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    Tempting the Chinese Palate with Cheese


    by NTDTelevision

    In the West, cheese has long been a common and popular food. But it's a new fad in China, and is becoming more and more mainstream.

    With its distinct smell and alien taste, cheese is the latest western export trying to charm Chinese taste buds.

    As dairy becomes a growing part of Chinese life, cheese is finding a small, but secure place in everyday diets.

    Liu Yang is the owner of a small cheese factory in Beijing where he produces thirteen different kinds of French cheese.

    [Liu Yang, Cheese Factory Owner]:
    "Chinese people already know that cheese is tasty and nutritious. But Chinese people do not understand cheese culture, how to eat cheese and all the different kinds of cheese. After I opened this shop I realized that before I try to sell cheese to Chinese people I should introduce it to them first."

    The Chinese dairy industry has grown between 500 and 600 percent since the 1990s.

    For many like Beijing resident Lu Peng, better living standards, rising incomes and wider availability have turned drinking milk into a daily ritual.

    [Lu Peng, Bank Employee]:
    "In the old times it was only the rich people who could drink milk everyday. But now milk has become a part of daily life. Now one can buy milk at any time and anywhere, even have it for breakfast every morning. So more and more people like drinking milk."

    The demand for milk has increased sevenfold in urban areas, with the number of dairy farms in China rising to 1.77 million.

    With milk finding its way into Chinese hearts - and stomachs - it may only be a matter of time before cheese enjoys similar success.