This cheese press, from Balmuildy Roman fort, is from the collection of the Hunterian Museum and was selected by Louisa Hammersley, postgraduate student at the Department of Archaeology, University of Glasgow. Louisa writes - cheese presses are rare finds in Scotland and this is an extremely well preserved example. Without refrigeration, it would have been impossible to keep milk fresh during the 2nd century and it was normal practice for milk to be converted into butter or cheese to enable long-term storage. Bacteria formed as milk warmed, causing it to curdle, curds and whey were separated, curds were treated by cutting and shredding to make hard cheese. They were then placed into perforated cheese presses which allowed whey to be drained away and curds hardened into the shape of the press. I like this because cheese is still made the same way today and it shows how Roman practices influence our lives in the present day.
Roman ceramic Cheese Press
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Balmuildy farm, Strathclyde
second century AD
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