Country Kitchen: Cheese-A Tasty, Nourishing Food

Country Kitchen: Cheese-A Tasty, Nourishing Food
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Cheese has been a popular food for centuries and a common substitute for meat. It's found on numerous diets and is a standby for protein in many countries.
However, in recent years, we're reminded that some types of cheese can be relatively high in fat. However, some lower fat varieties have been developed. Also, much cheese is high in salt, a factor to be considered for those on low salt diets.

Origin Unknown

This food, in its many forms and flavors, has long been a staple throughout the world, dating back to Biblical times. The exact origin of cheesemaking is unknown although it is believed this process originated in Asia and was brought to Europe by Asiatic tribes and travelers.

Cheesemaking flourished during the era of the Roman Empire and spread to England where, in the 14th and 15th centuries, it was eaten extensively by the poorer classes, thus acquiring the name, "White Meat."

During the Middle Ages, after the fall of the Roman civilization, the cheesemaking process was carried on in monasteries where different European localities developed their own special methods of manufacture. This resulted in many types of cheese that often took on the name of the town where they originated or are produced today.

Cheese was included in the Mayflower's supplies, it's claimed, and the different European emigrants brought various methods of cheesemaking to America. Crude home methods were used until commercial cheesemaking began.

Cheddar a Popular Variety

Of all the cheeses, and there are more than 400 varieties, Cheddar is one of the most popular among English speaking people. This type of cheese originated in England, and although the exact date of its first production is unknown, Cheddar has been made since the latter 1500s.

This versatile cheese was named for the town of Cheddar in Somersetshire, England, where it first was produced. From England, the production of Cheddar spread throughout the countries where Englishmen settled.

Cheese adds protein and flavor appeal to dishes when crumbled into tossed salads and vegetables, when poured as a sauce over cauliflower, green beans, peas, asparagus, and incorporated into casseroles. Also cheese and fruit form the perfect ending to many meals.


Cook 6 oz. (about 1 ½ cups) macaroni in salted water about 7 minutes.

Make a White Sauce by melting 4 tablespoons butter in skillet; add ¼ cup chopped onions, 4 large hot dogs or kielbasa to melted butter. Cover and cook over medium heat about 5 minutes.

Into the hot dogs and butter, stir ¼ cup flour, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add 2 cups milk, stirring until thickened. Then stir in 1 cup shredded American cheese until melted and well blended.

Fold in the drained, cooked macaroni and 1 cup cooked cut green beans (if desired). Pour mixture into buttered 2-quart casserole.

Sprinkle with ½ cup shredded American cheese. (You can use other types of shredded cheese if you prefer.)

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 minutes, until heated through and bubbly.

Article (C) 2005 Mary Emma Allen

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About The Author

Mary Emma Allen researches and writes from her multi-generational NH home. Check out her new site, Tea Time Notes

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