China isn’t exactly known for its cheese, which is why the discovery of the world’s oldest curds in a tomb in northwestern China is particularly surprising.
The site, which was discovered in 1934 but forgotten until excavation started in 2003, is the final resting place of a mysterious Bronze Age people. The dead were found tightly wrapped and interred in wooden, boat-like structures with mysterious crumbs scattered around their necks. Analysis of the fat and protein content in these crumbs determined it was the world’s oldest cheese; the findings will be published in forthcoming issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.
According to USA Today, the curds date to as early as 1615 B.C.—more than 1,500 years before the Greeks started making feta. The Chinese cheese appears to have been a lactose-free variety (which makes sense considering that up to 90 percent of people of East Asian descent are lactose-intolerant).
That said, Asia is a diverse continent, and it’s home to manyRead More »from 5 Asian Cheeses You Never Knew Existed