Goats provide for some great cheese. According to this article, some Americans are finally coming to understand chèvre:
From the dirt roads of Vermont to a plot of land near a power plant outside Portland, Me., once-struggling farmers, Gen Xers fed up with their parents' rat race and city people getting back to their roots are winning acclaim for creations never before seen in a land where cheese was once synonymous with Cheddar.
For centuries, dairy farmers have worked a hard living from New England's rocky landscape. But over the past 10 years or so, a small band has shown that there is gold in those green hills.
With more Americans appreciating, and willing to pay for, grass-fed beef and heirloom fruits and vegetables, artisanal cheese making has also blossomed. And New England has become the most important center of American cheese craft east of California. While California has more sunshine, New England has better grass — the finest pastureland in the country, some say.
Cheese is wretchedly hard to find in Korea. This isn't such a bad thing during fasting periods, perhaps - but hey, I'm not so devout that I've lost my love of semi-solid milk. Koreans need to take a cue from their erstwhile allies and get with the fromagemongering.
And cheese is important. Well, dairy is anyway. All cheese is, after all, is preserved milk. Dairy has played a hidden but significant role in the West in particular, but in world history in general. Milk is bascially protein, a rare commodity in yesteryear. A few years ago Umberto Eco argued that the cultivation of beans lead up to the development of modern civilization. The argument is largely that more protein gave peasants the muscle to develop the middle class and all the hinges upon it. Before beans, dairy was the main way to gain protein for inland peoples for whom hunting/poaching wasn't an option. Moreover, dairy can provide protein even in climates too cold for legumes.
Dairy power often plays out along the farmer/ herder divide. Herders have lots of dairy, and hence the muscles. It's not for nothing that the Mongols and Arabs could invade wimpy grain eaters so easily. The Vikings, too, I imagine were large dairy consumers. Even today, peoples who live off of the milk of their animals tend to be the bane of their more sedentary neighbors. Also interesting is when famine lays waste to their flocks and they are forced to take the charity of their enemies. I've seen the social devistation that grain subsidies have on pastoral groups, and it's not a pretty sight. I wonder how it would have been different if it had been cheese instead of posho. (And if it'd been given to the men instead of women...hmm...cheese beer anyone?)
Why "joblessness" in the title? Well, now, really. Of course I have better things to do that write about bateria sodden mammary excretions....