Author Topic: cheese ingredients question, in re: food sensitivities & types of milk, etc  (Read 801 times)

Offline maxlet

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Hi, cheese experts,
I hope y'all can help a cheese fiend with serious food sensitivities. I had to cut out cow's milk several years ago; the lack of cheese very nearly made life not worth living (not kidding; there were already a huge number of things I couldn't eat). Then, after a few years of building up courage to invite agony, I tried some goat's milk cheese to see if it'd also mangle me. Joy!! I can eat goat's milk, sheep, so far any non-bovine-sourced cheese without my middle tying itself in hideous knots.

Finding the exact ingredients in prepared cheese can be a challenge, & I've not yet gotten brave enough to make my own. I have great difficulty getting some manufacturers to respond to queries, which is why I turn to you folks. Altrnately, they respond like the big pharma companies do when asked about med ingredients ("We cannot precisely identify all of the ingredients in our products; some filler ingredients are manufactured elsewhere. If you have a concern, please do not take the medication." Drives me nuts).

So... if the label says "goats milk, cheese cultures," are the cultures even from a milk source? Or is this another way of saying "enzymes"? If cultures are from milk, would they necessarily be from the same type of animal? I realize many manufacturers are going to go the "cheapest whatever we can find, even if it's gnu milk" routine, so it's not always possible to know.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I've got a big wedge of pecorino romano shouting "Eat me!" from the fridge, & no feedback from the maker on the "sheep milk, cheese cultures."

Thanks a bunch!

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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"Cultures" refers to the bacteria (and sometimes molds or yeast) that are used in cheese making. They are usually derived from bacteria grown in a lab, not from milk. The same bacteria are used in all kinds of cheeses. However, some traditional cheeses use bacteria from the whey left over from a previous cheese make. That could certainly be the case with a true Italian Pecorino Romano. Look at the source. That being said, I really wouldn't consider bacteria from left over whey to be "from" milk.

Is your condition a lactose intolerance? If so, properly aged artisan cheese contains very little or no lactose.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed

Offline WovenMeadows

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I also was wondering if you know the particularities of your cows-milk-sensitivity/allergy/intolerance. If goats milk/cheese didn't seem to bother, I'm suspecting its milk-protein related? Wondering whether you had ever tried raw milk or raw-milk cheeses. Sadly I don't know of enough actual studies done, but you see anecdotal support of raw milk in these kinds of cases. Often attributed to the natural presence of helpful enzymes and bacteria in the raw milk, or lack of denaturing or destruction of proteins and enzymes in the pasteurization process.

Offline Tiarella

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There is also the issue of A1 versus A2 cows.  The A1 cows have a genetic aberration that changes their milk.  Many of commercial dairy herds are A1 cows.  Do a bit of research on this to check it out.  So e small farms around New England have tested their cows and sold the A1 cows.