THE CHEESES OF CAELERETH

DESCRIPTION - COW MILCH - GOAT MILCH - SHEEP MILCH - HORSE MILCH - EXOTIC CHEESES
METHOD OF PRODUCTION - AREAS OF PRODUCTION - HISTORY OF THE INDUSTRY/LORE

“Cheese, glorious and toothsome cheese! Its creation is an ancient art, hedged about with ritual and superstition, but also with care and precision – and the result is one of the most flavourful foodstuffs to ever cross the face of Caelereth... hail to cheese! Creamy, curdy, tangy, mellow, spicy, nutty, chewy, melting, salty, sweet – cheese the delectable, the wanderer’s staple and the housewife’s gift, the homebody and the great traveller, cheese, cheese, cheese!”

Cheeses of Caelereth

View picture in full size Image description. An assortment of all kinds of cheeses of Caelereth, a true delight for every Santharian gourmet. Picture drawn by Bard Judith.

We thank Master Dofron Barrelbung Hobytla from the Elenveran Shire for this lyrical introduction. We should also point out, less lyrically but more informatively, that cheese is a fermented milch product, made generally from the milch of cows, but also from sheep, goats, and other lactating animals. Wherever milch is collected and set to rise for cream, and wherever rennet or other coagulating agents can be found, there the product known variously as ‘cheese’, ‘kase’, ‘kaas’, ‘chaes’, ‘kaese’, or ‘gasse’ can be found. On other continents the process appears to have developed independently as well, for every place our Compendiumists have reported in from, across Caelereth, cheese may be found. Indeed, it may well be, as Master Dofron emotes, both the ‘homebody and the great traveller’ – but let us desist ere we become as poetically profuse as he.

Description. There exists a plethora of cheese types: Cow Milch Cheeses, Goat Milch Cheeses, Sheep Milch Cheeses, Horse Milch Cheeses and Exotic Cheeses. In the following we try to cover each group and their best known representatives.

I. Cow Milch Cheeses Cheeses made out of cow milch (sorted alphabetically), take your pick:

II. Goat Milch Cheeses. Cheeses made out of goat milch (sorted alphabetically), take your pick:

III. Sheep Milch Cheeses. Cheeses made out of sheep milch (sorted alphabetically), take your pick:

IV. Horse Milch Cheeses. Cheeses made out of horse milch (sorted alphabetically), take your pick:

V. Exotic Cheeses. Cheeses made out of very special ingredients (sorted alphabetically), take your pick:

Method of Production. The process of cheese production can be split into three steps: Letting it sit, Forming the Curd and finally Washing, Drying and Ripening.

Delicious Fedaerkaese

View picture in full size Image description. A piece of Fedaerkaese where a bluish-green mold is allowed to infiltrate the cheese, adding to its unique flavour. Picture drawn by Theras.

Areas of Production. Cheese is produced not only throughout Sarvonia, but, as far as we can determine, throughout Caelereth. Any region that can support a milch animal (even those we may not consider as milch animals, such as the ferocious warg, or the minute field mouse!) seems to have inevitably developed the process of cheese-making. While in some places it is cruder than in others, the end result is always recognizably cheese – to the eye, nose, and tongue. That is, setting aside Orkensmeug, which we hope we never do have to submit to the test!

Within the kingdom of Santharia, there are some notable areas for cheese production: the town of Northhern, off the Kenerun Downs below the Huiscen Plains, for one. Thaak, to the north of New-Santhala, has a large cheesemaking industry, based mainly on their large herds of Rimmilch and Baneg cows. Certain caves in the Rimmerins Ring area are known for being cheesestores of antiquity, and the very air is redolent with ancient cheeses; when one stands within their richly scented walls, one can certainly believe that the spirit or cár’áll of cheeses past are ready to infuse the young ripening rondels on their rock shelves...

Generally a cheesery is an individual proprietor, or a family-size operation, though some gnomish cheeseries involve as many as forty or fifty folk from milking the cows to marketing the finished product. Many farmers in more remote areas simply set a portion of their milch for Cottcheese rather than go to the trouble to take it out by wagon to the nearest cheesery, of course, but through most of the kingdom there are established trade routes and no one need do without the “most flavourful foodstuff” if they do not choose!
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History of the Industry/Lore. People in Santharia say that Jeyriall created all the milch-giving animals solely that we might have cheese! Though we cannot of course prove this, we certainly will not argue against the old belief... but surely cheese was made at a very early time. As soon as there was enough milch available in any community, the problem would naturally arise as to what to do with the excess. It does not stay fresh for a long time and though sour milch is perfectly drinkable, only a few of us would prefer it to the fresh stuff! As we see that cheese can come from all over Caelereth, and each continent has its own ideas about making cheeses and its own unique styles and flavours, most likely the process of cheese making was discovered accidentally and independently in different areas.

