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Using milk from 900 Republican cows…

You have to read this. Curious bit of American history. Not sure whether to be proud of cheese’s historic political role or to execute a face to palm…


This week marks an interesting anniversary in U.S. history—the first known appearance of a huge loaf of bread at the White House, as a tribute to an equally giant, politically charged cheese wheel that symbolized the First Amendment.

The bread was called the “Mammoth Loaf,” and it was made by the U.S. Navy for President Thomas Jefferson, to be eaten at a party in the Senate on March 26, 1804.

The bread was made to honor “The Mammoth Cheese”–a 1,200-pound cheese wheel sent to Jefferson two years earlier as a political statement about religious freedom.

The Mammoth Cheese was conceived by Elder John Leland, a Jefferson supporter in the Federalist hotbed of Massachusetts. (Jefferson belonged to the rival Democratic-Republican party.)

Leland enlisted the ladies of his Baptist congregation to concoct the giant cheese. He reportedly barred milk from “Federalist cows” from being used in the cheesemaking process. Using milk from 900 Republican cows, they used a large cider press to form the cheese. Leland also carefully ensured that no slaves were used to make the cheese.

Read on to see what happened next via A tale of a giant cheese, a loaf of bread and the First Amendment.


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