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Unveiling the Origins of Cheese Names

John Green and Mental Floss explain cheese names

Mental Floss, utilizing the powers of the ever-affable John Green, has given cheese lovers a little present: a video detailing the origins of twenty-four different cheese names. So far the only thing we can see wrong with the video is that it will really make you crave cheese. So, get some handy before viewing! You’ll thank us later.

The video offers such tidbits as the origins of Stilton cheese, which was named for the village of Stilton in England. Interestingly enough, the cheese is named after the village because that’s where it was sold and not where it was made. Now, due to its Protected Designation of Origin status, Stilton cheese must be made in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, or Nottinghamshire, none of which include the village of Stilton.

Or Provolone, which means “large Provola.” Provola is essentially Provolone in smaller form, and its supposed origins date back to the tradition of offering visiting religious leaders a sample of the main cheese, this sample being Provola. Which makes Provolone the “big cheese.”

Finally, in order not to spoil the entire video, there’s mozzarella. Its name comes from the Italian word mozzare, which means “to cut off” because the process of making mozzarella involves cutting coagulated curds into pieces and forming them into balls.

Watch the video and then let us know, what’s your favorite origin story?

Feature Photo Credit: Mental Floss

Gabrielle Roman

Gabrielle Roman is earning her Master's in Publishing and Writing at Emerson College in Boston. She is originally from Kansas City and misses the BBQ but the Thai food is good consolation. Her favorite hobby is cuddling with her puppy.

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