History of Cheese

The history of cheese, the indispensable taste of our lives, goes back to 8.500 years ago. There are various assumptions about its occurrence and discovery. Some historians assume that the first cheese is found by an Arab traveler with the transformation of the milk placed in a tube made from sheep stomach into cheese spontaneously. According to the ancient Greek history, it’s been claimed that the first cheese is made by the Scythians from mare milk by souring the milk. In this context, the traces of cheese have been found in containers made from goat and sheep skins in monuments covered with ice around B.C. 7th century where the Scythians have lived. According to some resources, it’s been claimed that the first cheese is made at the Central Asia. The Tibetans think that the first cheese is made by the Tatars before the Arabs. By considering different historical resources, there are assumptions that the first cheese is made by the Finnish nomads at the Mediterranean countries. Although different resources state that the first cheese is made or discovered by different nations, cheese residues and cheese making tools and containers from B.C. 4.000 have been found in archeological excavations.  


During the first times, cheese was consumed generally at the temples and then the field of use has expanded with the development pace of the civilizations. With the increase in immigration to Europe after the collapsing of the Roman Empire, the production of cheese has shown an increase. The cheeses made at the monasteries have created today’s cheese diversity of the European countries. In our history, Kaşgarlı Mahmut has mentioned about cheese in his Divanü Lugati’t Türk. Furthermore, Kutadgu Bilig of Yusuf Hashacib in 11th century also mentions about the cheese varieties.


Several cheese varieties have been found coincidentally with the influence of the local conditions and the coincidences influencing the quality of the cheese have been used in production stages and each variety has displayed an evolutionary development. The Administrative Regulation of Sultan Murat (Murat the Fourth) in 1680 also mentions about adjusting the yoghurt and cheese prices. The Ottoman Empire has displayed tulumi, kashkaval and lor cheeses in the London Exhibit at United Kingdom on 1851.