That being said, I don't think I would want any of this cheese to spread on a cracker or put on a sandwich, ya know? Even I have some limits, believe it or not!
3,800 Years Old
While the art of making cheese is certainly not new, finding old examples of cheese is rare. Mostly, we find fat residues suggesting that some artifacts once contained cheese. Time is not dairy’s friend, especially if we’re talking millennia. But excavations at China’s ancient Xiaohe Cemetery (aka “Ordek’s necropolis”) revealed pieces of 3,800-year-old cheese sitting on the chests and necks of several mummies.
Tests on the yellow substance showed that the cheese was nutritious, easy to produce, and similar to a present-day fermented dairy drink called “kefir.” Its low salt content hinted that it wasn’t meant to be kept for a long period of time but rather consumed after production. However, the remarkable preservation of the Ordek samples most likely occurred because two conditions were present at burial: The coffins were sealed with cowhide, which prevented air from entering, and the soil was salty.
As the cheese was also easy to digest, it helped researchers understand why the milking of animals became so widespread in the early Bronze Age despite lactose intolerance in people at that time.
Coffee on the patio this morning. I'll set out some crackers and cheese, but the cheese may be a tad newer in my case.