No records are left from old times about where which cheeses were eaten, and it is only over the last 150 years that we can talk of a ‘history’ of cheese. However, having no history of cheese does not mean that it was not mentioned during the centuries. As a by-product of descriptions of significant events - or more often significant people - we have been able to record quite fascinating details. So a history of cheese is a history of famous people as well, in one special aspect: their like or dislike of cheese! Return to the top

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THE ERA OF SUNDERING
(YEARS 11.900 B.S. - 10.000 B.S.)
11340 b.S. Darians eat 'decomposed' Milk
In the well-known "Report about the Founding of Ciosa" the Darians, the tribe which already lived in the lands which the Glandorians would later conquer, are often mentioned. They help the shipwrecked to get their town built. When several of these helpers become ill at the same time, complaining about pains in the stomach, the scribe not only mentions the delay of the building efforts due to the illness, but offers an explanation as well:

"These workers are fond of eating foul milk which has decomposed already into two parts: a strange white sticky mass and some muddy whitish water. But not only that, they process this stuff further - they let it sit for several months or even years! They call the resulting brown reeking balls 'Chiss', and cut them up to eat, quite often with tuberroots. No wonder they get a stomach ache!"

This might well be the first mentioning of curd cheese and certainly is the first mention of an aged cheese such as Brownieface (see above).

Other reports tell that for the first decades cheese is not eaten by the Glandorians for they associate it with the Darian - a weaker tribe which they are about to subjugate. "Cheese makes weak knees!" is a common saying. However, the cheese is in the end victorious, maybe because sweet curd wins the heart of the Glandorian children, especially that of Thorgeir's son Ciosaskun, the grandchild of Troi Ciosa. He makes cheese presentable and from then on the resistance of the Glandorians melts away, only a few of the old 'pure' family resist.

THE AGE OF AWAKENING
(YEARS 1.655 B.S. - 822 B.S.)
1649 b.S. The Vardýnnian Atonement
During the end of the Year of Darkness cheese, storable over quite some time, becomes a major foodsource along with tuberroots, carrots and weeproots.
  

1642 b.S. "Cart-n-Horse" conquers Santharia
Cheesemaster Kilghu Rhakkot, a gnome excelling in cheesemaking overtakes a small cheesery near Yorick. He expands his business and produces from then on one of the most famous and delicate cheeses, the Gnorin Huik Kashh.

Finally, we must note that currently there is a passion in the capital for the so-called 'blue cheeses'; it has become quite a fad to insist that the 'bluer one's blood, the bluer one's cheese' - so the older, aged cheeses command a premium price at present, and a discriminating buyer must beware of the unscrupulous merchants who prey on social climbers by tinting their ordinary cheeses with strange dyes, some never intended for consumption!
  

1317 b.S. The Dwarf Brok Strongarm takes Cheese on his Voyage
According to the records of Amalgin Starreader, Brok Strongarm, son of the Mitharim's Clan Lord Ulderon Willful, takes 'cheese' on his journey to discover the long-forgotten Ylaoth Khirril'Drumm, the Isle of the Glimmering Stones. Modern knowledge about dwarven culture tells us that this was probably not a milch product, however, but one of the mushroom culture 'cheeses', similar to Oyacheese. To this day such dwarven faux cheeses routinely fool visitors to their caverns, and it has become almost a set cross-cultural 'jest' which is trotted out at every occasion.

THE AGE OF THE BLOOD
(YEARS 822 B.S. - 50 B.S.)
810 b.S. Khizaar's Head
For a few years, a strangely formed cheese about the size of a man's head and with a yellow-brown rind is sold in the Silvershire till the King forbids its production. No reasons are given in the records of the time, so we must assume that it was done on the grounds of poor taste. Metaphorically, that is. Look up "The Beheading of Khizaar" in the Great Library of our Compendium if you require more information.
  

500 b.S. King Thar's favourite Cheese
King Thar is reported to be a friend of the cheese produced on the island of Churican. According to the food lists from the library of Milkengrad it is a yellow, slightly salty, smoked cheese with a 'note' of seaweed.

THE AGE OF CHANGE
(YEARS 50 B.S. - 172 A.S.)
10 King Santhros' favourite Cheese
Going by the description of his biography writer Jonha Carolus, King Santhros' favourite cheese must have been either a variety of the current Rimmirac or even of the Ung cheese. This allows us to date back the farming of Rimmilch cows and the production of these lovely cheeses to that time.
  

