Who doesn’t like a nice slice or hunk of cheese every once in a way? An integral breakfast staple, the origins of cheese stretch so far back in time that there is honestly no pointed date, time or era recorded of its most initial origins.
The production of cheese was discovered while transporting fresh milk in the organs of sheep, goats, cows, and buffalo and very likely by accident. In an age when home creature comforts such as refrigerators were not even heard off or in fact fathomed cheese was counted on as a unique way to preserve a more precious commodity, milk. There is no certainty as to where cheese production really originated however its most ancient roots are traced all the way back to the ancient Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia.
The word cheese actually originates from a Latin word caseus. The root of the word being formed can be traced back to the proto-Indo-European root kwat. Kwat basically meant to ferment or become sour. There is something just so comforting when you take a bite of this rich in nutrient and tasty treat that cheese production has become a business both for the biggest of conglomerates and also for the smaller mom and pop stores who fashion their own brand of homemade but delicious cheeses.
It wasn’t until the year 1815 in Switzerland when cheese for mass produced for the first time. The Swiss are credited with mastering the art of cheese making in bulk and setting up the first factory. This was the beginning of a process which took to production like wildfire. Scientists soon discovered how to produce rennet in mass demanding quantities and this phenomenon gave rise to the industrial cheese production revolution. The advent and discovery of the Pasteurization process automatically made soft cheeses safer, thereby reducing the risk of tuberculosis, salmonellosis, listeriosis and brucellosis.
When the American industrial food revolution caught steam, with it came the invention of cheese as we largely know it today. Processed cheese is nothing but the amalgamation of natural cheese with milk, emulsifiers, stabilizers, flavouring, and colouring. This inexpensive method to make cheese caught on rapidly largely due to its quick and easily melting qualities. Since then the production of processed cheese and subsequent products such as cheese slices, cubes and spreads has skyrocketed and is now consumed more than natural cheeses across the globe till date.
The largest manufacturer of cheese in India is of course Amul. Amul is India’s largest cooperative movement and the Amul model has made India emerge as the largest milk producer across the globe. A staggering 15 million plus milk producers pour milk in an eye watering 1,44,500 dairy cooperative societies across India. This milk is then processed in 184 specialized District Co-operative Unions only to be marketed by 22 State Marketing Federations. What started years ago as a move to strike out the malpractices and troubles caused by the corrupt middle man has blossomed into a business that literally gives the gift of life and sustenance to millions of dairy farmers across the country.
Amul has three retail categories in which they sell cheese in India. The first of course is the world favourite processed cheese. This cheese is further dissected into cheese blocks, cheese cubes, cheese slices, cheese tins and even the cute and delicious cheese chiplets. Toss it into your favourite dish or have it by itself either at breakfast or as a snack, Amul processed cheese is the perfect and ideal way to make your day and your favourite dish just that little bit cheesier. It is not only delicious with a number of dishes, it is also wholesome and an excellent source of Calcium and milk protein. The Amul Cheese Cube nutrition facts tell us that the calories in Amul cheese cubes are only 26% good fats while there is also 45% moisture and it is packed with 20% of protein and a low 2.5% of added salts to help improve the taste this cheese is both yummy and not so hard on the tummy both at the same time.
The quantities that the processed cheeses are packaged in vary from being sufficient for a single person to being able to cook up a cheesy treat for an entire family or even a get together. It is available across all the packaging in smaller 100 gram quantities and can go up to the larger 1 kg packets for industrial and larger commercial use as well. Yes you heard this right. Amul cheese is the choice of restaurateurs, bakers and hoteliers across the country as well as the smaller road side vendors who indulge you from time to time with some cheesy delights.
Amul also manufacturers cheeses for the more refined European palates. With the advent of commercialism and the retail market opening its doors to its international counterparts, India too has awoken to the concept of different cheese from across the world. A usual bugbear however is availability or rather inconsistent availability which is further hindered by exorbitant prices largely due to the cost of export. So Amul went back once more to its roots and strategically once again did away with the middle man. So the next time you are in the mood for a hunk of Emmental or Gouda cheese all you have to do is run down to the local super market or even buy the Amul pizza cheese online.
