How 8 Famous Cheeses Got Their Names | culture: the word on cheese
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How 8 Famous Cheeses Got Their Names

Some cheeses, like cheddar and Roquefort, owe their names to a location. Others, like Monterey Jack, are named after a person. But how did “American cheese” gain the name of a country? And what’s the deal with mozzarella and harvarti? Find out how these cheeses (and three more!) got their names in this informative Mental Floss article.

Roquefort has a decidedly romantic origin story. According to French legend, a young shepherd was eating his lunch at the mouth of a cave one day when he spied a gorgeous shepherdess in the distance. He left his bread and cheese to pursue the girl, only to find the forgotten cheese several months later. By that time, the cave’s mold had transformed the cheese into something far tastier.

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Rebecca Haley-Park

Rebecca Haley-Park is culture's former editor and resident stinky cheese cheerleader. A native New Englander, she holds a BFA in creative writing from University of Maine at Farmington.