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fcafotodigitalSince 92.3% of Chinese adults have some level of lactose mal-absorption, you wouldn’t expect Chinese people to regularly eat cheese. 

Surprisingly, cheese is an important part of certain cultures in China. Here are three cheeses originally from China that you have probably never heard about.

  1. 1 Rushan (乳扇 rǔshān: "milk fan")


    Rushan is made with unpasteurized cow’s milk in Yunnan. Adding vinegar or sour milk encourages curdling. The curdles look and taste like mozzarella. 

    Cheesemakers then stretch it into thin sheets around bamboo sticks to dry. Read more about the process or watch this video from Dianzi Xiaoge to see how it’s made.  

    One of the many ways to eat Rushan cheese is grilled with rose petal jam in the center. Other toppings include condensed milk, honey, chocolate syrup and fruit preserves. It is a convenient street food because it’s wrapped around a stick.

    The cheese is warm, chewy and muttony. If you like goat cheese or the taste of lamb meat, you will probably like the taste.

    Rushan can also be deep-fried! 

    Fried Rushan cheese
    SBS

  2. 2 Rubing ( 乳饼 rǔbǐng: “milk cake/cookie”)


    Goat’s milk or cow’s milk is used to make Rubing in Yunnan. It is shaped into fist-sized round bricks and has a cream color. 

    It has a spongy texture and it does not melt easily, like Halloumi. People typically slice Rubing and fry it.

    A souring agent is added to the milk to encourage curdling. Unlike Rushan, people eat the fresh curds from Rubing. The fresh curds look and taste like cottage cheese. 

    Children like to eat it with sugar. Uneaten curds are pressed for hours to remove excess whey, which cheesemakers feed to pigs.

  3. 3 Nguri (牛乳 niúrǔ: “bovine milk”)


    Nguri is a buffalo milk cheese from Fujian. The curds are shaped into small balls and marinated in a salty brine. 

    Since it is so salty, it is typically eaten with plain congee. A little goes a long way! The texture is soft and leathery. 

    Nguri also comes in flat circles. People call it 咸牛奶 (xiánniúnǎi: “salty milk”).

    Flat Nguri Circles
    Baidu
    Have you heard of these cheeses? Will you try them if you have the chance? They are certainly making me wish I wasn't lactose intolerant!


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Vivien Cheng

Vivien Cheng is a student pursuing a B.A. in Mandarin and a minor in international relations. She hopes to aid in policy-making.
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