With India having such a strong colonial influence it is of little wonder that cheese is a staple for our breakfasts while we also appreciate its myriad flavours in our cooking techniques and with the Amul cheese rate consumption, it is clearly India’s favorite cheese based product. As commercialism has spread and with it has emerged the advent of fast food, cheese has gone on to become an integral taste factor that we would not want to do without.
A Dollop makes all food Pop
Everything tastes better with a dollop of fresh cream. Everything feels nicer with a spoon full of whipped cream. It’s that magic ingredient that turns a good recipe into a great recipe and a great recipe into something absolutely delicious. And while we all love to devour it more usually than not as a dessert, it is also not unusual to use fresh cream in so many different Indian based recipes, be it the mouth-watering butter chicken and butter paneer or then the different malai based koftas and curries that our culinary cuisine is legendary for.
The origins of cream can be traced way way back in ancient China. A cream like food was first eaten there in 618-97AD. King Tang of Shang, ordered to have a dish made out of buffalo milk, flour and camphor. Another similar kind of cream was also invented in China at another time in 200 BC when a milk and rice mixture was frozen by packing it into the snow. Whipped cream made using nitrous oxide was invented in the early 1930s by Charles Getz, and Marshall Reinecke. In fact both these gentlemen filed patents, which were even litigated later.
Now that we’ve established that we are all great fans of the product let’s also try and understand how cream is made. It’s actually thankfully simple and easy to produce even at home. Cream is nothing but a dairy product made with the higher-butterfat layer skimmed from the top of a milk vessel before the milk undergoes the homogenization process. In the cases of un-homogenized milk, the fat or cream like we tend to call it is comparatively less dense and eventually for this reason rises to the top. While this holds true for the natural process, in the more urgently required industrial production of cream, they tend to accelerate this process by using centrifuges called separators.
Now the general source of cream that most of the contemporary generation is more familiar with is the white fluffy sweet goodness that tends to be the definitive layer on all our cakes and pastries. It is known as whipped cream and people are known to be absolutely mad for it. When you whisk milk, the fat molecules in it begin coming together and form light pockets of air. This gradually goes on to become a stable structure which is also known as whipped cream. In fact if you whip it longer you can actually break the fat once again which will then give you another delicious dairy product also known as butter. But that is for another day.
Fresh and whipped creams are easily and readily available across dairies and halwais in India. However the quality of the milk used to make the cream is usually under a lot of questioning. This is also one of the many reasons why we have shifted from buying our milk from them to the considerably safer and organized packaging options. The packaging options however will never give you that thick creamy layer at the top of the milk vessel which makes it difficult to obtain hand prepared homemade cream.
So how are we going to top our luscious desserts with whipped cream now. And will our palak paneer and butter chicken dishes be without the richness and flavour of fresh cream? Absolutely not! The best option in fact to use cream is to turn to Amul. From the reliable and quality dairy stables of one of India’s largest cooperative movements comes a whole battery of cream related products. There is the Amul fresh cream, the Amul Whipped Cream, The Amul low fat cream and of course a whole delicious and exciting range of Amul cream cheese spreads. Now isn’t that an impressive display of yummy and creamy options!
Amul fresh and whipped creams are not only a delicious ingredient for your food and desserts but a lot has to be spoken about Amul cream nutrition and Amul fresh cream nutrition as well. Composed largely of 68% moisture, 25% milk fats and 6.8% of SNF, Amul fresh and whipped creams are engineered to take care of your waist and your palate. They are even packaged accordingly and are available in handy 200 ml boxes as well as larger 1 litre tetra packs for when required to be used by caterers, hoteliers, restaurants and bakeries on a more commercial and industrial scale.
Processed efficiently to provide only the smoothest of consistencies, this cream is sterilized at high temperatures before it is packed. This allows the cream to stay fresh and without the need for refrigeration until it is opened. Use it on a fruit salad, a mouth-watering dessert or just as an addition to your tea and coffee, Amul fresh and whipped creams are the ideal match for anything yummy that you have made.
