Monday, 5 December 2011

Medieval cheese - and an alternative wedding cake

We are having cheese for dessert at our wedding, along with applepie. Cheese is great for concluding a banquet and today I'll give you a list of cheeses known in the medieval times, that also exists today:
Shaping cheese, 15th century, Paris
French Cheeses:
Beaufort - already known in the Roman Impire.
Brie de Meaux - Mentioned the first time in the chronicles of Charlemagne (12th century)
Comté - also from the time of Charlemagne
Reblochon - used in the Middle Ages to pay taxes in Haute Savoie
Roquefort - mentioned by Pliny the elder in 79 A.D.

English Cheeses:
Cheddar - apparently there's a bit of a quirrel whether it originates in the Roman Impire or England. But never the less it's an old cheese, with evidence of production in the 12th century, England.
Swiss Cheeses:
Emmenthal - originating from a small village Emmental Valley in the end of the 13th century

Italien Cheeses:
Grana - created by monks in Norhern Italy in the beginning of the medieval period.
Gorgonzola - made near the city of Milan since 879 A.D.
Mozzarella - From the area around Naples, since the time of the Roman Impire

Ancient Cheeses:
Cottage cheese - most likely known back in ancient Egypt and Greece.

So cheeses came in a lot of shapes and sizes in medieval times. Here's a quote from the book, Food and Feast in Medieval England: "Cheese was available in four main varieties: hard (probably of a cheddar type), soft (or cream cheese), green cheese (a very new soft cheese [basically a brick of compressed curds]) and 'spermyse' (cream cheese flavoured with herbs)."

Since there wasn't a wedding cake like we know it today, you might make a tower of theese delicious cheeses instead, alongside a basket of bread. For easy recipes go to The pictures of cheese cakes are from Norbiton Fine Cheese CO.


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