Is There Milk in Cheese?

Written by: Kelly Donovan

There’s no argument that cheese makes everything better. From pasta to tacos, it’s one of the tastiest things around. However, there may be some issues for vegans or people with lactose issues.

Is there milk in cheese?

There is milk in cheese; in fact, cheese is composed almost completely of milk as the primary ingredient. Vegan cheese can be made with milk alternatives like cashew milk.

Since cheese is made from milk, a rather basic ingredient, it might seem odd that so many varieties exist.

Plus, what cheeses can lactose-sensitive cheese lovers enjoy?

In this article, we’ll go in-depth into the intricacies of milk and cheese.

Is There Milk in Cheese?

Yes, there is milk in cheese. Cheese is mostly milk, with a few other ingredients added to turn the liquid milk into solid or semi-solid cheese and to add flavors.

Cheese is an ancient food, and making cheese has become an art form of its own across the world. Because of this, there are hundreds, if not thousands of varieties of cheese for people to enjoy!

If you've ever wondered how cheese is made, Tasty has a great video of the process.

Just because there is milk in cheese, though, doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed by vegetarians or people who are lactose intolerant!

In fact, lactose-free dairy is currently the fastest growing portion of the dairy industry.

There have also been huge advancements in vegan cheese when it comes to taste and texture.

One of the most promising advancements is vegan cheese made with legumes, which means they contain no milk at all!

Is There Milk in Cheddar Cheese?

There is milk in Cheddar cheese, which is a certain type of cheese that comes from the English village of Cheddar and is crafted with cow's milk.

Even though it is one of the most commonly available cheeses, Cheddar cheese is fascinating in its own right.

This delicious cheese is considered the most popular variety in the world and has the distinct honor of being the cheese most studied by scientists.

grated cheese on wooden block with cheese blocks in background

What Kind of Milk is in Cheese?

The most common type of milk used to make cheese is cow's milk, but milk from other animals can also be used.

When we think of cheese, it’s easy to picture cows in a pasture enjoying grass before they are milked to make tasty cheese, but did you know other types of animals contribute largely to the cheese industry?

A few other types of milk that are used for cheese are:

  • Goat’s milk
  • Sheep’s milk
  • Camel milk
  • Buffalo milk

What Else is in Cheese Besides Milk?

Two ingredients are a must to make cheese: milk and a coagulant.

For most cheeses, the coagulant used is rennet, an artificially produced enzyme.

For most traditional cheeses, a natural enzyme called rennin, which is formed in the stomach of calves, is the coagulant of choice. Acids like lemon juice can also be used.

Besides milk and a coagulant, salts and flavorings like herbs and spices are also regularly added.

shredded cheddar cheese with block of cheese in background

Final Thoughts

For those wondering if there is milk in cheese, the answer is that milk is almost always present in cheese, whether it comes from a cow, goat, or in the case of some vegan cheeses, nuts like cashews!

Lactose and milk-free cheeses are gaining popularity, making cheese more accessible for everyone.

About the Author

Kelly Donovan is a freelance writer. She enjoys helping people reach their wellness goals by educating them about how food plays a role in their health.