Buttered for the better
Utterly, butterly, delicious Amul. How many times have you heard this? How many times do you go to yummy sandwich vendors on the roads, who proudly proclaim that they use only Amul butter? The best of paav bhaji vendors actually charge extra if you ask for an additional helping of Amul Butter. So what is this big deal about Amul butter and why is it such a household name in a country where people can actually churn and make their own butter from time to time rather than make a purchase for it? The answer is in the question. This is the butter that feeds the nation. This is the butter that is on a majority of breakfast tables from a living room to an Irani cafés and the biggest and most posh 5 star hotels in the city. This is the butter that everyone trusts.
Our obsession with this natural fluffy and consistent yellow substance is so great that while the bread or the roti on which it is applied can vary, the product spread will almost always be butter. Toast for the ones who prefer a dash of bread in the mornings and paranthas or chappatis for the more desi cuisine aficionados are all incomplete without a healthy and generous dollop of India’s favourite butter, Amul Butter.
Amul is India’s largest cooperative organization and churns out litre after litre of dairy products that feed and sooth the country. The organization works in a way where the dairy farmers own and manage their own dairy farms which dishes out produce which is then packaged and retailed as different products. Butter of course being one of the foremost. Amul fuels the dairy needs of India and as time has gone by has introduced several different butter brands depending on what the Indian market desires. There is the regular and most commonly desired Amul Salted Butter, An unsalted version, Amul Lite which is for the figure conscious, a delicious Amul Garlic Butter, a chocolate spread and even Amul Margarine.
Amul butter is not just a delicious accompaniment which makes everything taste a little better, it is also healthy and makes for happy consumption. It is made of pure milk fat only and Amul Butter nutrition stats read very positively. It has 80% milk fat, 16% moisture mix 3% salt and 1% curd, all natural and healthy ingredients when consumed within reason.
Amul butter is made for the country and the packaging needs for the same are also similar. You could get your dose of this rich, healthy and delicious goodness in a 10 gram blister pack right until 500 grams at one time. It is mass produced and like mentioned before it is everyone’s favourite butter right from the best quality hotels and restaurants to the not so posh but equally frequented smaller road side stalls and vendors.
Now that we know all about how healthy and tasty it is, let’s see where best it can be utilized to accentuate its awesome taste and make other dishes memorably delicious as well. We already know that spreading it on plain bread or toast or the parantha accentuates the roti that it is being applied to. Apart from this, you could also automatically uplift the taste of various gravies, daals and even some soups by adding a healthy dollop of Amul butter after it is cooked. While this is more a French and European phenomenon, cooking with Amul butter adds a rich taste to either the vegetable, lentil or protein that you may be whipping up. It’s healthier than regular refined oil and it adds a magically lingering taste to whatever you dish up.
It is important to keep in mind that Amul Butter has been the butter of choice to the nation for almost as long as India has been in existence. It is a product that has sold successfully without parallel for a staggering period of over six decades. While a product of this quality and stature hardly needs a publicity campaign, it would be criminal to not mention the impact that Amul Butter has had on marketing campaigns and the way peoples imagination has been captured through each passing decade over a period of 60 years and counting. The utterly cute Amul Butter girls and the age old utterly butterly delicious Amul jingle mentioned earlier have played an integral role in bringing Amul not just into your homes but also into your hearts. This campaign has stretched over a few decades and is recognized as one of the longest running and most successful advertising campaigns that the world has been sensitized to in the history of product and brand advertising.
Amul Butter is also one of the products from the Amul Dairy stables that has helped spearhead its campaign outside the shores of the nation, in highly competitive and product oriented international markets. Today Amul has a presence across the Indian sub-continent as well as the Middle East, South East Asia, the Americas and the Australasia. For a generation of people who have traditionally had only unsalted butter, it is the unique taste experience of Amul Butter and its other brands which put it as one of India’s most popular and successful exports in the global market place. A phenomenal feat if there ever was one for sure!