CHEESE (Lat. caseus), a solidified preparation from milk, the essential constituent of which is the proteinous or nitrogenous substance casein. All cheese contains in addition some proportion of fatty matter or butter, and in the more valuable varieties the butter present is often greater in amount than the casein. Cheese being thus a compound substance of no definite composition is found in commerce of many different varieties and qualities; and such qualities are generally recognized by the names of the localities in which they are manufactured. The principal distinctions arise from differences in the composition and condition of the milk operated upon, from variations in the method of preparation and curing, and from the use of the milk of other animals besides the cow, as, for example, the goat and the ewe, from the milk of both of which cheese is manufactured on a commercial scale. For details about different cheeses and cheese-making, see Dairy. From the Urdu chiz ("thing") comes the slang expression "the cheese," meaning "the perfect thing," apparently from Anglo-Indian usage.
A useful summary of the history and manufacture of all sorts of cheeses, under their different names, is given in Bulletin 105 of the Bureau of Animal Industry (United States Dep. of Agriculture), Varieties of Cheese, by C.F. Doane and H.W. Lawson (Washington, 1908).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)