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Ambrosia, cheese of the gods?

In the ancient Greek myths ambrosia is alleged to be the food or drink of the ancient Greek gods, often depicted as conferring longevity or immortality upon whoever consumed it. As legend has it, this was brought to the gods in Olympus by doves, it may have been thought of in the Homeric tradition as a kind of divine exhalation of the Earth itself.

It is interesting also to note that Ambrosia, is very closely related to the gods’ other form of sustenance, nectar. The two terms may not have originally been distinguished; though in Homer’s poems nectar is usually the drink and ambrosia the food of the gods; it was with ambrosia Hera “cleansed all defilement from her lovely flesh”. It was also with ambrosia, Athena prepared Penelope in her sleep so that when she appeared for the final time before her suitors, the effects of years had been stripped away, and they were inflamed with passion at the sight of her.

The consumption of ambrosia was typically reserved for divine beings. Upon his assumption into immortality on Olympus, Heracles (the son of Zeus) is given ambrosia by Athena, while the hero Tydeus is denied the same thing. In one version of the ‘myth of Tantalus’, part of Tantalus’ crime is that after tasting ambrosia himself, he attempts to steal some away to give to other mortals.

It has been said that the knowledge of Ambrosia was smuggled out of Greek folklore and into reality by the Swedes. They then took this knowledge to turn it into one of their favourite things, namely, cheese itslef. Thus Ambrosia cheese was born – a semi-hard cows’ milk cheese, ripped from the heart of Greek mythos.

Buyers of Ambrosia cheese know it as a monastery cheese type, similar to the Port Salut, but milder. It has a buttery and slightly sharp flavour. The cheese is pale yellow with small irregular holes and is delicately matured for 2 months. It is produced in 26-30 cm wheels weighing around 5 kg.

Are you interested to purchase Ambrosia cheese in Australia? The cheese with its name based in greek mythology is now available in The Little Shop

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