Friday, February 28, 2014

Chinese cheese

Researchers led by Changsui Wang from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences have analyzed yellowish organic material buried with mummies including the "Beauty of Xiaohe" (PHOTO ABOVE WITH ARROWS AND CLOSE-UP) and found it to be the world's oldest cheese. The 3,600-year-old cheese remained intact because of the dry, salty conditions in the desert and the Bronze Age people who buried their dead under boat-like wooden structures wrapped in cowhide, creating conditions that "vacuum-packed" both the bodies and the cheese. The cheese was made in such a way that it could have been eaten by the lactose-intolerant Asians. And it is assumed that the ancient mummies were meant to nibble on it, like the meat mummies with which Egyptians equipped their dead for the afterlife.

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