SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Scientists have found the first clear evidence that humans made cheese more than 7,000 years ago in prehistoric Europe.
An international team of researchers, led by the University of Bristol in the U.K., analyzed fatty acids extracted from unglazed pottery found at archeological sites in Poland, and determined the vessels were used for dairy products.
"The presence of milk residues in sieves, which look like modern cheese-strainers, constitutes the earliest direct evidence for cheese-making," said Melanie Salque, a PhD student from the University of Bristol, in a statement.
"So far, early evidence for cheese-making were mostly iconographic, that is to say murals showing milk processing, which dates to several millennia later than the cheese strainers."
Prior to this study, these ancient shards of unglazed of pottery — which are perforated with small holes — were thought to be used to strain milk for cheese production, said Salque, one of the co-authors of the study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
However, it was unclear whether the ceramic vessels, from the region of Kuyavia (Poland) were used for other purposes, such as straining honey from the honeycomb.
Milk residues had been found in sites in Northwestern Anatolia, dating back to 8,000 years ago, and in Libya, stretching back 7,000 years, but scientists weren't sure whether the dairy products were used to make cheese.
But testing conducted by researchers at the University of Bristol, Princeton University, and scientists in Lodz, Gdansk and Poznan in Poland showed that their hunches were correct, Salque said.
The shards — with their randomly distributed holes — and the high concentration of milk residues embedded into the surface of the pottery points towards their use for the dairy delicacy, the researchers say.
"As well as showing that humans were making cheese 7,000 years ago, these results provide evidence of the consumption of low-lactose content milk products in Prehistory," said Peter Bogucki, one of the study's co-authors.
"Making cheese allowed them to reduce the lactose content of milk, and we know that at that time, most of the humans were not tolerant to lactose. Making cheese is a particularly efficient way to exploit the nutritional benefits of milk, without becoming ill because of the lactose."- www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - Some of the cheese products manufactured in non-Muslim countries contain rennet extracted from the calf or other animals. We do not know whether the rennet was taken from the animal that was slaughtered according to Islamic laws; neither do we know that it has transformed into something else. So is it permissible to eat such cheese?
Answer : There is no problem in eating such cheese.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — SERVES 6–8
Kosher salt, to taste
8 oz. hollow pasta, preferably elbow macaroni or shells
3 slices crustless white bread
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
½ tsp. paprika
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 shallots, minced
1 bay leaf
¼ cup flour
⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
3 cups milk
10 oz. grated sharp white cheddar (about 4 cups)
10 oz. grated Gruyère (about 4 cups)
6 oz. Velveeta, cut into ½" cubes (about 1¼ cups)
1 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (about ¼ cup)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Heat oven to 375°. Bring a 4-qt. saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked halfway through, about 3 minutes for elbow macaroni. Drain pasta; set pasta aside. Tear bread into small pieces and transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Process until finely ground; set aside. Return pan to medium heat and melt 3 tbsp. butter. Add bread crumbs and stir to combine. Transfer bread crumb mixture to a plate and set aside.
2. Wipe out pan and set over medium heat. Melt the remaining butter and add the paprika, thyme, shallots, and bay leaf; cook, stirring often, until shallots are soft, about 5 minutes. Add flour and cayenne and stir until mixture thickens, 1 minute. Whisk in milk and cook, continuing to whisk often, until sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Discard thyme and bay leaf and remove pan from heat.
3. Stir in cheddar, half the Gruyère, the Velveeta, and the blue cheese; continue stirring until smooth. Stir in pasta and season sauce with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to an 8" x 8" baking dish. Sprinkle remaining Gruyère over top of pasta and then top with bread crumbs.
4. Transfer baking dish to an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and bake until macaroni and cheese is golden brown and bubbly, 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.— www.shafaqna.com/English