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Hey all, hoping someone has an inkling or two about the word 'print' as it refers to a 10 lb block of cheese. The British cheesemakers association I contacted said the word isn't in use there. Their American counterparts didn't know why they used it, they just did. The master cheese-maker I work for has no idea either. The only reference I have been able to find online is in a 19th century text that draws similarity between a cheese print and a butter print.
~Katie
 
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I've not heard the term. Please explain the context and meaning.

Good to see someone new here! Please introduce yourself!

Geoff
 
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Here is the only thing remotely associated with the word. I don't know that it helps any.


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Welcome, Toadflax! I don't know, either. Perhaps some of our UK or Canadian people have heard it?
 
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Hello Geoff, and everyone kind enough to respond. I'm a Vermonter with a love of language, and this 'print' puzzle has stymied and irked me since I started working for an artisan cheese producer last year. Here is the definition of a cheese print:
Print
A rectangular style of cheese that has been cut from a 40-pound block. Prints are normally 10-pound loaves.

I just can't track down any etymology for the term, nor been able to find that definition on any online dictionary. I suppose it has to do with the creation of four more or less equivalent blocks with the quartering of the 40 lbs but it's only my guess.

Kalleh, the term is not used in England, seems to be exclusive to US cheese producers.
 
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the OED Online:

quote:
b. A piece of butter (later also of cheese, etc.) which has been shaped in a mould (cf. butter-print n. 1). Now Sc., Irish English (north.), and N. Amer.

1903 Portsmouth (New Hampsh.) Herald (Electronic text) 12 Mar. A mold.., the bottom or follower of which was a curved board divided into a number of sections, each of which corresponded to a half pound print of cheese.
 
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Ah, I should have checked the OED.
 
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I've never come across the phrase, but the OED definition gives a clue why the word print is used; I've seen pats of butter imprinted with a pattern from a mould; it's quite possible that cheese might be treated in the same way.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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I didn't realize it, but apparently molds are used for hard cheeses. It says, "Used for pressing hard varieties of homemade cheese such as Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss and many more."
 
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On page 11 of Cheese Making on the Farm (Farmers' Bulletin No. 166, U. S. Department of Agriculture, 16 pp.,1903), by Henry E. Alvord, it says "The first print cheese was made at the Wisconsin Dairy School during the winter of 1898-99." This was modeled after the success of print butter and was molded into 1-pound blocks. The full text of the bulletin can be found here and on Google Books. A few libraries also carry it. How it went from a 1-pound block to a 10-pound block I don't know.
 
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This is perfect, tinman, what a terrific read and I will be forwarding it to my boss--who, as it happens, learned cheese-making at a Wisconsin dairy. This is exactly the information I've been searching for, thank you!
 
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quote:
Originally posted by arnie:
I've never come across the phrase, but the OED definition gives a clue why the word print is used; I've seen pats of butter imprinted with a pattern from a mould; it's quite possible that cheese might be treated in the same way.


Yes Arnie, it is definitely a derivative usage of the butter-'print.'
 
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This is very interesting, thanks goofy--I may send an email off to an Irish cheese-maker to see what they have to say about this, thank you. Huge help.
 
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The terrible thing is I don't know much about how our cheeses are actually made, Kalleh--I work in the cut-and-package plant and don't see the cheese till it's a finished product--usually a 40 lb block. But molds must be fundamental to the process.
-Katie
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Proofreader:
Here is the only thing remotely associated with the word. I don't know that it helps any.

Hey proofreader, thanks for your input, we're talking about a different incarnation of the word 'print'.
 
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quote:
Hey proofreader, thanks for your input, we're talking about a different incarnation of the word 'print'. Posts: 7

But at the time I had no idea at all what a "cheese print" could possible be, and that's the limit of my investigation. Actually, I was cloxse but in the wrong medium.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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proofreader, good point-! One of the joys of language. :-)
 
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What's the name of the cheese producer for which you work?
 
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My guess would have been the rind imprint I look for on a block of parmigiano to make sure it's the good stuff (Reggiano). Interesting! I hope we can count on you for future cheese factoids, toadflax! Has this work affected your taste for cheese? (People from Hershey PA have told me they can't bear to eat chocolate.)
 
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And, being from a Wisconsin farm myself, where we raised Holstein cows, there's always the cheeseheads. Wink
 
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Speaking of "print", what state had its name imprinted on all currency used within its border?


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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quote:
what state had its name imprinted on all currency used within its border?
Not sure, but in trying to find it I came across a word I'd not seen before: obverse. It is the opposite of reverse. Have you seen it used?
 
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Of course. I've also come across perverse, which is pornographic poetry.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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quote:
I came across a word I'd not seen before: obverse. It is the opposite of reverse. Have you seen it used?

It's common enough when referring to coins. 'Heads' is the call, as opposed to 'tails'.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by bethree5:
My guess would have been the rind imprint I look for on a block of parmigiano to make sure it's the good stuff (Reggiano). Interesting! I hope we can count on you for future cheese factoids, toadflax! Has this work affected your taste for cheese? (People from Hershey PA have told me they can't bear to eat chocolate.)


I have to say I eat more cheese than I used to, but I never used to eat that much. We tend to gnosh more at work and less at home.
How about "truckle," my absolute favorite cheese word? A Middle English word that means 'pulley,' now refers to
a barrel-shaped wheel.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: toadflax,
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
And, being from a Wisconsin farm myself, where we raised Holstein cows, there's always the cheeseheads. Wink


I lived in a suburb of Green Bay for many a long, long year....
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Proofreader:
Speaking of "print", what state had its name imprinted on all currency used within its border?


Clueless. Is the answer forthcoming?
 
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During early 1942, the US government was worried that the Japanese were intent on invading the Hawaiian Islands. Given the American strength, or lack of it, in the South Pacific, they could have likely conquered the islands, or at least several. In the event that happened, all US currency being circulated in the islands was stamped with the words "HAWAII" in several spots, and a special seal added. This would have allowed devaluation of any money the Japanese might have seized, and the imprint was used on bills until late 1944. Hawaiian bills are highly sought today by collectors.
And I know, it wasn't a state then. It was a territory.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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quote:
I lived in a suburb of Green Bay for many a long, long year....
I do hope that doesn't mean that you're a Packers fan.

My brother lives in GB. I'll be going up to visit him soon.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
quote:
I lived in a suburb of Green Bay for many a long, long year....
I do hope that doesn't mean that you're a Packers fan.

My brother lives in GB. I'll be going up to visit him soon.


No worries, formative years in Green Bay had quite the opposite effect on me. :-) I lived in De Pere, went to St Norbert College, roughly a hundred years ago.
 
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Whew! While I grew up in Wisconsin too (Janesville), I am a tried and true Chicagoan and root for the Bears. My Wisconsin family, needless to say, is not happy about that. Wink
 
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