The making of cheese was known in ancient times, it having probably originated through a desire to utilize an oversupply of milk. When cheese was first made, the fact that bacteria were present was not known, nor were the reasons for the spoiling of milk understood; but it was learned that milk can be kept if most of its water is removed. This discovery was very important, for it led to various methods of making cheese and proved that cheese making was a satisfactory and convenient means of storing nourishment in a form that was not bulky and that would keep for long periods of time. From a very small beginning, the different methods of making cheese became popular, until at the present time more than three hundred varieties are made and their manufacture forms one of the large industries of the world.
In the United States, nearly all the cheese used up to about 50 years ago was made on farms, and to a great extent by housewives, but about that time a factory for the making of this product was started in the state of New York, and it proved a profitable enterprise. From this beginning, the business of making cheese commercially in this country has grown until now cheese is almost entirely a factory-made product, in the manufacture of which the states of New York and Wisconsin lead.
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