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An icon worthy of esteem; no poll here is considered to have been properly set without it. A recent discovery shows that over 7,000 years ago it was being enjoyed on the Adriatic.
'Evidence of 7,200-year-old cheese-making found on the Dalmatian Coast'
Analysis of fatty residue in pottery from the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia revealed evidence of fermented dairy products -- soft cheeses and yogurts -- from about 7,200 years ago, according to an international team of researchers.
"This pushes back cheese-making by 4,000 years," said Sarah B. McClure, associate professor of anthropology.
The presence of milk in pottery in this area is seen as early as 7,700 years ago, 500 years earlier than fermented products, said the researchers. DNA analysis of the populations in this area indicate that the adults were lactose-intolerant, but the children remained able to consume milk comfortably up to the age of ten.
"First, we have milking around, and it was probably geared for kids because it is a good source of hydration and is relatively pathogen-free," said McClure. "It wouldn't be a surprise for people to give children milk from another mammal."
However, about 500 years later, the researchers see a shift not only from pure milk to fermented products, but also in the style and form of pottery vessels.
"Cheese production is important enough that people are making new types of kitchenware," said McClure. "We are seeing that cultural shift."
- Absent Minded Processor
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I knew it! Cheese - the corner stone of all culture!
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So, given the profound import of what is without doubt one of humanity's greatest achievements, surely the current and previous calendar eras should really be divided into BC: Before Cheese, and AD: Anno Dairy-fermentation?
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