The end of ignorance
I recently purchased a small wedge of Parmesan Reggiano cheese from Trader Joe’s – just enough to put a little taste onto my salads. And then eat the rest by the crumbly handfuls.
Last night, I looked at the ingredients on this particular variety of cheese, and they were quite simple: part skimmed raw milk, cheese cultures, salt, animal rennet.
Rennet? thought I. What on earth could that be?
A little internet action later, and I learned the truth:
rennet: curdled milk from the stomach of an unweaned calf
I… I’m sorry, come again?
Yes. CURDLED MILK FROM THE STOMACH OF AN UNWEANED CALF. This is so much worse than the day that I learned that the addictive taste of Dr. Pepper came from prune juice. My world has been shattered. I have absolutely no desire to know how one would go about actually procuring, um, rennet. I am thoroughly horrified.
But sadly, not enough to stop me from consuming it like a ravenous wolverine. That loves cheese.