Ask a group of people which animal cheese comes from and most will say “cow.” If you are lucky you might get a “goat” thrown in, and if you happen to chance on a connoisseur you may even hear the words “sheep,” or “buffalo.” However, while these are, without doubt, the most common animal origins for cheese, they are not the only ones. So, in the interests of broadening horizons the time has come to take a look at some of the more strange animal cheeses available for consumption.
Cheese is made from milk curds, so in theory if an animal produces milk, that milk can be used to make cheese. This narrows the band of potential animals to mammals, and it definitely helps if the mammal in question is easy to catch and milk; which is probably why there is no current record of rhinoceros cheese. The first mammal on our list is the camel. “Camelbert,” as it has been nicknamed is produced in Africa and is reminiscent of its namesake Camembert, being a soft, creamy cheese with a rind. Unfortunately import regulations makes this, and many of our other strange cheeses fairly hard to track down.
Llama cheese is popular in Peru, and by all accounts has a Brie like appearance but is chalky in texture. Other four legged mammals which produce milk suitable for cheese making include horses, donkeys, (produced on a nature reserve in Serbia,) and yaks. In fact, most domesticated animals, which can be easily milked, have had their milk used for cheese making. There is of course one other fully domesticated milk producing mammal; human beings. Though unlikely to catch on in a big way, cheese made from human milk can and has been made, and has even appeared as a delicacy on the menus of some swanky New York restaurants. Cheeseboard anyone?
Keep being ewenique!