheese from scratch
- Visit restaurants that serve up delicious dishes involving cheese like fondue, pizza, quiches, charcuterie boards, etc.
Why We Love Cheese
Cheese has been around since the dawn of civilization and has become an incredibly popular ingredient in dishes worldwide. It's often used as a topping for pizzas and pasta, as a filling for sandwiches and wraps, or as an accompaniment for salads and soups.
But What Makes Cheese So Special?
For starters, cheese is incredibly versatile and customizable. With so many different varieties available—including cheddar, parmesan, gouda, provolone, and feta—there are endless possibilities when creating new cheese recipes. Additionally, cheese is packed with nutrition.
A 1-ounce serving of cheddar cheese provides 7 grams of protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients like phosphorus and zinc. It's also low in fat and cholesterol-free!
How To Enjoy Cheese Lovers Day
Cheese Lovers Day is the perfect day to get together with friends and family to enjoy delicious cheesy treats. Here are some ideas on how to make the most of your celebration.
A cheese platter is an easy way to enjoy a variety of cheeses all at once. Choose three different kinds of cheese for a simple platter, or mix it up with five or more varieties if you’re feeling adventurous.
To make the platter even more impressive, add some accompaniments like fruits, olives, nuts, and crackers. A nice bottle of wine also pairs well with cheese!
If you want to make something special for National Cheese Lovers Day, whip up some cheesy appetizers! Try individual cups of macaroni and cheese topped with bacon crumbles or deep-fried balls of gooey mozzarella.
If you’re looking for a lighter option, try mini tarts filled with ricotta and fresh herbs or roasted garlic-and-cheese bruschetta. Your guests will be impressed with your culinary skills!
Nachos are always a crowd-pleaser—and they're even better when they have melted cheese on top!
Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) and lay out tortilla chips on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Top them with black beans, diced tomatoes, diced onions, jalapenos (if desired), and any other toppings you prefer.
Sprinkle generously with grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese before popping them in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted completely. Serve warm with sour cream or guacamole on the side for dipping!
When it comes to cheesy dishes, nothing beats a classic fondue. Make one big pot of melted cheese and let everyone dip their favorite snacks into the bubbling goodness.
Serve vegetables like broccoli florets and carrot sticks alongside bread cubes and pretzels for dipping—or go all out with meats like cubed ham or sliced sausage. There’s something incredibly satisfying about gathering around the fondue pot—don’t forget the napkins!
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
The classic grilled cheese sandwich is perfect for enjoying your favorite cheeses. Choose from cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella, or any other type of cheese you prefer, even blue cheese. Slice up some bread and butter on one side of each slice. Place the slices in a hot skillet with the buttered sides down and layer your chosen cheese over one slice.
When the bottom piece of bread has become golden brown and crispy, top it with the second slice of bread (butter side up). Flip the sandwich over and let it cook until both sides are golden brown and the cheese has melted completely.
No matter which way you choose to celebrate, make sure to savor every bite of cheese!
10 Cheese Facts
1. Cheese is one of the oldest processed foods and has been around for more than 4,000 years.
2. There are over 2,000 cheeses worldwide.
3. The most popular type of cheese in the U.S. is Cheddar, followed by Mozzarella and Monterey Jack in second and third place, respectively.
4. The average American consumes around 35 pounds of cheese each year which is about 5 times more than the 1960s consumption levels!
5. Cheese can be made from the milk of cows, sheep, goats or even buffalo, depending on its origin or the country where it’s produced
6. Most cheeses have unique flavors that come from specific bacteria cultures added during production as well as the aging process
7. The most expensive cheese in the world is called Pule, which is made from Balkan donkey milk and costs around $600 per pound
8. Cheese can help to prevent tooth decay due to its high calcium content, as well as providing protein and other essential vitamins like Vitamin B12
9. Blue cheese gets its distinct blue veining from the mold Penicillium roqueforti which is added during production
10. Cheese can often be stored for long periods of time without spoiling, as it has a low moisture content and high acidity level which helps to preserve it.