114 Marriage of Sirthala, Cheesecake served as Dessert
Sirthala, the great queen who gives Santhala its name, granddaughter of Santhros the Wise, is so fond of cheesecake that it is served as the main desert when she is marrying. The main ingredient is Theacurd, a soft sweet 'creamed cheese' which is allowed to set for a considerable amount of time. Luckily even the receipt is conserved and can be found in "Dame Sausade's Cookbook". Again, the milk of the Rimmilch cows is used.

THE GOLDEN AGE OF KINGS
(YEARS 172 A.S. - 547 A.S.)
540 Cheese Architecture
Around this time great building efforts are made in Santhala; monuments built, palaces expanded, new warehouses erected. This atmosphere of creating inspires cheese sellers to carve sculptures out of cheese wheels which resemble famous buildings in the town. These cheeses are often ordered when a new building is inaugurated, and feature prominently in Guild feasts of the time. Although it is no longer known which kind of cheese was used, it must have been more than one, for contemporary reports tell of tri-coloured artworks!

THE CLERICAL AGE
(YEARS 610 A.S. - 825 A.S.)
720 Stratanian Cheese travels to Elsreth
The Vashamethar spends five nunes (five goldbards, or five thousand sans) to be able to eat Injèrákaas, transported with swift 'remount carriers' through half of Santharia. A minor nobleman of this region complains about that misuse of clerical money in a letter to his father.

THE ERA OF THE SOUTHERN WARS
(YEARS 825 A.S. - 1.062 A.S.)
998 Cheese Smuggling at the Siege of Castle Thunderclaim
Though the Thairanian invaders have progressed farther north, they have never laid siege to Castle Thunderclaim - it is seemingly not important to them. However, an attempt is made after 990 a.S. and is extended for some years. Food is running scarce in Castle Thunderclaim till some brave men smuggle cheese wheels in the castle via a secret underground passage. The commander of the castle orders to roll some of these cheese wheels down the walls and the hill towards the besieging troops to show them, that they are not running out of food. His tactic is successful; the Tharanians withdraw.

THE AGE OF REBUILDING
(YEARS 1.062 A.S. - 1.144 A.S.)
1.080 Cheese Production in Parda
Parda is at the time a great city, a meeting point of the two main forces on the Southern Sarvonian continent. Big balls are held and festivities celebrated. One of the specialities served there is the Parda Cheese. However, the only information that has come down to these times about it is that it came in two varieties, one for ladies and one for their noble counterparts!

THE AGE OF HAVOC
(YEARS 1.440 A.S. - 1.540 A.S.)
1.532 Grothunc orders Shendar Cheese
During his childhood in the Ráhaz-Dáth Grothunc, the later Santhran, learns to know and love the local cheeses. So when in a position to afford delicacies, he asks for Arpun Cheese and specifies the 'strong version' of Mil'goa. He is the only one in the royal household who eats this cheese, so his liking for this cheese is mentioned in the food lists.

THE TIME OF REUNION
(YEARS 1.540 A.S. - TODAY)
1.550 The Landgraven of Onved, Harvoon Jorennal, reestablishes Cheese Production
Rimmilch cows have by now been domesticated for centuries, for their fine milch and and the delicate cheese which was made out of it. However, after the Time of Havoc cheese is only made by single families; not much trade happens and so almost no local cheese is available. Harvoon Jorennwal, Landgraven of Onved at this time, realises the potential of his cows and opens in Onved the first cheesery of the region. He also works towards a higher milch production, inspires the invention of new receipts (Rimmirac, Rimmiched, etc.) which were lost during the times of war, and finally organises the whole area within the Rimmerins Ring, setting up contracts with the towns of Vreesran and Clymnios, which had followed his lead and had increased milch production as well. This prevents the three cities from competing for the market in New-Santhala. Prices thus remain reasonable for both producers and consumers. Today the receipts have been sold to other areas where Rimmilch cows are farmed; however, cheeses are not allowed to be marketed under the original name alone but must add the area name.
  

1.630 First Horse-Milch Cheese imports from the Kuglimz
Dro'go Minar'ian pacifies the Kuglimzlands around 1625 and offeres trade relations to the Santharian Government. One of the trading items is Kuglcheese, a full-flavoured strong hard cheese with a dark golden colour. The small oblong loaves of cheese soon find their way onto Santharian plates. The long transport is the reason for the high price, but due to its strong aroma it is often used only in small quantities and helps to flavour other, milder and cheaper cheeses.

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 Date of last edit 27th Changing Winds 1667 a.S.

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