Archeologists in Northern China recently made a historic discovery while unearthing mummies from 1615 BC: They found the world’s oldest cheese, preserved on the necks and chests of bodies buried more than a century before the birth of Christ.
According to Popular Science, the bodies were pulled from Small River Cemetery Number 5 in China’s Taklamakan Desert. The mummies, which date back to the Bronze Age, were buried beneath wooden boats and wrapped in cowhide (think of it as ancient vacuum sealing). It was because of this process, in addition to the region’s dry air and salty soil, that the cheese attached to the bodies was able to survive intact.
The age-old cheese was made by combining milk with bacteria and yeast, a process much different than the current cheese making practices that largely rely on rennet, or animal enzymes, to help curdle the final product.
However they made the cheese, we know one thing: Forget the Louis store… when we die, bury us inside the cheese shop.
[via Popular Science]