A Moment of Science

Miss Muffet And Her Curds And Whey

"Little Miss Muffet, sat on her tuffet, eating her curds and whey..." Have you ever eaten curds and whey?

Curds and whey in a pan

Photo: henrylumbard (Flickr)

The proteins found in milk can be separated into two basic groups by adding rennin.

“Little Miss Muffet, sat on her tuffet, eating her curds and whey. Alon…” You may remember this beloved nursery rhyme, but have you ever wondered, ‘what are curds and whey?”

Cottage Cheese

Actually, you’ve probably eaten curds and whey without knowing it. Curds and whey are actually the lumps and liquid found in cottage cheese.

If you didn’t know, cottage cheese is made from skim milk.  But how exactly does skim milk become curds and whey?

The Complexities Of Milk

In spite of its simple appearance, skim milk is chemically quite complex. There are dozens of different proteins floating around in that white fluid.

Fortunately, for cottage cheese makers, all the proteins in milk can be separated into two basic groups by simply adding a chemical called rennin. Rennin is an enzyme from a calf’s stomach, and it makes some of the proteins in milk clump together.

These clumping proteins are called “curd proteins,” while the milk proteins that refuse to clump are called “whey proteins.” These proteins are the curds and whey of Miss Muffet’s lunch.

Voilà

Unfortunately, whey doesn’t actually taste very good–so modern cottage cheese makers tend to press or wash their product, leaving a cottage cheese that is mostly curds.

But that’s how you get curds and whey. They are two kinds of milk proteins, which separate when you add rennin to them.

  • disgustedwiththeworld

    Ew.

  • 44010577

    Out of the many protein sources out there, hemp protein is the ultimate. It comes from nutrition. Go to http://www.hempproteinguide.net/ for great information.

  • truthrevy

    The Solution to the Little Miss Muffet Rhyme

    It just so happens that as in so many so called nursery rhymes, there is a bit of mischief.

    Many times they stem from some ridiculous position of ridicule. In this situation, of which came from so long ago that very few know where, the alias Little Miss Muffet was a very sexy little girl who was often found playing with her little “muff” while sitting on her “tough” little bottom. While she has been found massaging herself, she has also been found with her fingers in her mouth, going back and forth between the two areas with both hands. Quite a sight, to be sure. Then along come spectators, who often stayed at a distance, spying on her. No one could ever come too close or else she would cease her little spectacle. Then she would often run away to hide, crying as she went.

    This little girl loved the great outdoors, and enjoyed her nudity within the fresh air and sunlight. Everyone knew this and made fun of her for it. She did not like this of people so she had few if any friends.

    It wasn’t long before little digging rhymes began to surface, of which were geared to indicate that no-one should ever attempt to befriend such a strange little woman. The saddest part was about the bit about a spider going up to sit down beside her. That was about me. I was the one who attempted to befriend her, also with the mind to maybe do more than just be friends.

    I can tell you this because I was there. It was the years 1607 when we all were making fun of that cute little, dirty little girl. And her little bottom was VERY dirty, indeed!

    I have also regretted repeating such a misfit of slander due to the fact that I also became very much infatuated with her, and cried many nights over my love for her. You see, I was the spider… Just one of the many people who spied on her while she performed her little acts of indulgence.

    I wish I had never done such a thing. I grew very old and so did she I thought at the time. Alas, she died of a ripe old age of only 27…. That is, I think she was 27, but she was a little younger. All I know is that her putting her fingers in her mouth after finding them dripping with her womanly juices, may not have been the healthiest thing for her. Hence, this committed the bit about the “curds and whey” within the rhyme.

    She died so young. Why, I myself still remain only God knows. Maybe someday I will see her again. She will forever be my little miss Muffet.

  • truthrevy

    The Solution to the Little Miss Muffet Rhyme

  • Sen McCartney

    So you’re a 405 year-old spider that surfs the web and makes perverted rhymes from the acts of children?

    Dude, umh, your meds wore off……

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