There are more than 5,000 varieties of cheese. Unlike the more sophisticated pleasures of the palate, such as truffles or foie gras, cheese is a staple food available to one and all.

Not only is cheese delicious, it is a food that provides protein, vitamins and minerals. Cheese is made from milk (packed full of vitamin D) that has been made to solidify by curdling, heating and, most important to the flavor, aging.In the Middle Ages, semisoft, ripened cheese was developed by monks in France.

During the Renaissance, polemics were written denouncing cheese as the devil's viand, but cheese survived and its popularity spread.