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Ancient Mysteries

3,200-year-old cheese discovered in Egypt

August 19, 2018 | Comment icon 10 comments



The ancient Egyptians were adept at cheese-making. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Axel Seedorff
A strange white substance found inside a broken jar from an ancient tomb has turned out to be cheese.
The ancient foodstuff, which dates back three millennia, was originally discovered when archaeologists excavated the tomb of Ptahmes - a high-ranking Egyptian official.

It wasn't until it was analyzed as part of a new study that it was finally determined to be cheese.

"The material analysed is probably the most ancient archaeological solid residue of cheese ever found to date," said Dr Enrico Greco from the University of Catania. "We know it was made mostly from sheep's and goat's milk, but for me it's really hard to imagine a specific flavor."
The analysis of the cheese has also revealed that it had contained Brucella - a type of bacteria found in unpasteurised dairy products.

The taste of the cheese has been described as "really, really acidy."

You certainly wouldn't want to try eating it today.



Source: BBC News | Comments (10)



Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by sci-nerd 3 years ago
Does that mean you can't eat it? 
Comment icon #2 Posted by susieice 3 years ago
I wouldn't. It's unidentified   Who knows what it's made from. I know they found honey in tombs that was good. I'm not so sure about cheese. But then, people wanted to drink mummy juice.
Comment icon #3 Posted by DebDandelion 3 years ago
Eeereeeeeeeeuw to mummy juice And #ponder...can we still call it cheese..?
Comment icon #4 Posted by susieice 3 years ago
This is what the cheese looks like. I think I'll pass. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/16/science/oldest-cheese-ever-egypt-tomb.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur
Comment icon #5 Posted by GlitterRose 3 years ago
At least old cheese isn't really...bad news.  It's just odd news.
Comment icon #6 Posted by freetoroam 3 years ago
I prefer the spreadable type, i too will pass.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Bunzilla 3 years ago
I find cheese that's more than two years old gets too dry for me. I think I'll also pass. Cool discovery though! Makes me wonder just how long ago we invented cheese.
Comment icon #8 Posted by pallidin 3 years ago
Perhaps the real question is: Which wine would you recommend?
Comment icon #9 Posted by Timothy 3 years ago
There’s a lovely 350-325 AD vintage you might like, in an unopened 1.5 litre bottle. Unsure of the price though... https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speyer_wine_bottle  
Comment icon #10 Posted by paperdyer 3 years ago
Will it make good cheese curds? If it's fresh I mean.  If so, you'll need a good beer, not wine.


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