If you have never really thought about what’s in your cheese, this may shock you.
Since becoming vegetarian many years ago I have learnt so much about ingredients in all manner of foods but one of the most shocking to me has to be when I found out about what was really in some cheese!
Rennet, sounds harmless enough doesn’t it. But if I told you it is made from the lining of the stomach of a newly slaughtered calf would that change your mind?
Rennet is most commonly sourced from the stomach of newly born calves. The Enzyme extracted is called Chymosin, adult cows do not have this enzyme. Chymosin is extracted from slaughtered calves by the process of washing then drying the stomach lining, which is cut into small pieces and put in a solution of brine for a few days.
After finding this out several years ago I didn’t know if I would ever eat cheese again!
However there is now so many vegetarian cheeses out there I feel spoilt for choice as more and more manufacturers of cheese are changing to non-rennet recipes.
One cheese that can NEVER be vegetarian is Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano) the traditional Italian hard cheese, this is because to be called Parmesan is has to made using traditional methods and ingredients, one of which is calf rennet.
Two other cheeses that are made traditionally and will not be vegetarian are Grana Padano and Gorgonzola