Mystery solved: this is how the world’s oldest cheese found in Egypt would taste like

August 20, 2018 at 03:37 am | News

Nduta Waweru

Nduta Waweru | Contributor

August 20, 2018 at 03:37 am | News

The pottery jar containing the ancient cheese. Image: University of Catania and Cairo University

What scientists have termed as the oldest cheese in the world has been found in Egypt and is 3,200 years old.

One of the most vital questions about the cheese was whether it was palatable.

Well, it is not,

Researchers found that it is riddled with a bacterial disease called brucellosis.

The cheese, discovered in the tomb of Ptahmes, the mayor of the sprawling Egyptian city of Memphis, had markers pointing to the infectious disease that causes swelling of the testicles and heart.

According to Enrico Greco, the lead author of the paper and a research assistant at Peking University in Beijing, they were sure the jar they found in the tomb was food.

“The archaeologists suspected it was food, according to the conservation method and the position of the finding inside the tomb, but we discovered it was cheese after the first tests,” he said to the New York Times. 

He further revealed that the cheese was made from goat and sheep’s milk but the flavour could have changed over the years depending on various factors.

But how would it taste now?

According to Paul Kindstedt, a professor at the University of Vermont who studies the chemistry and history of cheese, the cheese taste would be ‘very very acidic’.

“It would be high in moisture; it would be spreadable. It would not last long; it would spoil very quickly,” He said to the New York Times.

It is not strange to find foods and other artefacts in the tombs of Ancient Africans, especially the wealthy and prominent members of society.  The tradition has still not faded. Just recently a Nigerian man buried his father in a $90,000 BMW as a way to “hand him a dignified send-off befitting of his status”.

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