Franciscan friars started making a mild white cheese in Monterey, California, in the 1800s. The cheese was marketed by David Jacks and became known as “Jack’s cheese” before morphing into Monterey Jack.
The Greek word “pheta” means “a slice” or “a morsel.” It became feta, a white crumbly cheese originally made from sheep or goat milk and soaked in brine.
“Brie” is French for “marshland” and denotes a district in northeastern France near Paris where this soft creamy cheese was first developed.
The word “muenster” is a German word meaning “minister.” Muenster is the name of a region in France on the Rhine River bordering Germany and Switzerland where this soft cheese with an orange-colored rind was popularized by the German residents.
The Old English word “ceodor” means “ravine” and turned in to the word “Cheddar” which is a village in Somerset, England near a striking gorge. Cheddar cheese was developed there sometime around the 12th century. Cheddar is one of the most popular cheeses in the U.S., accounting for about 36% of all cheese sold.
“Maimbert” is a West Germanic surname. “Campus Maimberti” is Latin meaning “field of Maimbert.” This became “Camembert” and denotes a village in Normandy, France, where this sweet yellowish cream cheese was first made in the mid-1800s.
Asiago is a region in Italy named for the word meaning “uncountable.” Asiago cheese developed in the region is similar to parmesan.
Ricotta is Italian for “re-cooked” or “refined” because it’s made from the whey and proteins left over from the production of other cheeses.
Roquefort is a region in France noted for its caves where Roquefort cheese is aged. Roquefort cheese is made from the same mold that gives us penicillin.
Concordia was the Roman goddess of peace and harmony. In Milan, Italy, her name was corrupted to Corcondiola and later ended up as Gorgonzola, a region that invented this soft blue-veined cheese.
Neufchatel means “new castle” in French and denotes a region where this soft white cheese was first made. American-made cream cheese has a lower moisture content and is made with more cream than Neufchatel.
A YUMMY RECIPE
According to legend, an Italian man named Alfredo deLelio was concerned because his pregnant wife had lost her appetite. He owned a restaurant in Rome in the 1920s, so he concocted a dish of egg noodles covered with a rich delicious sauce to tempt his wife’s appetite. Patrons of his restaurant loved it.
Movie stars Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford were on their honeymoon in Rome and stopped in his restaurant for dinner nearly every night. They enjoyed his noodle dish so much that they presented him with a gold-plated fork and spoon with which to stir his famous sauce. Within a year the recipe was featured in a cookbook produced by the famous Rector’s Restaurant in New York, which helped popularize the dish in America.
Hollywood movie stars continued to eat at diLelio’s restaurant in Rome, and they insisted that their favorite chefs back home try their hand at the recipe as well. Today the noodle dish, with a sauce made from butter, cream, and parmesan cheese, is popular across the U.S. The restaurant started by Alfredo diLelio is still in business and his famous pasta recipe is known as Fettuccine Alfredo.